Just some speculation, and I may be wrong, but I am thinking the ACC has the right of first refusal when it comes to the partnership with another team/conference in the OB. My guess is that, if ND ends the season ranked 15 or higher they will get the other spot in the OB. In years where ND is not ranked high enough (or is in the 4-team playoff) the Orange Bowl and the ACC together will offer the spot to a ranked team without a bowl tie/in, but that team has to be ranked higher than Notre Dame.
I am also guessing there is discussion about ND joining the ACC, but that discussion is not tied to anything related to the OB.
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