|Will Notre Dame be an ACC member in 2013-2014?|
A quick update:
*Notre Dame announced they will join the ACC in 2015 in all sports but football. However, everyone assumes that the Irish will get out of their Big East membership in time for the 2014-2015 season.
*The "Catholic 7" announced they were breaking off and forming their own league on July 1, 2013.
*Notre Dame, stuck in a bad Big East lineup, wants out. They state that they will go join the Catholic 7 schools for one season if they have to and then join the ACC.
*The ACC says they are ready for Notre Dame to join this summer if they can get out of their Big East membership.
Well, since Notre Dame said, essentially, they are leaving the Big East no matter what this summer, it is pretty much a shoo-in that they will be a member of the ACC next season since the league says they are ready. And they should be. Since Notre Dame football isn't coming right now anyway, it really only impacts the winter and spring sports and those non-revenue fall sports. Either way, the ACC says they have the flexibility to work the Irish into those schedules.
The ACC already has planned for their expanded league in 2014-2015. That was the season that Louisville and Notre Dame join (Syracuse and Pittsburgh are joining this fall) and Maryland is leaving. The scheduling rotations and all of that were planned out ... so the ACC can move it up a year and just replace Maryland for Louisville in that matrix for one season.
(Louisville will have to wait until 2014 to join since it will be bringing its football team along. The ACC and its members already have their football schedules done for the fall and adding Louisville would make for uneven divisions)
Notre Dame will still need to negotiate a buy out with the Big East, but all things considered, that should be a formality. As I said, the Irish were going to chill with the Catholic 7 anyway, so the Big East really doesn't have much of a strangle hold on the school.
So, this fall we will see the ACC look like this:
North Carolina State
In 2014, Maryland leaves and Louisville comes in. They will play an 18-game schedule with everyone playing at least once against each other. Everyone will have TWO rivals that they play twice each season. Then you play TWO other opponents a second time on a rotating basis (likely a six year rotation).