by Mike Coffey
In preparation for Notre Dame’s admittance, the Atlantic Coast Conference has released the planned (lack of) scheduling shifts to accommodate the move.
The biggest effect on ND will be in Men’s and Women’s Basketball, where the 18-game conference schedule will include five home-only opponents, five road-only opponents, two rotating home-and-home opponents, and two protected “partners” who will have a home-and-home with the Fighting Irish every year. Notre Dame’s partners will be Boston College and Georgia Tech.
The ever-annoying Eagles, as the other Roman Catholic school in the conference, are an expected choice. The Yellow Jackets, on the other hand, are a bit of a surprise. But as much as we might have wanted to see North Carolina or Duke, both of which would work on both sides of the gender aisle, the need to preserve the Triangle Rivalries obviously took precedence. Of the remaining choices, an annual trip to a quality destination like Atlanta to face an opponent that takes academics seriously probably ranks among the better possibilities.
The timing of the release seems to indicate Jack Swarbrick is making good on his plan to accelerate Notre Dame’s departure from the Big East conference mentioned in last week’s Google+ Hangout. If Notre Dame was still on the two-year departure plan, it would be pointless for the ACC to plan this move, much less announce it. I expect we’ll hear about an agreement around the first of the year, which no doubt will make for a fun “farewell tour” for Mike Brey and Muffet McGraw.
More info can be found in the official release.