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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:03 pm 
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Notre Dame is in quandry. It wants independence; it may not be able to retain it. Fortunately for the Irish, the issue isn't being pushed right now.

But what if it were?

For the sake of argument, let's pretend that the Big Ten was in serious negotiation to make Pitt its 12th member, that a link between the two was a very likely possibility.

Keep in consideration that the ACC will be at 12 members with BC, so ND is out of those discussions. Also keep in mind that the Big East is so weakened, possibly losing BCS status, and its attraction to the Irish is minimal.

If those are the cases, what would ND's reaction be to the 12th position in the Big Ten about to possibly be filled and legitamite conference no longer being possible?

� ignore the B10-Pitt and stay the course on indendence?

� get into exploritory discussions with the B10?

� make serious overtures to the B10?

� give more attention to the Big East and what type of compromise football association ND could have with that conference?

� others?



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:05 pm 
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Looks like this system's software can't handle my bullet points!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:31 am 
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Quote:
If those are the cases, what would ND's reaction be to the 12th position in the Big Ten about to possibly be filled and legitamite conference no longer being possible?
They would continue to monitor the landscape. ;)

With new leadership announced, but not fully in place, I suspect that they will make their future direction clear in the next couple of years. ND alums are extremely optimistic about the changes and view Charlie Weis as someone who will return ND football to past glories. If Weis can turn the football program around, the TV revenue stream would continue (even with an easier schedule) and independence would remain a viable option. If not, I see conference affiliation in the Big Ten as their best option.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:59 pm 
Personally I think this issue is out of the Big 10's control. And the candidate would (IMO) have to be Syracuse in order to garner the seriousness demanded: Pitt just wouldn't bring the market appeal for a conference that has publicly winced at the prospect of a conference championship for football.

If the B10 makes those overtures, then ND likely assumes one of the following will secure their continued football independence, possibly in a better light if the B10 "degrades" it's per school revenue:
- Weakend BE splits and ND can find viable home among non-1-A former BE members (The Catholic League scenario);
- Weakend BE becomes more reliant on ND for bowl ties;
- Changes to A/AA deliniations alters the pool of teams ND can add to schedule, allow for more games in prime markets against the likes of Villanova and Georgetown. (All right, I was stretching for a number 3!)

Anyway, Because of the current cachet allowed the Irish by the BCS, the bowls and the BE, I don't think the B10, by any action of it's own, can sway ND one way or the other. Now should their position within the bowl/postseason landscape change then all bets are off. And this isn't to say ND could ignore such a move by the B10 and then look back with regret. Part of my reasoning is based on the results of the recent ND administration, specifically their hubris and piety regarding the conferences. However, seeing as their financial futures are a) tied to football independence for several years and that b) that independence is financially very, very sound, I don't think the B10 could pull off a bluff with the folks at Notre Dame.

(Thinking this post over)

Last thought before approving the post: Possibly, POSSIBLY, the conference could lure ND IF they made a big public to-do about committing to expanding. "We're going to be the best d@#$ conference going, we're going to have a championship game and everyone else will be left in our wake." Then the other dominos including a big, public search, candidates jumping through hoops, $$$$ being thrown at the championship game, PAC 10 to PAC 12... Then maybe the ND admin will have enough pause to really consider their future. But picking one school and saying to South Bend "Okay. Here we are, picking Pitt. This is it! We're really going to do it. Here we go! Yep, we're serious THIS time!..." I don't see that being able to overpower the staunch ND faithful.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:42 am 
Notre Dame will join the Big 10 when the conditions force them or or they find it more feasible. Why is it not happening yet?
* Tradition as Independent.
* Conservative decision-making and arrogant attitudes.
* False image of superiority based on dated success
* Fans and Alumni influence who fear conference affilitation, and control by an organization group who have some expectation to promote equity in opportunity
*Independent NBC TV contract.
*Bowl preferences for them.
*Have continued to scheduled as they have pleased
*Desire to maintain preferred rivals in USC, Michigan, Navy, Purdue, etc.
*Special BCS criteria.
* Other schools, conferences, football organizational groups, i. e. BCS, bowls have been Notre Dame enablers due to narrow and specific motives, and Notre Dame has exploited this to the maiximum.
*Other independents exists, though fewer, in terms of Navy and company.
*Big East, an impressive basketball conference, have given them a basketball home and olympic sports are placed.
*The Big10 remains sitting with that #12 spot to take if/when necessary
The Big East, is always there, if the Big10 option dries up.
*Other conferences such as the MWC would take Notre Dame even if there were no Big10 or BE options.
*Concern if they join BigTen, will become an also-ran in the fashion of Penn State during recent years.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 1:27 pm 

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*Concern if they join BigTen, will become an also-ran in the fashion of Penn State during recent years.

As opposed to their lofty performances of the past decade, right?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 4:17 pm 
If I were the Big 10 comish, I'd get the media to put a bluff out that says something like "Big 10 negotiating to make Pitt 12th member of the conference".

Then I'd see what ND's intentions REALLY are.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:24 pm 

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As opposed to their lofty performances of the past decade, right?


