Gene Corrigan's lengthy résumé includes stints as Notre Dame's athletic director and later as the ACC's commissioner. When he talks about conference realignment -- as he did this weekend with the Charlottesville (Va.) Daily Progress' Jerry Ratcliffe -- we should all listen.
Corrigan, like most, sees the advantages of the football program's independence, but he does think if the school's hand is forced, the destination is a no-brainer.
"They would be great in the ACC," he said. "They're much more like Duke, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, schools like that, than they are any other conference. They’re about the same size, too (8,442)."
"The ACC would be great for Notre Dame, but it's hard for them to let go of the football thing," Corrigan later adds. "Historically it's tough to do something like that, but if they do, I think they know this is where they would go. They would be perfect in the ACC. This is who they are."
I couldn't agree more. Ultimately, Notre Dame is an East Coast school playing in Indiana. That side of the country is of great importance to the athletic department — and its Olympic sports in particular — and the school should do all it can to find a safe home there should its hand eventually be forced. Right now, that looks like the ACC, though the Irish aren't in the position to make a decision yet.
Corrigan also says what many Notre Dame fans feel about the Big 12 — "They have absolutely nothing in common with any of those Big 12 schools" — and goes down memory lane from his time as the ACC's boss, recalling a number of scenarios he faced two decades ago. The story is definitely worth a read.