Top 10 moments from 2012: No. 5

The fifth-best moment from our countdown looks back at a historic off-the-field moment for the program.

Sept. 12, 2012: Notre Dame joins ACC, will play five ACC games per year in football (Stories here)

Notre Dame secured its place in the future college football landscape by landing a partial membership deal with the ACC, as the Irish joined the conference in all sports but football, which will play five games against the conference per year beginning in 2014.

The move gave the Irish's other sports a safe and strong home out of the falling-apart Big East, and it gave the football program far better bowl access than it currently has.

Notre Dame football also maintained some of its independence, meaning it will get to keep most of its strongest rivalries going on an annual basis. Of course, the Michigan series is over for the foreseeable future, and the state of the Purdue and Michigan State series in the distant future is up in the air, but the Irish will get out West every year (Stanford and USC) and still play Navy annually.

You can't ask much more if you're an Irish fan, as the program will continue to get national exposure to recruits, keep old rivalries while building news ones and have a landing spot if it is ever forced to relinquish its independence.


No. 10: Rees replaces Golson on final drive, leads Irish to win over Purdue

No. 9: Irish open season in Dublin with rout of Navy

No. 8: ND gets revenge on Robinson, UM in night win to cap perfect opening month

No. 7: ND survives missed FG, missed penalty and 3 OT scare from Pitt to stay perfect

No. 6: Notre Dame tours award circuit after perfect regular season