Notre Dame, ACC Meeting Likely Involves Orange Bowl Somehow

The debate has been underway for decades now: When will Notre Dame join a conference, and which one? The Big Ten was the favorite for decades (literally), but now the argument centers on the Big 12 and the ACC. The former could offer an independent-friendly spirit, considering Texas' largesse, while the latter offers similar universities and a couple former rivals.

Clemson site Tiger Illustrated reported Sunday that the Irish and the ACC have met, but not necessarily that conference realignment is the entire agenda.

Remember the ACC's new Orange Bowl deal, which gives the league half-ownership of a bowl that's included in the new playoff plan's big six bowls? A Notre Dame-ACC bowl would be a valuable property, and a win for both sides. The Irish could be guaranteed a spot at the table -- provided they win, say, nine games or achieve a certain ranking -- and the ACC could have a bowl that would do numbers, whether we like it or not. And often better numbers than it could get if it paired with the Big East's champ, an at-large, or the SEC's runner-up. If people watched the Champs Sports Bowl pairing of FSU and Notre Dame last year (and they did), they'd certainly watch the same game featuring the ACC's champ.

But that's all speculation for now.

For more on Irish football, visit Notre Dame blog One Foot Down.

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