Notre Dame announced that it is joining the ACC for non-football sports. It will remain independent in football, but will play 5 games a year against ACC opponents. Obviously it would have been better for the ACC to get them in football, but it helps them most by weakening the Big East. Now the ACC can definitively say it is the best basketball league.
So now to what really matters: Will this affect Appalachian State? I think the answer is maybe, but probably not.
The Big East was already planning on adding a football member. Now they also need a basketball member. Additionally, Louisville is a constant threat for leaving. The ACC says that they are done after adding Notre Dame and won’t add anyone else. But if Louisville finds a home in the Big-12 somehow, things could get really interesting.
But I do not think this will trickle down to the mid-major leagues. Essentially they can fill all of their needs by adding 1 all-sports member. Who will that be? My guess is BYU.
BYU (or Air Force) have long been rumored to be the replacement, and that was confirmed by multiple sources at the Big East meetings. The Air Force Academy has already told the Big East no once. That leaves BYU as the most likely candidate. They have excellent football and basketball and they are an independent. They are also the only school that even comes close to replacing the national entity that Notre Dame was (and is).
So unless I’m wrong, BYU going to the Big East will not shake anything up whatsoever since they don’t have a conference anyway. If Air Force goes, that only affects the Mountain West and any replacement would come from the west (NMSU or UTEP).
Anything could happen, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high just yet. Our best hope is that this scares the Big East into adding a few members, but don’t hold your breath.
Let me know what you think in the comments!