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posted: 9/14/2012 5:30 AM

What Notre Dame wants, Notre Dame gets

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  • Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced earlier this week that Notre Dame would join the Atlantic Coast Conference in all the conference's sports except football.

    Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced earlier this week that Notre Dame would join the Atlantic Coast Conference in all the conference's sports except football.
    AP photo/South Bend Tribune, Robert Frankllin


Notre Dame is the undisputed king of college football.

Forget about their rankings, and the losses over the last two decades. Notre Dame football is bigger than the New York Yankees, or any other franchise at least in the United States -- pro or amateur.

ND hasn't had much success with its football program for a long, long time, but when it comes to determining its destiny and calling the shots, it's a different story -- that's where the Irish are undisputed champs.

Where the New York Yankees need the American League, or the Chicago Bears need the NFL, or even Alabama needs the SEC as much as the SEC needs them, Notre Dame doesn't seem to need anyone.

They tell the NCAA: we are going to stay independent in football, we don't need a league conference or division. Oh, and by the way, we will join the ACC, but only for the other sports like baseball and lacrosse.

The football team will play five games against ACC opponents, but ND could have said three games and the conference would have said OK.

Meanwhile, it's getting more difficult for an independent school to put together a schedule. So this is perfect for the Irish.

The fact they haven't been as successful of late means nothing to NBC, which is the Notre Dame broadcasting company. The Irish still bring in plenty of money, and that won't change.

Dunn over Thome

I said after the All-Star Game break that Jim Thome would have a better second half then Adam Dunn.

Boy was I wrong.

Thome got hurt and Dunn has just rocked in the second half.

I am nervous about Dunn missing a week of baseball with an oblique muscle problem. It's obviously bothering him, and if it doesn't get better that changes everything.

Let's hope that's not the case.

If the White Sox don't win the division, it will be tough to win the wild-card spot. With Oakland and the Yankees playing well, the Sox would be 5 back, if they were in second in the Central.

Here's hoping we won't have to worry about that.

But with the Sox losing the head-to-head matchups with the Tigers, the fact that they are in the hunt is remarkable.

RGIII over Andrew Luck

I loved the Andrew Luck apologists this week saying he didn't play as well as Robert Griffin IIII because of the supporting cast.

Oh really, doesn't the Media Messiah, who I do like, have a receiver named Reggie Wayne?

I understand you need more, but I watched the Redskins and Bucs game last week and RGIII was more accurate than Luck. His arm is as strong if not stronger, and RGIII made some smarter decisions.

It's only Week 1, but both men play on average to below-average teams. I expected Luck to have a shaky game, but who thought RGIII would have the game he had?

No one! It should be interesting how most of the media, who claim Luck is the greatest since Manning, will spin it if he gets outplayed by RGIII. It may come down to game planning and coaching. While the Indianapolis Colts have a fine staff, they don't have the lineage of the Shanahans, Kyle and head coach Mike. In fact, I believe Washington can make the playoffs in the East.

We will find out.

My NFL picks

I went 1-2 with last week's picks, and here are my choices for Week 2:

• New York Giants -7 over Tampa Bay

• Cincinnati -7 over Cleveland

• St. Louis +3 over Washington

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at For more, visit

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