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Notre Dame Reconsiders Stance on Football Independence

Category: Big Ten Expansion & Realignment, expansion, Featured News, school news

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick says the possible expansion of the Big Ten could create changes in major college football that force the Fighting Irish to give up their football independence.

The Big Ten and Pac-10 have both said they are exploring the possibility of adding schools.

Swarbrick says that looming realignment changes could be “relatively small … or they could be seismic.”

While Notre Dame prefers to remain independent in football, Swarbrick says, he and university president Rev. John Jenkins will evaluate whatever changes occur and assess how they effect the Fighting Irish.

Swarbrick told reporters Tuesday morning: “You can each come up with a scenario that would force our hand.”

The obvious move would be for Notre Dame to join the Big Ten, which would boost the conferences coverage of the BTN in markets such as New York. It is believed that Notre Dame would prefer joining the Big Ten if there were other Big East schools involved, such as Syracuse and Rutgers from the northeast. It does seem unlikely that Notre Dame would join the Big East for football, especially if they were to lose a Rutgers and/or Syracuse. But the school could probably negotiate their own deal with the Big East and maintain their current NBC TV contract.

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  • Anonymous

    ND would never join the Big Ten in Football. Because they might have to play a whole season of football against competitive teams.

    Could you image Notre Dame without a bunch of mirrors? It could be ugly!

  • If Notre Dame joined the Big Ten, the Irish could indeed maintain many of its rivalries.

    ND would have four non-conference games to work with: (1) USC would stay on the schedule permanently. (2) Navy could too.

    Is that too difficult? It shouldn't be, because those two teams were half of Big Ten member Ohio State's non-league games in '09.

    The other two non-Big Ten games could be filled by opponents who are already on its future schedules. Those games will probably just have to be spaced out further into the future. I would have little doubt many of ND's opponents would have many objections because, hey, they'd still get to be on national TV against the most-watched program in the nation. Games against BC, Pitt, and Stanford may only happen once every three years, or perhaps two years on, two years off. The games ND has scheduled in New York, Washington DC, Dallas, New Orleans, and Orlando can continue.

    A Big Ten-member ND could still view itself as an independent, at least in the sense that it views itself as separate, a cut above the rest. USC seems to have that independent mindset, even as a Pac 10 member. The Trojans distinguish themselves from the rest of the Pac 10 by playing Ohio State, Arkansas, Virginia, Florida State (in the 90's), Auburn, Notre Dame, and Nebraska outside the conference. They've established a national presence.

    ND very easily could STILL have that national schedule and presence.

  • Anonymous

    A conference with a pathetic bowl alliance is not what the Irish is looking for IF they join a conference. In the end, Notre Dame will be Independent Notre Dame. Bank on it.

  • If they join the Big East for football, it would set off a chain reaction that might affect ten conferences.


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