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Jimbo Fisher surprised by Notre Dame’s move to the ACC

Jimbo Fisher AP

Although rumors of Notre Dame becoming a partial member of the ACC have been making their way through the Rumor Mill for the past several weeks (months?), Wednesday’s announcement by the ACC was no less surprising to most.

Including at least one ACC coach: Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. Fisher was reportedly made aware of the announcement moments before hopping on his weekly ACC teleconference. Needless to say (but we’ll do it anyway), he didn’t quite know what to say:

“I had no idea. Just three seconds before I picked this phone up I received that information. I have talked to no one, know anything. Just got a message, and I don’t mean I haven’t thought – they’re a great university, and I guess we’ll be glad to have them, but I had no recollection of any of that happening.

“Again, I don’t want to say anything bad about Notre Dame or bad about the – I don’t know – I’m not even – I have no idea – I didn’t know they were only playing five games. Literally I had no recollection of any – I don’t know the details of any one thing that’s going on in this whole situation. I mean I, literally, somebody said as I walked in to do my press conference, they come in and said we just got a text or a message.”


While the Irish will not be joining the ACC for football, they will be playing five games each season against ACC opponents. Notre Dame will also have access to ACC bowl tie-ins as long is it either 1) finishes within one win of another bowl eligible conference team, or 2) is ranked higher in the BCS standings. However, it will only keep 1/15th of the pooled revenue for non-BCS bowls. If the Irish go to the Orange Bowl, it would keep all of its share of the revenue.

Speaking of money, Notre Dame will keep its TV revenue from NBC and receive one-fifteenth of 20 percent of the ACC’s exclusive TV deal with ESPN (for men’s basketball). In other words, Notre Dame won’t receive any football money from the ACC’s deal even if it is renegotiated to accommodate the additional inventory (which it will).

Not bad for an “irrelevant” program.

(Quotes courtesy of 

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20 Responses to “Jimbo Fisher surprised by Notre Dame’s move to the ACC”
  1. normtide says: Sep 13, 2012 8:28 AM

    I still say not bad for the ACC either. And they don’t give up football money? ND agreeing to play 5 games tells me that full membership is not to far away. Nd will ease into it to appease their alumni.

  2. takingbovadasmoney says: Sep 13, 2012 9:02 AM

    What it shows is that the ACC thought FSU and Clemson were / are close to leaving the ACC so they overpaid ND in order to keep relevant and possibly keep FSU amd Clemson.

  3. alligatorsnapper says: Sep 13, 2012 9:07 AM

    Notre Dame will be playing 5 games per season with ACC teams. For recruiting, they want a presence in Texas and California. For the same reason, they likely will drop games with teams geographically close to them–Michigan, etc. That would be tragic for traditionalists. That may well be a few years down the road, but it seems that is the direction they are heading.

    The ACC was recently thought to be soon on the beginning of life support. This is a shot of adrenalin and gives stability.

    It will cost the Irish $5 M (which is nothing to them) and 27 months advance notice to leave the Big East. However, when they join the ACC, the departure tax/penalty is no longer the pittance of $5M but 10 times that for $50 million, so if you join, you join to stay awhile.

    For an “irrelevant” program, they still have an extensive fan base.

  4. latrobe21 says: Sep 13, 2012 9:39 AM

    I can’t understand why Fisher would be surprised. Notre Dame is afraid of the Big Ten. Why not go and dominate the ACC in football, like FSU did for about 14 straight years, while improving its basketball program in the best basketball conference in the country? I can’t understand why FSU’s b-ball program didn’t significantly improve.

  5. charles130 says: Sep 13, 2012 9:40 AM

    How did the ACC overpay?

    ND keeps their NBC money and the ACC will re-negotiate its ESPN contract to account for the five extra games per year, resulting in some kind of bump.

    And I dont think Clemson was too close to leaving the ACC if they voted for a $50 million exit fee.

  6. weavergm says: Sep 13, 2012 10:46 AM

    This is good for the ACC because it stabilizes its membership, by dangling the possibility of ND as a full member down the road (doesn’t really matter whether they do, only that FSU, Clemson and Maryland think that they might). And this is good for ND because it gives them exposure in large media markets in the Northeast where their fans live while giving them the flexibility to schedule a game in California every year, where their recruits live.

    The Big Ten is in a strong position financially, so it had no reason to compromise on partial membership. The Big 12 would have been willing, but it didn’t offer the same exposure. The ACC did this out of desperation, but it’s likely to work.

  7. someguyinva says: Sep 13, 2012 11:12 AM

    @charles130 – I agree with you that the ACC didn’t overpay, but their renegotiation with ESPN will only be for two or three extra games per year, not five. Yes, ND will play five ACC teams every year, but figure two or three of them will be at ND each year, and so will be shown on NBC, not the ESPN Family of Networks(tm)

  8. drummerhoff says: Sep 13, 2012 11:21 AM

    Now that ND is off the table, I look for expansion to heat-up.

    The SEC doesn’t like 14 and the only place to raid is the ACC.

