NCAA Should Force Notre Dame, ACC to Make Marriage Permanent

Greg Arias

Notre Dame football has long held themselves ahead of the college football world for decades, refusing to join a conference and holding on to independence to be able to do as they please and presumably hold an easier path to the playoffs. 

Before some Irish fan scolds me, yes, the Irish schedule includes the likes of USC, Stanford, and Michigan along with the occasional SEC team, and of late their participation, and a partial member of the ACC has added Power Fivemathcups to the slate. But none of those schedules have been murderers rows of late. 

There's no debating the blue-blood status of USC or Michigan, but will anyone stand and argue that either of those programs over the last 10-years has been at a national championship-contending level?

The answer to that is a definite no. Neither has been at that level and only once has Notre Dame themselves sniffed a title before running into Alabama in 2011 and being beaten half senseless in the first 30-minutes.

On Wednesday, it was announced that the Irish were joining the ACC this season and would play a full league schedule. Sports Illustrated's Michael Shapiro shared an article on the move where he wrote this of the decision and agreement between the Irish and the ACC. 

"ACC football teams are slated to play an 11-game season in 2020, with 10 conference games and one non-conference matchups. The league says that each non-conference opponent "must be played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the medical protocol requirements as agreed upon by the ACC."

"Notre Dame will also be included in the ACC schedule in 2020, with its conference opponents being Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Syracuse, Boston College, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest. The Fighting Irish will be eligible to compete for the ACC championship for the first time, per the conference."

It's 2020, and things have been strange, but perhaps none more so than Notre Dame being a full-fledged member of the ACC. In doing so, the Irish will have a primetime chance to prove their worth as they go head up at Clemson.

The Tigers are legit; we'll find out about the Irish. 

Now that the Irish have made this move, likely out of necessity only this season to be able to fill out a full schedule, it's time for the NCAA to make it permanent. 

The Irish and a limited number of other programs who hold independent status should all be aksed- with emphasis- to find a conference, in the opinion of this writer. 

Will the NCAA allow this move in 2020 and then let the Irish to return to independence next season? 

They shouldn't, but it's the NCAA, and when it comes to the Irish, Notre Dame does what it wants. This time, however, the boys in Indy should take a stand for the good of us all. 

Follow Greg on Twitter @GregAriasSports and @SIVanderbilt or Facebook at Vanderbilt Commodores-Maven.

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

I want Notre Dame to join a conference, but I have some issues. 1. The schedule is an issue if it goes to an 10 conference and 1 nonconference game schedule as that will undoubtedly kill some rivalries (except probably USC) 2. Schedule flexibility that already allows them to have the toughest schedule in the country thus making them look like a legit contender and 3. The money as they already have that deal with NBC. Lots of concern there

Greg Arias
Greg Arias


That's the overriding sentiment of most football fans outside ND.


I agree the Irish should be forced to join a conference somewhere. I'd love to see them in the SEC getting it handed to them regularly, but we know that won't happen.