ESPN Analyst: ACC Has ‘No Chance’ Without Notre Dame

For the second consecutive summer, college football has been abuzz with realignment talk.

Last year it was sparked by Oklahoma and Texas announcing they were leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC and the recent announcement of USC and UCLA bolting the Pac 12 to join the Big 10 started it this time.

With their recent additions, the SEC and Big 10 both look to be on the verge of signing new massive television contracts that will pay member school upwards of $100M per year. With ACC schools locked into its current television deal that paid out less that $40M per school last year through 2036, many think the league could be in trouble.

ESPN analyst Paul Finebaum is of the belief that only Notre Dame can save the ACC. With that seeming unlikely, member schools are likely looking for a way out.

“The ACC has no chance of competing with the Big Ten or SEC without Notre Dame,” Finebaum said. “I think Clemson wants out of the ACC badly, and so does Florida State. This is all predicated on Notre Dame, by the way. I think things are going to happen. There’s way too much activity going on. I think the chips are going to fall all over the place here.”

The Fighting Irish are the biggest brand still on the market, and Finebaum equates one of the conferences landing the longtime independent to hitting the lottery.

“If Notre Dame makes a move, it is going to tip this ant hill over,” Finebaum said. “And right now, Notre Dame is trying to figure it out. They’re in Vegas with pots of money on three or four different tables. The pot of money to stay an independent is obvious… it’s not great, by the way. They can make a lot of money with NBC and have their ridiculous and cozy relationship with the ACC. They can join the ACC, or they have two other choices. And this is when you go into the private rooms at the Bellagio and not out there with scum like us. This is the SEC or the Big Ten. Should they choose either one of them, they’re hitting the lottery.”

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