Is Notre Dame Jim Delany’s white whale?

I can’t help but be more than a little fascinated by the dynamic playing out between the Big Ten, the ACC and Notre Dame.  There’s little doubt that the Irish are the crown jewel of unaffiliated college programs.  There’s even less doubt that Jim Delany would give his left nut to bring ND into his conference sphere because of what the school would contribute in value to the Big Ten Network.

But for whatever reason, Notre Dame isn’t biting.  Instead, it’s casting its lot with the ACC.  There’s already the scheduling alignment that’s been cooked up for football.  And now comes news that Notre Dame will become a full-fledged member of the conference for basketball.  That’s certainly a welcome development for the ACC’s short-term survival.

But if rumors are to be believed, none of that is slowing Delany down.  Depending upon whom you hear from, the Big Ten has made overtures to several ACC schools to leave and join the Big Ten.  Nobody’s biting yet, but the uncertainty over Maryland’s $50 million exit fee has been cited as a factor.  Who knows what happens if that figure is reduced?  Anyway, if Delany’s strategy is to break down the ACC so that Notre Dame has to find a new home again, things could get a mite messy.

And who’s to say that if Delany pulls in a few more Maryland-like programs whose departures topple the ACC, Notre Dame doesn’t go running into the arms of anybody but Delany?  I’m sure there wouldn’t be a lack of suitors if that day came.  That would be quite the Pyrrhic victory.


Filed under ACC Football, Big Ten Football

13 responses to “Is Notre Dame Jim Delany’s white whale?

  1. The other Doug

    Delany does appear to be set on ruining the ACC. If he is doing all this to get ND, then he is paying one hell of a price. Maryland, Rutgers, UNC, and 2 more ACC teams is a lot of crappy football just to get ND.

    • Cousin Eddie

      Big Ten football, ACC football and ND football, yep that’s a lot of crap, maybe they can form an allstar team to complete against the SEC champ.

    • Uglydawg

      Maybe, but UNC was my choice over MO for the SEC expansion.

      • stoopnagle

        Well, duh.

        The problem is that UNC isn’t going to leave a conference it runs for one run by Alabama.

      • stoopnagle

        That came off wrong – meant more as a whole-hearted agreement on having UNC as a SEC rival and not an insult.

        I blame lack of coffee. Sorry.

        • Uglydawg

          No offense was taken. The only problem I would have had with UNC would be the added competion recruiting. It would have helped them and hurt the other SEC schools in an already overcrowded territory.

  2. Doug

    Slive should pull an end run and invite Notre Dame to join the SEC. I mean, they’re in SOUTH Bend, it kind of works.

  3. Alkaline

    I think the ACC could survive the loss of UVa or GT, but possibly not UNC. I could see the state legislatures in Va or NC intervening if defection to the B1G becomes a real threat, as both those states’ collegiate identities are heavily tied to the ACC.

    The only scenario that worries me is if GT and another ACC school move to the B1G. Delaney would manage to severely piss off both the SEC and ACC with that move, but would fail to deliver any kind of knock out blow. Things could be interesting if that happens. (Plus the joke would be on him–IMO GT does not deliver any kind of market besides certain non-sporting portions of the city of Atlanta.)

  4. stoopnagle

    See: WAC tries to get BYU; MWC destroys WAC.

  5. wnc dawg

    Once UNC gets their new admin set, I imagine the rumors are going to get ratcheted up even more.

    Maryland will file their appeal this week too. Anybody got any ideas about the timetable of the process once the Terps formally appeal?

    This summer could be pretty wild. And I just don’t know if I have it in me to care.

  6. Dante

    I think Notre Dame is a natural fit in the Big 10. The most overrated football team in the country should obviously be in the most overrated conference in the country.

  7. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Not necessarily ND.

    At this point, seems to me the Big White Whale is the NCAA basketball $$$$. When the top division in CBB has 350+ programs, that has to look like 290 too many to Delany. At this point, with the NCAA on the rocks, I’m guessing the split into the haves and have-nots can’t come quickly enough for Delany. Looks to me like he’s herding the cattle in general, though I am sure ND would be a cow he would love to have in his barn.

    Rehabilitating CBB as a revenue stream for the major conferences would hardly be a Pyrrhic victory.