We knew that Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick was hoping to work out a settlement with the Big East in order to leave to enter the ACC early. But, according to ESPN, he also has a date in his mind for a deadline in order to get into the ACC for the 2013-14 season:
Swarbrick said Notre Dame likely would need to reach an agreement with the Big East by Jan. 1 for the Irish to be able to start competing in the ACC during the 2013-14 school year.
Who knows if that deadline is firm or not - I'd imagine that if a deal could be reached shortly after that, the ACC would find a way to get Notre Dame on board. But Swarbrick is accurate in that it will take a reasonable amount of time in order for schedules to be set.