Notre Dame football has to make a decision following this week’s news that USC and UCLA are leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.
Notre Dame is currently an independent football club but recently played the 2020 season with the ACC due to a shortened COVID campaign. While the Fighting Irish play the ACC in other sports, moving the football program to the ACC would result in significantly less TV revenue than joining the Big Ten, by comparison. TAccording to InsideMDSports, ACC is locked in a TV deal that pays out less than any other Power Five deal, about $240 million a year.
The Big Ten, which is expected to top $1 billion in TV revenue evenly split among the league’s schools in the next few years, last expanded in 2014 with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. The conference also welcomed Nebraska in 2011. What the potential expansion to 16 scheduling teams means is unknown, but other conferences, most recently the ACC, have moved away from the split model.
Here’s some of the reaction at the national level regarding Notre Dame and Fighting Irish’s next potential move to the Big Ten or ACC.
Sources: Oregon and Washington reported @bigten that he stands still at the moment. Waiting for Notre Dame decision.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) July 1, 2022
The Big Ten is not expected to add any additional Pac-12 programs, according to the LA Times, but that is likely to change if Notre Dame backs out. After USC and UCLA moved, the number of Pac-12 teams was reduced to 10 for the first time since the conference was actually called Pac-10. It remains to be seen if the conference will look to expand, merge, or just work with what it has.
Hearing that the big ten is confident that Notre Dame and Oregon will eventually jump on board.
— Jeff Ermann (@Jeff_Ermann) July 1, 2022
Oregon would give the Big Ten another footprint in the West, and the “acquisition” of Notre Dame would improve the league’s overall standing tenfold. Touting the addition of college football blues USC and Notre Dame this summer could force the SEC to look into others. According to Jeff Ehrmann, the reorganization and expansion of the conference is not yet complete.
The University of Southern California football schedule for 2024 looks like a brawl of killers. Open the season with LSU in Las Vegas. Finish the season at home against Notre Dame. There are nine Big Ten games between them.
— Ryan Cartier (@Ryan_Kartje) July 1, 2022
And wouldn’t it be ironic if the 2024 game against the Fighting Irish was actually a conference match for both teams? This is probably putting the cart before the horse, but it’s still wild to think that the conference reorganization hype was sidelined in favor of the NIL until last week.
Does anyone else think it’s ironic that Notre Dame should consider giving up its independence on Fourth of July weekend?
— Aaron Taylor (@AaronTaylorCFB) July 1, 2022
It would be a real fireworks show over the holiday weekend if Notre Dame announced a major move and stripped its status as college football’s most visible independent program.
1. I wonder if the Big Ten want Oregon and Notre Dame and only take UW if ND doesn’t show up?
2. if I am the SEC, I quickly add Oregon, Utah, Arizona, and the state of Arizona. Western division becomes: Oregon, Utah, ASU, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, A&M, Missouri, Arkansas, LSU. https://t.co/PFQmbUO1G8
— Matt Prehm (@MattPrehm) July 1, 2022
The recent expansion of the SEC to include Texas and Oklahoma was a precursor to the addition of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, regardless of what the Big Ten conference leadership said on the minutes. It is clear that Power Five is rapidly becoming Big Two, and other programs may soon be involved in decisions about their future.
A source told me that if Notre Dame leaves the ACC, it will be able to play football wherever it wants. He will have to pay an exit fee and fees for granting rights to other sports.
— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) June 30, 2022
This will not be a financially debilitating move for the Fighting Irish. In fact, it will be just the opposite if it is a football-only scenario. And given the famous Big Ten TV deals and lucrative profits, Notre Dame would have benefited from choosing this conference over the ACC.
— 247Sport (@247Sport) July 1, 2022
Former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn spoke to 247Sports’ Josh Pate this week and explained why he thinks the Big Ten is the best place for his alma mater.
“Everyone seems to think that (ACC) is a natural choice due to their weak affiliation and other sports besides football that are part of the ACC, but no one seems to look at the Big Ten and say, ‘Wait. -ka. second. Doesn’t this make sense? I mean, this is the conference that will be able to pay you the most with the upcoming new TV rights deal.” Quinn said. “This is the conference that probably most represents what you would like to do in terms of planning.”
If Notre Dame doesn’t wake up and finally join B1G now, the Irish are fools. Last chance. Best chance. Any semblance of “independence” is crazy in the 21st century, and there are only two real conferences of power ahead. ACC is not one of them.
— Dave Wischnowski (@wischlist) July 1, 2022
It’s a brief and dry waiting move for Notre Dame, says Dave Wisnowski, who says that if there ever was a time to end the program’s independent status, it’s right now, as two superconferences in the Big Ten and the SEC are forming.
Pick it up from last year
There would be no football at Notre Dame in 2020 without the ACC.
Always shocked that the ACC didn’t take the opportunity to get them to join the football conference full-time.
Instead, ND has more leverage than ever. https://t.co/Fqh9bETVot
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) July 1, 2022
Two years ago, during the pandemic season, Notre Dame played on an ACC schedule and finished the regular season 10-0, losing to Clemson in the conference championship game and then to Alabama in the college football playoffs.
Riley Gates contributed to this report.