(TSK) -- In a press conference in Chapel Hill, Notre Dame announced its plan to join the ACC to have a better chance to lose to SEC teams on a regular basis.
"We get beat by the west coast USC so often, it would be nice to have a chance to lose to the east coast USC for a change," quipped Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. "Our fans had a marvelous time interacting with those from LSU leading into our Sugar Bowl loss in 2007, but we haven't been able to find a way to get back to the BCS to lose to an SEC team since."
The Big East only has one mutual bowl tie-in with the SEC, that being the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham. The ACC, however, has three mutual bowl tie-ins with the SEC: the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, the Music City Bowl in Nashville, and the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. The Irish's longstanding scheduling agreements with Big Ten schools, Stanford, USC, and Navy made it difficult for them to find room on their regular season slate for SEC losses, and the new scheduling agreement with the ACC will only make it more so.
"I'm very much in favor of the move," said head football coach Brian Kelly. "It looks much better for us if we're losing to Florida in the bowl rather than South Florida in the regular season, like we did last year. This also could give us a chance to visit Atlanta twice a year for recruiting, once to play Georgia Tech and again to lose in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. This is tremendous for the program."
The last Notre Dame loss to the SEC was in the 2007 Sugar Bowl by a 41-14 score to LSU. In the time since, it has lost to teams from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, Mountain West, and Pac-12 along with independent Navy.