Notre Dame recently announced that they will be moving to the ACC for all sports with football having some special stipulations. Many people are glad that the university finally broke down and had its program join a conference, even if it were closer to an engagement than a full on marriage. Brian Kelly, head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team, is one person that is not satisfied about the move.
He thinks the move is really going to limit his ability to recruit players nationwide. I tend to agree with him. Notre Dame has very strict academic standards that severely limit the the talent pool that they can choose from. It was easier in the past because they had recruiting pipelines that spanned from coast to coast. Now the team is going to be primarily seen on the East coast. They have essentially just cut their area to recruit in half.
This seemed like the year that Notre Dame was finally going to turn things around and become an elite program again. They were finally becoming a national powerhouse again and now the make a bad decision with the worst possible timing. Moving to the ACC not only limits their ability to recruit but it is also going to hurt their television ratings and strength of schedule. Notre Dame was constantly playing one of the most schedules year in and year out. This allowed them to have marquee games that people wanted to see on a weekly basis.
Moving to the ACC is a terrible decision for the football program. The head coach is not happy about it and he has the right to be upset. His recruiting, strength of schedule, and overall brand is going to take a hit. Notre Dame just made one of the biggest mistakes of its history.