It was announced on Wednesday that Notre Dame would be moving all of their sports to the ACC except for football, which would remain independent but establish a scheduling partnership of five games a year with the football schools in the league. Hockey won't be moving to the ACC, either.
So who are the winners and losers in the latest round of realignment?
Winner: Notre Dame. So this one is more of a "duh" than anything else. I mean, the school from South Bend would not have agreed to this arrangement if it was not in their best interest.
The Irish get to move their other sports to a safer lander place than the Big East is right now, given the amount of comings and goings that the league is going to experience over the next couple of years. As far as football is concerned, it gives Notre Dame something of a permanent schedule, factoring in the West Coast rivalry games (Stanford and USC) and Navy. As more leagues add conference games, it gives Notre Dame less scheduling headaches in the new playoff order.
Loser: The Big East. Even though Notre Dame was a non-football member, the Irish are a pretty good overall program. Losing Notre Dame hurts the league, as this is now the third time that the league has been raided by the ACC. The loss of the brand in the Olympic sports and men's and women's basketball has to be a big blow, and might add to the friction that already exists between the FBS football schools and the basketball schools.
Winner: The ACC. John Swofford is coming through big time, and has managed to conduct his business on the down low. While some of the other moves have come with lots of leaks and early discussion, the last two moves by the ACC have been kept relatively quite until they were almost done deals. Adding Pitt and Syracuse in all sports and adding Notre Dame in everything with a football agreement should help the league find that magical word that has become a mantra in the realignment wars: stability. Oh, and a new buyout clause that was apparently agreed to by the member schools (reported to be $50 million) doesn't hurt in stabilizing the league, either. I think Clemson and Florida State (two of the schools rumored to be searching for other pastures) might stay put now.
Loser: The Midwest Leagues. Sorry, Big 12. Sorry, Big Ten. The dreams of having a partnership with the Irish, the last great white whale in FBS football, is now dead. I hope someone has checked on Jim Delany at Big Ten headquarters to make sure he's okay. Sometimes, it is hard when a dream dies.
Winners: USC, Stanford and Navy. These three schools will maintain their rivalry games with the Irish. The game with Navy in 2014 has not had a site announced yet (this year they opened the season in Ireland), while the rotation of Notre Dame visiting Stanford in odd numbered years and USC in even numbered years will continue.
Losers: Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue? This is actually a question mark as far as these three schools go. According to ESPN's Joe Schad, the series that exist with these three traditional rivals are now in jeopardy with this move.
Notre Dame was never, EVER, going to join the B1G. That choice was emotional and cultural after the conference slammed the door on their face in the Knute Rockne days because the little school was private and (ugh) Catholic.
Those good old days weren't good for everyone. Anti-Catholicism of that age is not discussed much in this PC-era, but it happened and the Irish have long memories.
Purdue is an in-state rival. The series with Michigan State began before MSU joined the Big 10. It would be tragic if those series ended.