Yes, exactly. Are we not hearing Notre Dame wants to "soften" their schedule? In the Big 10, there would be limits to that, OCC games, and certainly Notre Dame would want to maintain their favorites. The Penn State comparison is not a purposeful reality for Notre Dame, they use it as an EXCUSE. It is has been seen on Notre Dame Boards. Excuses are not necessarily valid.
Notre Dame fans professing independence will cite their view of deficient coaching and tough scheduling for their lack of recent success, not their non-conference status as a factor.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:52 pm 
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With Indiana and Penn St, how much softer would it need to be?


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:41 pm 
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you know, i don't care how you cut it, Notre Dame is living in limbo. They're just hanging in suspension with this independence thing until the day comes when they have to let it go. They know it. We know it.

There is no future as an independent. There is a present and ND can survive well enough for the present.

but the bottom line is this: when ND is ready to join a conference, will the right conference with the right spot be there for them? and if not, what in the world will that mean to the Fighting Irish in an even more big conference dominated world of college football?


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 12:36 pm 
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Quote:
If I were the Big 10 comish, I'd get the media to put a bluff out that says something like "Big 10 negotiating to make Pitt 12th member of the conference".

Then I'd see what ND's intentions REALLY are.

Huh?

Everyone in the nation knows what ND's intentions are:

stay an independent in football.

It's not like they are being coy about that.

The Big 10 discussed membership with them. ND wanted "all but football." Big Ten was not interested in that.

Trying to play the A-Hole and Bluff ND would just backfire bigtime.

There is only one area team out there that really matches the Big Ten's football history and academic standing.

There is only one area league out there that comes close to ND's football history and academic standing.

There's no reason the Big 10 can't wait.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:21 pm 
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EarthX, you appear to follow the Big 10 very closely. I tend to think 12 team conference expansion is probably done especially with the 12 team regular season games an almost certain to be approved.

Of course an interested Notre Dame could probably persuade the Big 10 to consider expansion, I just dont see the Big 10 wanting a championship game. The Big 10 likes to end games before Thanksgiving partially due to the huge attendance the schools get by regular season travel of the fans and students. Factor in a 12 game season and the Big 10 would have to start the season in August.

I just dont see the Big 10 expanding due to Notre Dame lack of wanting or needing a conference anytime in the next decade.

If the Big East football schools split in five years as a lot of people are predicting, Notre Dame has the option of remaining with the basketball schools and work out something for minor bowls if the school fails to reach a BCS game. Notre Dame could work out a deal with just about any conference to partipate in minor bowl deals and play some OOC games in return.

I do think Notre Dame would have to make some serious decisions if and when the Big East football schools form an all sports conference. If this worst case scenerio happens to Notre Dame, not sure the school would choice to give up its independence for football. Once the independence is gone, so is the magic or mystic or whatever the national perception has with this program.

Any thoughts on this view since you follow the Big 10.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:25 pm 
I would like to think Pitt would get into the B10 based on their AAU status but I think I read somewhere that the B10 comish will only expand with ND.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:20 pm 
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Quote:
I would like to think Pitt would get into the B10 based on their AAU status but I think I read somewhere that the B10 comish will only expand with ND.


This has never been actually said by anyone at the league office, but it's pretty clear they are only interested in a team that, like PSU, would create a large increase in the FB TV rights fees.

The only teams around that fill that bill are Nebraska & ND. ND is the independent with more Big 10 ties, so they really just want them.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:37 pm 
When the Big10 a few years back provided an offer to ND and got snubbed, they basically said, "OK, we offered, that's it, we stay as we are". The logic here is "we will stay at 11 unless Notre Dame is added". That in itself is enabling Notre Dame independence and making Notre Dame appear so special and beyond reach.
If the Big 10 wants to be 12, that, in itself, needs to be clarified. Then, they set out out to find their "top choice among prospects willing to be considered", rather than all or nothing on only one school.
When the SEC was expanding to twelve, they said so, and commenced interviewing schools, first luring Arkansas and after talking to FSU and Miami, settled on South Carolina who lobbied hard to be picked. When FSU expressed a desire for the ACC, the SEC did not stop looking for #12, they focused on other viable options.
When the ACC recently expanded, they got to 11 via compromise, with one school they most wanted (Miami) and another (VPI) who was not initially desired. They kept pressing for 12, wanting that Championship game, and brought sought after BC on-board. It was messy, but they got what they wanted. Syracuse got left out.
The point is, if the Big 10 decides for 12 again, make an offer to Notre Dame if that is their first choice, and if they decline, have a working list in rank/order of preference be it Mizzu, Pitt, 'Cuse, ISU, Nebraska, or whomever.
While it is possible a certain school in the current Big12 schools may not seek to switch to the Big10 as some may think, there are a few in the Big East and elsewhere who would. It is possible the Big 10's second choice would not switch. One looks till they find an agreeable match. The Big10 certainly has more desirable options, numerically, than the PAC 10. No pick is going to be perfect, perhaps Notre Dame included.


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