After months of speculation, it has been announced that Notre Dame football will be joining the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the 2020 season. This decision comes as a surprise to many, as Notre Dame has remained an independent team throughout its storied football history.
Under the agreement, Notre Dame will play a full 10-game conference schedule. This includes six games against ACC opponents and four non-conference games. Additionally, Notre Dame will be eligible to participate in the ACC championship game if it finishes as one of the top two teams in the conference.
So, why did Notre Dame make this decision? The answer lies in the ongoing uncertainty surrounding college football amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. By joining a conference, Notre Dame is able to provide its players with a more stable schedule and greater opportunities to play.
Furthermore, joining the ACC allows Notre Dame to maintain its lucrative television contract with NBC while also gaining access to the ACC Network. This network, which launched in August 2019, provides significant exposure and revenue opportunities for ACC teams.
For the ACC, adding Notre Dame to its conference is a major win. Notre Dame brings with it a national brand and a large following, which is sure to boost viewership and attendance numbers for ACC games.
Overall, this agreement is a win-win for both Notre Dame and the ACC. Notre Dame gains greater stability and exposure, while the ACC gains a powerhouse program. It will be interesting to see how this partnership develops in the coming years and whether Notre Dame ultimately decides to join the ACC on a permanent basis.