  9. rollteal says: Sep 13, 2012 12:27 PM

    Yeah but are they going to pay for teams to exit the ACC for the SEC at 50 million a pop. That’s tough to say if it’s the case of the SEC really wanting to grow to 16 you could see some east coast teams you wouldn’t really expect.

  10. rollteal says: Sep 13, 2012 12:29 PM

    ACC really needs to get ND to let them in on that NBC deal or at least when ND is on the road NBC could televise some 3:30 ACC games.

  11. 7nationals says: Sep 13, 2012 12:36 PM

    Notre Dame was afraid to link up with any conference such as the Big XII. They would obviously never go to a Bowl again if they did that. They will continue to schedule cupcakes whenever possible and have 5 built in games to schedule inferior opponents by making this move. For Gods Sake take ND out of the BCS control panel. PS See you in Norman, Sorry to hear you guys could not stand the heat in the kitchen & move to Big XII.

  12. rrussellndfan says: Sep 13, 2012 1:29 PM

    7nationals your a moron. ND plays one of the toughest schedules on paper. Not to many cupcakes this year or years to come.

  13. scott24105 says: Sep 13, 2012 1:35 PM


    You do realize ND plays the toughest schedule in the nation this year right? 11 out of the 12 games are against teams that were bowl eligible last year. So where are the cupcakes? They have home and home with Oklahoma then Texas coming up

    Also the ACC decides what teams ND will play every year, ND just gives them open dates to use. ND isn’t afraid of any conference because they will stay independent in football, but wanted the best for their Olympic sports and the ACC was it.

    ND will be able to recruit mid-west kids because they are a mid-west school, Cali kids because the 2 games a year they play against SC and Stanford, east coast because if their ACC affiliation and they will schedule home and homes against south west schools to hit that area. Great move by ND

    BTW, who is your team??? Let’s take a look at their schedule compared to ND

  14. joshspangler says: Sep 13, 2012 1:36 PM

    @7nationals – you crack me up bro.

    Let’s take a look at ND’s schedule for the rest of the year…


    Yep. Always trying to get those cupcakes on the schedule for sure #sarcasm. C’mon man, Ok State played Savannah State. Alabama plays Western Kentucky and Western Carolina… LSU? Plays Idaho and Towson. I mean, be real here. Even Florida has a brutal back-to-back with Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State.

    So don’t give me that whole “ND is always going to schedule cupcake” BS when you know damn well other programs have the same kind of ‘easy win’ games on their board as well.

    To hate ND isn’t that tough, I get it. But at least be cognizant of some other programs scheduling before throwing out random nonsense…

  15. scalpemseminoles says: Sep 13, 2012 1:43 PM

    Conspiracy theory:

    ACC wanted to add notre dames non important sports to make the schools bad at football (wake, duke, uva, bc, etc.) feel like nonfootball sports matter and to get all the bad at football schools to vote to raise the ACC exit fee

  16. dvh1100 says: Sep 13, 2012 3:50 PM

    @ Alligatorsnapper – Notre Dame will not be giving up the rivalary with Michigan any time soon. They have a contract for the next 20 years.

    Notre Dame will never be a BCS Champion, and can only hope to play in a BCS bowl game. It’s sad, but becasue of their convictions with admissions, its just the way it will be. There are too many variables in college football now, and without “criminals” they won’t be able to compete. Look at their schedules for the next 3 or 4 years. They play some power house teams. How can they expect to win without talent? Plus, a playoff system will level the playing field.

    GO USF! War not crapping the bed on Thursday night TV, again.

  17. takingbovadasmoney says: Sep 13, 2012 4:42 PM

    The ACC held the cards in this deal. The Big East has been dead as a football conference. ND has a large Northeast following. That is why the whole ND to the Big 12 was bull. They were going because of the big Irish fan bases in OKC and Dallas? Big 12 was a weak bargaining chip and the ACC bit and gave up a bowl tie in spot that one of its members will lose, the ACC gets no money from ND’s NBC contract when an ACC “conference” game is broadcast on their network.
    I agree with weavergm, but I think the ACC could have gotten some of NBC’s money.

    @drummerhoff brings up the larger overall point……expansion is back on and the SEC is huntin’…….

    @dvh – there are out clauses in the Michigan ND agreement. Michigan exercised it for 17 and 18 I believe.

  18. mtflsmitty says: Sep 13, 2012 7:03 PM


    1) I agree that due to ND’s uncompromising admissions standards the pool of elite talent is smaller than most other big time schools. They seem to be particularly chronically challenged at CB. But to say they can’t readily the elite athletes suggests kids can’t be both outstanding student athletes simply isn’t true. Is it harder? Yes. And can they ever do it consistently? I doubt it. But can they? Yes.

  19. teambringitstrong says: Sep 13, 2012 7:55 PM

    Just an impartial observation. The strength of schedule is not just about the teams on your schedule but also the view of YOUR team in the eyes of the schedulers. Could be that ND ‘is not that good’/

  20. rcali says: Sep 13, 2012 10:25 PM

    He let’s people call him “Jimbo”

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