Dec. 01, 2009 Article in USA Today....
Comments from ND Asso. Prof./alumni/former AD:
...."That is a tribute to the value built by our unmatched heritage"
....joining a conference would "thereby discarding a big part of our uniqueness"
...."When you have your own network and your're always on TV, that's what kids love"
...."We grew up on Notre Dame"
...."Notre Dame is a great football program that has had a run of three bad head coaches"
All those points are debatable. It's not the 1940s, or so, anymore. Tell Texas, Alabama, Florida, TCU, even Penn State (from an overall perspective), their conference membership has destroyed their "uniqueness". While ND does have their own NBC and BCS deals, those assets were granted by external, enabling forces. The former playing on, for and perhaps mostly against, the attitudes stated above. The later, was granted by established elite conferences which ND so disdains for it's fb program.
Eight home games is not so "national"; by TV yes; physical presence, not so much. Others, even from lesser conferences, traveled more and wider.
So, hire a new coach, patsy-up further the schedule, blame the recent past on failed coaches, and shout louder about uniqueness, independence, glory days, mystique, etc. Whether this converts into a greater percentage of wins and tops the Rivals and Scouts rankings of recruits, remains to be seen. It at least buys them time to maintain the status quo with BCS, BE arrangement, media, etc.
Respect ND's decisions. However, big time conferences need to narrow ND's financial inroads to their "gigs" (BCS, et. al.) and stop ND from being a hold-up factor per expansion decisions.