It seems like an annual conversation question: when will Notre Dame football join a conference?
According to FOX Sports commentator Tim Brando, who has connections inside the ACC, Notre Dame is having conversations about potentially joining the ACC for football as a full-time member.
The Irish are already a full-time member in other sports except football, and if the UND decided to join, it would become the conference’s 15th member.
— LouisvilleSportsLive (@LvilleSprtsLive) May 12, 2017
The conference plans to launch the ACC Network in 2019, and the SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 all have their own networks. Several are speculating that that’s the main reason the Big 12 won’t survive because it doesn’t have a network.
It wouldn’t be that big of a change for Notre Dame, because the Irish already play four ACC games per season. However, it would break tradition by leaving its independent status.
Interestingly, Notre Dame makes $15 million annually from its exclusive deal with NBC Sports, and that’s less than the Irish would make in a conference. That would be a positive with joining the ACC full time.
Another interesting thing to think about is the rise of the ACC among other Power 5 conferences. Clemson just won the national championship. FSU has been really good for years, and the Noles are projected to be a top five preseason team. The ACC’s increased outlook is another positive.