After an initial flurry following the Notre Dame announcement that it was headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference, the shock appears to have worn off.

Rather quickly. Old news already. Another chapter in conference realignment

We might attribute the quick passage of the impact of the news to today’s 24-hour news cycle. Events are hashed and rehashed so many times in many different ways by all the different media. So much so that people are tired of talking about it by the next day.

Or we could acknowledge that the move was inevitable. Three major conferences, four if you include the Big East, wanted Notre Dame badly. Wanted the Irish even though Notre Dame wouldn’t give a full-fledged commitment. They wanted Notre Dame because of a tradition largely built on football. Yet, in the end, the Irish still couldn’t fully deliver on a football commitment.

The Irish will play five football games a year with ACC teams but will not compete for the conference championship. In fact, some of their conference brethren could still lose out to Notre Dame for bowl games.

Any relationship with Notre Dame, it seems, is a high maintenance relationship. The ACC embraced an institution that was a major contributor to the turmoil in the Big East.  With members adopting the rule of a $50 million exit fee, they could be stuck with the relationship way into the future.

While many point to Notre Dame’s departure as still another indication of the Big East’s decline, the conference is at least free of a partner not fully committed to the relationship. Notre Dame may be a powerful institution but it employs the clout primarily on behalf of its own interests. Any benefit of having the Irish as a member of the Big East were largely superficial.

Notre Dame has moved on but not much has changed.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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