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It's seems clear that if Notre Dame wants to have any leeway in what teams it plays on an annual basis, there are going to be some sacrifices. We hate to say it, but it looks like that grand tradition of Navy-Notre Dame will be the first to go. The current contract between the two programs expires in 2016. If nothing else changes, don't expect Notre Dame to eagerly renew that contract.
But that still only frees up two weeks in a season.
The Irish will want to keep a game against USC, as it gives the Irish an “in” on the West Coast while earning some valuable strength-of-schedule points.
So does that mean Stanford could get left out?
What about the three Big Ten programs the Irish play each season?
Purdue might suddenly find itself without in-state rival Notre Dame on the schedule. Heck, it's even possible Michigan State, without a long-term deal with the Irish, could find itself looking for someone else to play every September.
And some of these changes won't come cheap. Reports have surfaced that Notre Dame may now have to buy out of a few individual game contracts to even out its football schedule once ACC play begins.
And what about Notre Dame's unique relationship with NBC? The ACC has its own television deal, so will both sides (plus ESPN) really be content, long term, with ACC conference games at Notre Dame not conforming with the rest of the televised ACC conference games?
Or will Notre Dame eventually be pressured to cut ties with NBC?