Chris Graham: No flame for Notre Dame
That was my first reaction to the news in my email in-box this morning from the ACC about the conference adding Notre Dame as a member.
I read the news release so quickly that I missed the speed bump at the top of the story.
“For every sport but football.”
Ah, of course.
Notre Dame adds to the ACC in the every-sport-but-football category. Men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s lacrosse …
But the ACC didn’t need help in basketball or lacrosse. It’s football where the ACC has basically been irrelevant since, well, forever, practically.
Florida State’s prolonged decline, Miami’s protacted mediocrity, Virginia Tech’s inability to win big nonconference games. That about sums up where the ACC is and will be for the foreseeable future.
Not that Notre Dame hasn’t had its own issues with relevance. The most recent Fighting Irish national title dates to 1988. The biggest cause for celebration in South Bend these days is a coach outlasting his original five-year contract.
But even so, Notre Dame football is Notre Dame football. If you can add the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys all rolled into one to your conference, good on you.
The ACC was almost able to do that. Notre Dame has agreed to schedule five games against ACC opponents starting in 2015, by which point the rest of the league will be playing nine conference games, with the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh giving the ACC 14 full-fledged football members.
Obviously, I’m eagerly awaiting the day off into the future when we get Notre Dame-Virginia and Notre Dame-Virginia Tech.
We’ll get a lot more of those matchups in basketball and lacrosse and baseball.