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Why Notre Dame, ACC deal could happen only in this season of the unexpected

Twenty years ago, 10 years ago, 10 months ago, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick would have met the idea of the Fighting Irish ever playing college football in any conference with a stifled yawn, a subtle eye roll, a we've-been-over-that response. And yet here we are. It took a pandemic, but the Irish, bachelors for the past 132 years, are agreeing to settle down with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

There is no one on either side of the Notre Dame-ACC marriage who believes this decision means anything beyond 2020. And, if they're being completely honest, no one on either side can say the 2020 season will actually be played.