Before the 1970s, it was rare when the basketball season opened while the football season was still underway, especially during the era when ND didn't play in bowl games. In 1972, the football regular season finale at Southern Cal was pushed from November 25 to December 2 for TV, so it fell on the same day as the basketball opener at Michigan. The football finale and basketball opener fell on the same day for most of the next decade, with basketball routinely opening the Saturday after Thanksgiving from 1974 on, and football usually ending that same day, with occasional deviations.
This year, the basketball team will have played 6 games by the time the football team plays its finale at Stanford. Whatever downside there might be to that, it will be a welcome distraction by November.