Reports: Notre Dame ‘pushing hard’ for ACC to add Cal, Stanford 

Much is left to determine when it comes to the future of the four remaining programs in the Pac-12 Conference. 

According to Larry Williams of, Notre Dame is “pushing hard for the additions of Stanford and Cal” to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Notre Dame, which is independent from conferences in football but an ACC member in all the others, has full voting rights, according to Williams. 

According to David Hale, the ACC is evaluating the possibilities of Cal and Stanford joining the conference as well as Southern Methodist University of the American Athletic Conference. This means at least a third program is being sought by the ACC. 

The ACC has been largely unimpacted by conference expansion in recent years. While conferences like the Big Ten will increase to 18 teams in 2024 and the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference will bump up to 16 apiece, the ACC hasn’t seen any additions or subtractions. 

Notre Dame will make an interesting case because of its unique positioning in college football compared to Olympic sports and the others within its athletics department. 

According to Heather Dinich of ESPN, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told her that the university pursued Cal and Stanford due to the fact that “two of the very best academic institutions in the world who also play D1 sports could be abandoned in this latest chapter of realignment.” 

One point to ponder could be the possibility of more universities going independent only in football and remaining in conferences for other sports. That remains to be seen but seems to be in play.