Mr. Gunnerfan you decide who is true fan and legit? how fortunate we all are.
Fine. I'll rephrase.
Apparently you are a ND fan. (How am I doing so far?) ND football and its fans pride themselves on their prestige, ability to play a national schedule and their ability to play top quality opponents. With regard to those top-quality opponents, that's practically all they play: Prestigious private schools (BC, Stanford, USC...), Major State Universities (Michigan, Purdue, Tennessee...), the military academies and select urban land grant schools like Pittsburgh. I'm certain you have to go back before 1980 to find anyone other than the type of school listed above on the ND schedule, even for bowl games! That's how revered the program is in the eyes of the managers. Looking forward on their schedule only one game against SDSU (2008) would be considered a variance from this pattern, but at least they hold appeal for a notable urban area.
The reason I bring this is up?
1) Your presentation of ND as "going" with the BE football schools runs contrary to the concept of preserving ND's national schedule and prestige;
2) Your suggested new members of Memphis, ECU and Marshall do not match the criteria currently established for ND opponents. Memphis and ECU are historic teachers colleges, though Memphis has adopted some semblence of research status, while Marshall is a regional comprehensive college. By rights none of them should show up on ND's radar, and thus I find it silly to think ND would associate themselves in anyway with such conference partners.
There's a reason ND plays the schedule they do and against the type of oppoenents they do: Marketing. They're obliged to play big names and/or in big places in order to appease their fans and NBC. Home games against Bowling Green won't cut it, let alone a road game against someone not considered TV worthy by themselves. ND's proposal to begin playing in more big cities at pro stadiums? A neat ploy to avoid playing true road games and command the TV money for that contest. That's how much they love the BE: So much so that they won't play AT most BE stadiums but instead need "neutral" games at the Meadowlands.
Our disagreeing in assessing who'd win head-to-head contests is one thing, and I certainly don't begrudge anyone for supporting their school. The casualness with which you've grouped ND with these other schools, however,... this is either information you didn't know or didn't care about, and that's why I was questioning your legitimacy as a ND fan. By all means, please feel free to prove me wrong.