Louisville, Wake Forest and North Carolina will be the first taste of the “we’re not in a conference but we are going to schedule a partial conference schedule because we want to be in a conference but not really” experiment for the Irish.
Let’s break this down.
The Irish are going to play the same caliber opponents they have been scheduling, for the most part. Boston College and Wake Forest aren’t strangers to Notre Dame’s extremely tough schedule.
I understand what Notre Dame is trying to accomplish here. It’s sort of like getting back together with your ex-girlfriend but not all the way back together. You can’t really make up your mind if you like what you’re used to or if you want to go out and try something new.
Seriously, that’s exactly what this is.
I don’t have a problem with the Irish at least attempting to get into the idea of a conference but I feel like they need to make a more concrete decision on a topic that has been swirling around college football for a while now.
Notre Dame makes a lot of money with their NBC television deal and their ability to schedule as they please but the direction of college football conference realignment suggests it will be a struggle to survive without a conference to call home.
If there is one school that can outlast such a trend and survive independently it is, without any doubt, Notre Dame. But, this half-hearted ACC scheduling just seems like a move to humor college football fans that want the Irish in a conference.
Notre Dame will eventually have to decide, though. I think the Irish will remain independent forever despite this ACC deal. The only window of logical opportunity for joining a conference closed when the Big Ten added Rutgers and Maryland.