Notre Dame, ACC win one for the TV rights fees
At first map glance, last week’s news that Notre Dame will join the Atlantic Coast Conference looks like a contradiction in geographical terms. After all, the school lies more than 600 miles from the Atlantic Coast.
But in this era of dizzying conference realignments driven by television money, that’s a relatively minor directional discrepancy.
For instance, the Missouri Tigers are coming from their Columbia to our Columbia to play our South Carolina Gamecocks on Sept. 22. That will be Missouri’s first league road game as a member of the Southeastern Conference. Texas A&M, which like Missouri lies west of the Mississippi, is the other new SEC member.
Starting next school year, the Big East will include the University of Houston, Southern Methodist (in Dallas), Boise State and San Diego State.
And yes, our South Carolina Stingrays and the Alaska Aces are both members of the ECHL — which used to stand for the East Coast Hockey League.
As for Notre Dame, it’s unclear precisely when it will become a competing member of the ACC. And it will remain a football independent while playing at least five games in that sport against ACC schools each season.
The Fighting Irish have faded from their past gridiron-powerhouse status over the last two decades. Yet they retain an ample national following — and a grand football tradition that includes a rousing “Victory March,” a pugnacious leprechaun mascot and the honor of having 1918-20 star George Gipp portrayed by Ronald Reagan in 1940’s “Knute Rockne, All-American.”
Mr. Rockne, the famous Catholic university’s most famous coach, offered this enduring maxim on football faith: “I’ve found that prayers work best when you have big players.”
Unfortunately, though, we’ve found that big-time college sports is increasingly ruled by big-money greed, which warps not just educational ethics but longitude labeling.
But at least now some ACC fans who didn’t already know will learn that South Bend is actually in northernmost Indiana.