This Hump Day, we know there isn't much desire to keep looking back around these parts. Oregon State, Mike Markuson and that hard-to-digest 1-1 record are last weekend's news, and with the first night game of the season at Camp Randall on Saturday, there is indeed something still to look forward to.
On that note, today's foray through our fine SB Nation network will keep that mentality in mind, with a twist of today's big news. Notre Dame is headed to the ACC -- with one caveat, of course. The Fighting Irish will keep their independence in football, though they will play five games a year against ACC teams. Everything's expected to come into play for the 2013-14 season, though it could always be pushed back to 2015.
This sort of move was sure to spur all sorts of varying reactions, and indeed it has. With the number of distinct voices present on our platform, that makes SB Nation an ideal place to digest yet another change to the landscape of college football.
Eric Murtaugh has a nice breakdown of everything involved in Notre Dame's move, including the official releases from the school and the conference, as well as quotes from officials on both sides. He also has seven reasons why this is a "Homerun move" by Notre Dame. Here's a brief snippet involving the scheduling logistics of football's part-time inclusion:
Yes, 5 games a season feels like a lot to play---but I think it will be just fine.
The issue moving forward was always going to be finding a way for Notre Dame to always have a tough enough schedule in the coming Era of Playoffs to garner support to the big dance. Swarbrick has done a good job maintaining and strengthening the ND football schedule, but he still faces a lot of issues and problems filling out an independent schedule.
Now, he'll be locked into 5 games in the ACC (the rumor is that ND will play every ACC team once every 3 seasons) and that will give him time to focus on filling out the final 7 games on the schedule.
And when you look at it like that...7 games is nothing to sneeze at. It leaves room to keep most of Notre Dame's traditional rivalries and seek out a couple "new" games outside of the usual suspects.
This also pretty much guarantees that Notre Dame will have one of the hardest schedules every season---a key component to allow the Irish to remain independent in football. Remember, there were serious concerns in the past that with growing conferences the Irish would be essentially blocked out from playing tough teams. Now that worry is over.
NOTRE DAME IS SO INDEPENDENT, MOM -- Every Day Should be Saturday
This one needs very little introduction. Spencer Hall's take on the move, via a suppposed Mama Dame-RebACCa phone conversation:
"Oh, I do worry so. It's been rough for him, but I'm glad you're living together. It'll help him out so much, and you're so giving."
"Well, you're very understanding. I know this isn't the way you...the way you wanted it."
"No, really, I...I just hope he appreciates everything. The Wake Forests. The Dukes. Really, sweetie, just the Dukes and the Marylands alone will help him so much. And I know you'll get married. That's what makes this okay in my eyes. God understands."
"We know this. He'll figure it out in time, Mama."
"He's still got the Trojans on the schedule, if you know what I mean."
"I'm sorry. I just want to reassure you if you're worried--"
"That's fine, let's just change the topic to...Florida State! Don't forget that. When he gets one of those, it's always fun. He lights up like a little Christmas tree inside."
"I know! I just can't wait for it all. But sweetie, let's just keep this between you and I, okay?"
From the mothership, a non-football take. The prevalent theme here is after the state of the Big East after the conference's remarkable return to Earth over the past two years.
One of new commissioner Mike Aresco's main tasks was working to maintain the Big East's status as the pre-eminent college basketball conference in the country. The loss of Notre Dame, a program likely to begin this season picked to finish in the top three of the league, is a major blow to that effort.
Notre Dame has made 32 NCAA Tournament appearances and has finished third or better in the Big East six times since 2001. Head coach Mike Brey has been named the conference's Coach of the Year in three of the past five seasons, and is widely believed to have a top 25 team at his disposal in 2012-13.
With Notre Dame, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia all hitting the road, the Big East will ultimately have lost a combined eight NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances. Compare that to new members Memphis, Temple, SMU, Houston and Central Florida, who have been combined for just one Final Four appearance since 1985 and zero total national championships.