ACC newcomers Pittsburgh and Syracuse are no strangers to a number of current ACC programs, including Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech. But when both school join the conference for all sports next season, there may be one more familiar face in the crowd.
Notre Dame officials have indicated previously that the Irish would seek an earlier exit from the Big East if the Catholic 7 schools departed before 2014. Notre Dame announced last year it was joining the ACC in all sports, except football.
ACC commissioner John Swofford and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick have said there wasn't a firm deadline in which Notre Dame would have to inform the ACC of its intention to join in 2013.
Before Notre Dame can join the ACC, Brett McMurphy writes that the Irish will have to come to an agreement with the Big East. Read: Pay up.
If Notre Dame does join the ACC in time for the 2013-14 season, the league would be left with 15 members for basketball. Maryland will remain in the conference next season --- their final in the ACC -- before they join the Big Ten, along with Rutgers. Louisville will play the role of Maryland
replacement upgrade starting in 2014-15. Neither the Big Ten nor the ACC wants to add programs a year early given that it would result in unbalanced football divisions.
Should the Irish join this coming year, the conference will have to figure out a way of making a 15-team basketball schedule work a year early. The league had previously announced that BC will play home-and-home series against two permanent opponents -- Notre Dame and Syracuse -- while the remaining home-and-away opponents will rotate. In addition to the future scheduling model, the league also announced that all conference members will qualify for the ACC Tournament.
The Irish baseball team would likely slot into the ACC's Atlantic Division, giving the league 14 programs and balanced divisions. Syracuse does not field a varsity baseball program.
This move won't affect football as the Irish's schedule was set well in advance. So you can go ahead and forget about those five games against ACC opponents this season (Notre Dame is scheduled to play at Pitt in 2013. That's it).
You'll recall that Notre Dame is also joining Hockey East next season. That means Boston College and Notre Dame will share the same conference in 18 varsity sports starting in 2013-14 -- baseball, men's basketball, women's basketball, cross country, men's and women's golf, men's ice hockey, women's lacrosse, rowing, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's swimming & diving, men's and women's tennis, track & field and volleyball.
How many of those sports would you say Boston College is better than Notre Dame in currently? Hockey excepted. Don't all answer at once.