Gunner, BCHokie, Westwolf, good points.
TS2, I give you credit in terms of early-on conveying certain specifcs such as the Meadowlands desire, renewal of the Navy series, and the 12th game giving ND a third BE opponent. They are appropriate points to note, and have generated extensive commentaries. Where I differ, is in the interpretation of what this means for the long term in the BE. I see nothing to suggest that Notre Dame is going to join BE football as a peer participant. The Army-Navy injection is simply that both are northeast service academics and are both now independent, and Notre Dame will continue to play Navy.
What the USA article offered up in terms of Kevin White's comments, is that Notre Dame is RE-ASSERTING its independence. The focus was scheduling.
Therein, there is a scheduling scheme to maximize (or 7) home games, and to play others at big city sites around the country. This may create some risen eyebrows among BCS conferences and other high power schools in terms of whether Notre Dame will be securing certain advantages. There is the talk about schools having a minimum number of "away" games versus the discussion about those schools that must have a designated number of home games against 1-A opponents to remain classified as 1-A. Notre Dame certainly is not the only big timer looking to have or maintain a minimum of seven home games each year. In Notre Dame's case, they are retaining certain opponents that would insist on home to home, i. e. Southern Cal, Purdue, and Mich. State. Notre Dame's "Big City" tour or scheduling, certainly appears to have designs that reach beyond the northeast. Again, the word "national" comes to the forefront.
The title implies that Notre Dame will be reaching "into the past". This is precisely the foundation of some of the recent criticism of Notre Dame---the depedency on prior accomplishments and dismissing the realities of today.
With the 12th game, other Big Timers, who are conference members can project nationally too--an Ohio State-Alabama game; an Oklahoma-Florida game; a UCLA-Georgia game are hypothetical possibilities. Also, with national television for much of college football, playing at certain designated sites can get overstated---one can play before 80,000 fans in Clemson, South Carolina and such does not have to be in Chicago, New Orleans, Jacksonville, or Orlando for that to happen. While some recruiting impact is acknowledged, more than one school can schedule a non-conference game in Florida, for example.
While Notre Dame may be talking about 2009 or 2011 to get their preferred schedule in order; agree Westwolf, that does not dismiss the possibility for events to shake things out, and Notre Dame could be talking again with the B10 before the next decade commences. A few more consecutive sub-par seasons by Notre Dame and they will look at conference play with more ponder.
The BE has not gotten themselves a new fb member. The BE has just reinforced their role as enablers and wishful thinkers. The BE hopes that Big 10 option does not remain for Notre Dame; but they also know that if the Big 10 deletes that option by taking on another for #12, that new addition could come from an existing BE member.
The ACC took Miami, VPI, and BC. Syracuse was willing in the intial phase to go to the ACC. It is incorrect to say that those who were unhappy with the BE set-up with Notre Dame have ALL left. Had Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and Rutgers had the offers to leave for the ACC or the Big 10 too, any of them would have been gone by now.