University of Notre Dame Joins the ACC, Football to Play 5 League Games Per Season - One Foot Down
First, here are some comments from Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins: "The ACC is composed of some of the most highly respected universities in the country, and we at Notre Dame look forward to joining them. With a mix of institutions - many of which are also private, similar to Notre Dame in size, and committed to excellence in research and undergraduate education - the ACC is an exceptionally good fit for us academically, as well as athletically."
There had bee a lot of speculation on this but it "officially" happened in a pretty fast and decisive fashion. It was also very quiet! When the Irish move they don't joke around. It is believed the switch could be made starting in the 2013-14 season, but maybe not until 2015. Notre Dame would likely need to give a payout to leave before 2015.
Notre Dame will take all of their non football sports out of the Big East and put them in the ACC. They will also drop their regular slate of Big East football games and play against ACC foes. Combine this with Notre Dame's regular match up against Army and the football Independent Irish have a set six games a year, nearly as much as teams who are aligned in football conferences.
The move will keep the Notre Dame and Pitt series alive, it will also move the Irish into alignment with one of the five remaining football Power conferences (SEC, ACC, Big10, Big12, PAC12).
The move really hurts the Big East who loses a casual football friendship with one of the only big name schools left in the conference. The Irish are also a pretty consistent basketball power. The move away from the Big East will both diminish their basketball profile and enhance the ACC's.
The ACC has already taken Syracuse and Pitt, two solid hoops schools. Now they add Notre Dame.
So how does this affect Buffalo? Well it doesn't
UB has been kicked around as a future dark horse prospect for the Big East but this move neither affects their football expansion plans or leaves the so desperate as to need a team good enough to win 20 games but not good enough to make the dance for three straight years.
The Big East added Memphis and Temple recently to shore up their basketball strength. There may be better options, even within the MAC, for them if they want once again to raid the mid-majors to compensate for their poor management.