Oct. 22, 2011; South Bend, IN, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley (7) runs the ball in the first quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

NCAA Football: Notre Dame To Join ACC

Notre Dame has announced that the university intends to leave the Big East and join the ACC for all sports except football, though they will play five ACC teams annually.

The ACC does not offer hockey–which Notre Dame does–so it is likely that sport will go forward with joining the Hockey East conference as planned

The ACC held a news conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina to announce that Notre Dame will become a member as soon as it can leave the Big East. Notre Dame’s Vice President and Director of Athletics, Swarbrick elaborated on the reasoning behind the move, in a statement released by the ACC:

“We have monitored the changing conference landscape for many months and have concluded that moving to the ACC is the best course of action for us. We are able to maintain our historic independence in football, join in the ACC’s non-BCS bowl package, and provide a new and extremely competitive home for our other sports.”

Notre Dame must pay the Big East a $5 million exit fee, according to Big East associate commissioner John Paquette.

On the football front, Notre Dame will likely see some significant schedule changes. Now that they have to play against five ACC teams annually, some of their marquee games against the likes of USC, Michigan, Navy, Michigan State, Purdue, and Stanford may no longer be annual match-ups. For the Trojans, Stanford and the Naval Academy though, expect these competitions to be mainstays in the future. The other three teams would likely still face Notre Dame but on a rotating basis, much like the way the Pac-12 currently functions.

Notre Dame is not eligible to leave the Big East until 2014, so expect their presence in the ACC in 2015, at the earliest.

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