Pat Narduzzi wishes Notre Dame’s arrangement with the ACC was more of an all or nothing deal.
The undefeated Fighting Irish, which knocked off ACC incumbents Clemson on Saturday to take a commanding lead in the conference after rampaging through Pittsburgh the week before, are one-shot members of the ACC in football this season.
Due to the pandemic cancelling most non-conference games across the country, Notre Dame and other independents had a tough road to filling a schedule this fall. Fellow unbeaten independent BYU has just 10 games on its slate.
The ACC, which has Notre Dame as a member for most sports other than football, opened the door, allowing the Irish to play a full conference slate for this year.
As things are currently scheduled, Notre Dame will go back to its previous arrangement in 2021, which will see Notre Dame play five ACC games, but retain its independence. Asked about the arrangement on Monday, Narduzzi said he’d prefer to have Notre Dame as a full, permanent member or not at all.
“To me it’s either play or don’t play,” Narduzzi said. “And if you don’t want to play, let’s not give them five games; let them go play BYU and whoever else they want to play. But we shouldn’t give them a game. But they’re talented and we’d love to have them in the ACC for sure.”
The Panthers and the Irish have played 71 times, with Notre Dame holding a 49-21-1 lead in the all-time series. Notre Dame is one of Pitt’s most-played modern opponents and the teams have not had a more than two-year gap between games since World War II.
The games between the teams have been notoriously tight, with the teams splitting six games from 2008-13 with an aggregate total of three points separating the teams.
More recently, Notre Dame has distanced itself from Pitt, winning the last three games, two by comfortable margins, including a blowout 45-3 win at Heinz Field on Oct. 31.