I think I'm getting a vibe that over the next decade, Notre Dame may start phasing out some of their current annual rivals to set themselves up to join the ACC for FB.
(No, I have not read that anywhere, but there have been some comments that sound like:
"In the event, Notre Dame does feel it becomes necessary to join a FB conference, it'll be the ACC..."
They seem to be preparing the alumni for that eventuality....
I read a quote from either the ND AD or President (paraphrased), 'We're staying independent for football. But if we ever do join a conference we will look to the ACC.
(Will try to find the link again and post it.)
The key will be in the ND alignment with the Orange bowl. I'd have to see the specs on the agreement, to see what makes them eligible, before I have a full opinion on their membership. But if it isn't real easy for them to get that spot, and pending the new "playoff" format, that will dictate whether ND ever adds 3 more ACC games to become a full member.http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/09/12/2336990/5-questions-about-acc-notre-dame.html
For now, those who feel ND will never join the ACC for all sports should be a lower number than those who think they will join one day.
ND does not have access to the Orange Bowl slot via the ACC (reserved for ACC Champs, which ND cannot be with a partial schedule) so that will have no bearing on them eventually joining the ACC for football.
They will have access to every other ACC bowl slot.
3) Will Notre Dame be a part of the ACC's bowl selection process?
Yes, but only in bowl games below the BCS level.
Notre Dame will have to be ranked higher or within one of the eligible ACC team to jump them in the bowl order, Swofford said.
I read an alternative representation of the 'within one' rule to be within one win/loss
of an ACC team to leap them in bowl order. (Will try to find link again to post.)
Notre Dame will play five ACC teams each season, and it will play every ACC team at least once every three years.
The plan is for Notre Dame, in Year A for example, to host three home games and play two road games against ACC teams, and then vice versa in Year B. All games against Notre Dame will be considered non-conference games.
Also read that ND selects the dates, ACC determines the opponents.
(Again, when I run across the link again, I'll post it.)