Notre Dame doesn't fix the ACC
Posted June 11, 2012
This might be late to the party, but then again, college conference expansion knows no season. For the longest time I’ve made the point that the ACC needs Notre Dame. But, the more I think about it, the more I see it as a band-aid, not a permanent solution.
Yes, ND brings a national following to the party, which means lots and lots of money. They are the athletic department that Florida State has clamored for, one with enough power that would point out that football is more important than basketball to the other schools in the conference. In theory, they would bring Fort Knox money to the league, which is good for all of the members…in theory.
But there is one small problem. Notre Dame doesn’t care about anyone else.
They won’t agree to split the pie evenly. Why would Notre Dame give up a deal that pays them 100% of the earnings? So, if the ACC lands the Irish and NBC in the process, the rest of the conference will be behind them every year in financial earnings. How long will school presidents stand by and see the Irish raking in more cash than their programs before someone gets upset and threatens to bolt to another conference?
On the flip side, what will stop ND from leaving if they get a better offer? A buyout clause would mean nothing to the Irish; it might take them a week to come up with the money to jump to a different conference.
Notre Dame doesn’t want to be lumped into the same category as NC State, Carolina, Clemson and Wake Forest, and the rest. They have been independent for too long to be judged by a conference’s standards. Does anyone think that the ND administration is going to let others tell them what to do? Notre Dame will not play by the ACC’s rules, they will try to enforce their own.
The Fighting Irish will look to gain an advantage everywhere. You can expect them to kick and scream to get their way. Inviting the rich kid with all the cool toys to come over seems great. When that kid shows up and you find out he doesn’t share, that makes for a bad playmate. The ACC will have a hard time making an only child see why it is better to help out its siblings instead of getting everything they want.
Much like everything in life, this isn’t an absolute, there is a chance that the Irish make the ACC a powerhouse. But, it should be pointed out that just adding Notre Dame doesn’t make the ACC a better football conference. The ACC has enough average-to-slightly-above-average football teams dwelling in its midst. Notre Dame isn’t winning a national title anytime soon. While they are better on the field than most of what the conference already has, the Irish aren’t good enough to go toe-to–toe with the SEC and win. When it is all said and done is the ACC’s biggest problem: there just aren’t any national championship caliber teams.
Waking up the echoes sounds like a good idea, until that is the only thing that you hear. Adding the Irish will bring in more money, but say it with me, it will also bring more problems. More problems is not something that the ACC needs right now.