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Notre Dame, ACC Discuss Orange Bowl Partnership

Notre Dame still enjoys what amounts to favored-nation status in the American game of realpolitik that is the never-ending storm of conference expansion and ever-shifting bowl partnerships. The Irish are trying to retain that status in part by partnering with the ACC and staying in the mix of teams eligible for the Orange Bowl, the school confirmed Monday.

Notre Dame has long been happy with the status quo of the Bowl Championship Series, with any finish in the top eight of the final BCS standings guaranteeing the Irish a berth in a BCS bowl game. But with the BCS melting into the four-team playoff that will begin in 2014, the Irish may need new dance partners, and the ACC — seen as the distant fifth of the elite quintet of athletic conferences that also includes the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and Big Ten — would seem to be the league most likely to get on the floor with them, given the other four conferences' deals to secure spots for teams in major bowls.

Talks remain in the preliminary stage between the school and conference, but Rivals' Clemson site, Tiger Illustrated, reported that a group of ACC presidents met with Notre Dame on Sunday.

For more on Notre Dame, head to One Foot Down.