I can't fathom ND agreeing to a 9-game conference schedule. Which is what you would have with a 16-team conference. ND would need room to schedule USC, a service academy, and a Big-10 team or other quality opponent every year, while still getting 6-7 home games every year. They might be able to accomplish that with an 8-game ACC schedule, but not a 9-game one. And an 8-game conference schedule within a 16-team conference creates complications. With two 8-team divisions, you would get only one cross-divisional opponent per year, which means the elimination of a permanent cross-division rival and playing those teams once every 8 years or twice every 16. That would mean VT could go 14 years without playing Maryland.
I agree that ND is unlikely to want to have 9 in-conference games, but it does help that the ACC has a lot of its traditional rivals (Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Miami, Boston College, and even Syracuse, Wake Forest and Florida State). If you add in Navy as 16th team...
At the end of the day, I think if the ACC gets ND it should stand pat on everything (scheduling, bowl splits, etc.) but give in on the NBC tv deal. At the very least it would give the ACC broadcast TV exposure in all 50 states.
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