I grew up in Elkhart, Indiana, which is about 15 minutes from the campus of Notre Dame. While I’m not a Notre Dame fan (the homer media in the area and their overly optimistic pandering to the university turned me off as did the “real” view you get of Notre Dame and its athletics program from living that close to campus), I do hold a special place in my heart for the school having been so inundated with it throughout my childhood and early adult years.
When I heard that Notre Dame will be moving all non-football sports, and what amounts to nearly half of its football program, to the ACC, I actually liked the move. And this is coming from someone that’s been critical of that football program for year. Yet, for all my criticism of Notre Dame (which I won’t get into here), I do have to say, I respect the way they schedule. Year in and year out they have a tough schedule and aren’t putting cupcakes on it like many other D1 schools (looking at you, SEC and Big 12, as your schools complement conference schedules with the School of the Blind, the School of the Death and Community College of Northwest Ohio at Lima). This move is consistent with their tough scheduling.
Notre Dame appreciates the history of their football program. For years they’ve played the likes of Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, Stanford, USC, Army, Navy and Air Force pretty consistently. People are worried that by joining the ACC they’ll lose these yearly matchups. They won’t. They still have 7 games per year to play against those schools. Now they also have 5 games against ACC schools – schools like Florida State, Miami, Boston College as well as Syracuse and Pitt when those schools join the conference in the next couple years. Historically speaking, I recall Notre Dame playing some good games against those teams when I was younger. Now also add potential games against Virginia Tech, Clemson and North Carolina State? I like it as a fan of college football. I’ll watch those games.
I think the move is good for Notre Dame, the ACC and college football.