Some how, any how, the ACC has some advantages that need to be capitalized on. First, we know Notre Dame has a very long standing grudge against the Big Ten over alleged slights that may have been made regarding the religious nature of school. Plus, they may know that the megaconference expansion is only on break before the next round gets started.
Swofford needs to get on the airplane up to South Bend and pitch the following:
1. The ACC will go to an 18 team format with two divisions. The ACC North would be ND, BC, Army, Navy, Pitt, UConn, Rutgers, VT and Maryland. ND has had long standing football series with Army, Navy, Pitt and UConn plus there is the basketball side of things. So it would only be adding a VT and Maryland to their schedule and they can keep playing USC, Michigan, Purdue and Indiana if they want to. I know people are going to hate the idea of VT not being with the rest of the old ACC but this seems like a good dividing line although some are going to bitch and scream.
The ACC South would be everyone else currently in the conference not named VT, BC or Maryland.
2. Let Notre Dame start their own ND network (maybe a joint venture with NBC) and keep the revenues minus a opponent fees for games on the new NDN. The rest of the ACC can start their own separate TV and radio network.
3. The championship game is going to cover a heck of a lot of territory but play the game in neutral site like Charlotte. I think it would draw well.
4. The 9 team divisions are perfect for having putting together a football schedule (8 conference games plus 3 or 4 OOC games) but it also allows the divisions to go back to home and homescheduling of the basketball teams. Also, there could be a ACC North versus ACC South tournament (like the ACC-Big 10 challenge) every year to kickoff the regular season.
5. The addition of the service academies will be a major plus. First, both Army and Navy may get killed in football but they have huge national followings in the Armed Forces. My dad who was enlisted navy, loves Navy football eventhough he eventually went to college at Illinois. He never misses a game. Many, many active and retired armed forces personnel feel the same. It's also a public relations coup in that I think the public will appreciate these two traditional schools being cared for by the conference. Not to mention that they are long time opponents of ND which would make them attractive as well.
6. Army, Navy, ND and Rutgers have great academic reputations. UConn and Pitt won't hurt.
Why will this work? Because the ACC is not doing well in comparison to the other conferences. The plan is good for football and basketball. Let the SEC or Big 10 deal with WV and maybe Syracuse. I don't have time for either.
This will give the ACC a superconference for football and basketball that can demand top dollar from a number of networks. Notre Dame will pull an unequal share but if that's what it takes them to get them to join then the ACC should do it. They are the linchpin for the whole plan.
If the ACC wants to bust this thing open, get Notre Dame and go to 18 teams. Sometimes crazy does work.