The most reasonable take by any opinion columnist so far, from Ivan Maisel at ESPN:
Notre Dame was powerful enough to join the Big East in 1995 without surrendering any of its football independence. Contrast that with today, when Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a news release that the deal with the ACC will “maintain our historic independence in football.”
Technically, he is correct. But it is independence by a vote of 7-5. Notre Dame will play seven games against whomever it chooses, and five games against the ACC. It is a weaker, meeker Notre Dame that made a deal with the ACC, the Monty Python knight yelling, “merely a flesh wound” as it loses limb after limb. Notre Dame has made sacrifices that the university and its partisans never dreamed would have to be made even a decade ago.
Notre Dame is not a full-fledged member of the ACC yet. But the trend is unmistakable.
It seems unmistakable to me that the deal the ACC made with Notre Dame with be highly beneficial to both parties. And, contrary to many people, I do think that this move was all about football for Notre Dame.