With news that Notre Dame would be leaving the Big East and soon entering the ACC, an interesting scenario arises for the future of the latter conference.
As it stands now, the ACC is at 15 full-time members, after the additions of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse. A more logical and round number would be 16, but whom could they take?
The problem is, though, that with 15 full members, there are only 14 full-member football schools (remember, Notre Dame is not a full football member, though they’re playing five games per seasons against ACC schools).
Speculation begins at the root in the Big East, namely Connecticut, who has in the past expressed interest to leave the conference. Also in that mix could be Rutgers or Louisville, both schools with solid basketball and football programs that could assimilate into the ACC.
But, adding a program like Louisville, Rutgers, or Connecticut would make 15 full-time members with football, an odd number.
So, in the ACC’s search for another full member, could it look for a school that would not compete in football, giving it 16 full-time members and 14 full-time footballs schools, plus Notre Dame as an add-in?
This brings in the possibility of schools like Georgetown or Villanova, Catholic schools from the original core of the Big East that don’t have an FBS football program.
Regardless of what ends up taking shaping, the ACC is in the driver’s seat right now. It sniped Notre Dame from the Big East and raised its exit fee to $50 million to ensure that no schools leave.
The only minor flaw in all of this? We have to begin acting like South Bend, Ind., is on the Atlantic Coast.