Earlier today, Anson weighed in with some thoughts on why the Notre Dame pickup was a good one for the ACC. Here are my thoughts and why I disagree a bit.
Remember the John Swofford that said the ACC wouldn't accept partial members?
"We're an all-in, revenue-equal conference," Swofford said here at the Charlotte Ritz-Carlton. "That's very basic to us. That's what works for us. ... I think going forward we will continue to consider equal revenue sharing and full membership or no membership (important) in our conference. I don't see that changing. "
How quickly things have changed.
Notre Dame to the ACC should seem like a good thing, right? The conference is guaranteed five football games a season vs. the Fighting Irish, the conference gains another respectable basketball member, and the future potentially has Notre Dame being a full member of the ACC.
So, why do I feel like this isn't as great as it sounds?
Don't get me wrong. This is a good move for the ACC, especially considering the ACC just upped their exit fee to $50 million, so any FSU/Clemson rumors to the Big 12 are done. And yet in reality, how is Pitt in any different situation in the ACC than they were with the Big East? There still is the problem of non-football teams trying to put their needs ahead of the needs of the real cash cow. Notre Dame will still be able to replace a possibly more-deserving ACC team in the non-BCS bowl lineup. And the Irish still get to tout their independent horns despite being ranked every August and pretty much out of the running for the national title by October 1st.
Yep, sounds like the Big East to me.
I have always stood by the notion that if Notre Dame leaves the Big East, it should be for full membership. None of this partial membership nonsense should be allowed. Why are conferences willing to bow down to a team that hasn't been truly an elite team since Lou Holtz left the sidelines? I doubt that all of Notre Dame's other sports would be worth more than $17 million, the amount that ACC schools will receive per year once Pitt and Syracuse join in 2013. And while five games against ACC schools are great, Pitt isn't guaranteed a game vs. the Irish every season like they have now. I don't care how overrated Notre Dame is - that is a definite nationally televised game that gets fans in the seats and eyeballs on the television. And before someone says Pitt could replace that with West Virginia or Penn State, that's not a guarantee either.
Then there's the issue with bowl games. Let's say Pitt happens to go 10-3, with a loss in the ACC Championship Game. The Panthers would likely be headed for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl as the #2 ACC team. But if the Irish win nine games, then there goes Pitt's bowl game in Atlanta. We as Pitt fans have had to put up with the Notre Dame rule for a bit now, so I imagine that us and Syracuse could handle it better than others, but the second Notre Dame is picked over FSU or Clemson (and you know it'll happen eventually), Greensboro better watch out.
Now we have the next few questions to answer. Does ND join next year like Pitt and Cuse, and if so, what will it cost them? I imagine that the Providence gang wants them out ASAP as they work on their media deal (for which negotiations started with ESPN last Tuesday. Great timing Notre Dame!). What does this mean for further ACC expansion? I know Swofford said that there would be no more, but when was the last time anyone actually trusted what a conference commissioner said these days? What happens to Pitt's future non-conference schedule? Do they bring back the Brawl? A series with PSU? Could they somehow keep their annual game with the Irish? So many questions. Thankfully, we've got 27 months*.
*Raise your hand if you think the Big East will keep ND until 2015-16...Anyone....Nope? That's what I figured.