The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are in a bit of a pickle (not that you're all that broken up about it). They're not members of the Catholic 7 (oddly) who are breaking off from the Big East to form the...uh...Big East. And they don't really want to be left behind with the picked carcass of what's left of the conference. Sure, they could join the Catholic 7 for a season, but that's weird. They'd much rather just join their future home, the ACC, much sooner than they're scheduled to.
Notre Dame officials have indicated previously that the Irish would seek an earlier exit from the Big East if the Catholic 7 schools departed before 2014. Notre Dame announced last year it was joining the ACC in all sports, except football.
ACC commissioner John Swofford and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick have said there wasn't a firm deadline in which Notre Dame would have to inform the ACC of its intention to join in 2013.
Of course, before any of this could become a reality, the Big East will need what has become their main source of income...a hefty exit fee.
If Notre Dame does make it over to the ACC, that will make it a 15-team basketball conference next season. They'll join the Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers in their first seasons while also helping to shove the Maryland Terrapins out of the door in their final one. The Louisville Cardinals will still have to wait another year before playing in our reindeer games.
The potential move would also mean ACC Lacrosse would be a monster next season. For one season, at least, it would be Maryland, Virginia, UNC, Duke, SU & Notre Dame. Goodness.
The Irish basketball team will, eventually, be locked into a home-and-home with Boston College & Georgia Tech, and play everyone else on a rotating basis. The potential early move won't affect football, since schedules are well-set and the Irish are only kinda-sorta-not-really ACC members in that regard anyway.