ND is VERY angry at BC,do not be suprised if a BE team replaces BC(WVU or Syracuse)
PLEASE elaborate, I beg you. I don't recall any ND official expressing anything more than a dissappointment of how
BC moved on, with a caveat of understanding that each school must do what it thinks best. The last part coming as a means of covering their own arse while debating their own fate. "We hate you so we're scheduling WVU!" Uh, if they truly want revenge in that sense ND will schedule a long-standing series with UMass, not WVU or Pitt.
The rapport between BC and Notre Dame had little to do with their BE affiliations and everything to do with BC being a private, Catholic school in a fertile market-place for ND to draw support and recruits. Last I checked, those conditions haven't changed. ND may indeed drop BC for a while or forever, but I've yet to see or hear anything to suggest it came about as a means of penance for their departure from the conference.
- Someone also mentioned flexibility of schedule earlier as a reason the BE would be more attractive than the Big 10. Is this because the BE would play fewer conference games? Otherwise, both would be playing 8 conference games, the number everyone is reaching for for financial and scheduling equity purposes.
- ND would be only the third private member of the Big 10, counting U of Chicago, but it's not as if the other schools are devoid of academic credentials or shared interest. The difference between Vandy and Miss St. will always be wider than anything between ND and (insert Big 10 school here). Plus the Big 10 is often the leader in matters of academic requirements of it's athletes, something to ensure ND would remain in equal footing competitively.
- One thing I feel overlooked here is the reasoning behind some of ND's actions. Aside from tradition, their indie status brings with it three benefits:
1: Scheduling flexibility. Play more home games, play big TV games, play in communities you want to be seen. When it comes to conference affiliation this is essentially a wash between the BE and Big 10 since both have common ND opponents.
2: Money. It's been argued on this board that Big 10 membership might provide equal revenue due to the annual conference shares. Remember, everyone in the Big 10 gets $$ from bowl tie ins, the best bowl tie ins. Throw in a conference championship and I could see ND making more $$ as a Big 10 member, unless the BE allows ND special conditions. Don't know for sure, but I could see it happening.
3: TV time. Gone are the days when ND was the only school shown on free-TV. FSU's game against Duke may not make national TV, but I'm of the mind recruits barely notice the 2-3 more TV games ND has over other big names. Throw in future webcasting, things like ESPN's gameplan and conference TV networks and it stands to reason that fans will continue to have more and more choices over who they'll watch, and that ND stands only to lose ground in that arena.
Does the average fan really know to tune into NBC for college football? I forget about them, typically, because there's no cross promotion from other football coverage and I'm rarely watching another NBC product before or after a scheduled ND telecast. In fact, I've been to sports bars littered with TVs that have skipped over the ND game simply because it meant changing the channels from a network that otherwise has 2-4 games that day.
It just seems to me that ND is slowly digging for themselves a hole, one with a fervent fan base but one that is also losing market share. They can always remain competitive and enjoy the benefits mentioned above while staying an independent. But I also beleive the reasons for avoiding full conference membership somewhere are becoming less and less valid, and will someday be completely invalid. Conference affiliation at least provides a sense of family, one in which fans are constantly checking up on conference rivals, standings and traditional road trips. Things which I'm sure ND enjoys in sports other than football right now. All the more reason for them to consider the possibility that they're mistaking hubris for pride.