Blog Entry

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

Posted on: October 6, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2011 5:43 pm
 
When news broke Thursday that TCU was joining the Big 12 Conference instead of the Big East, it was just another domino in the latest craze sweeping across America: Conference realignment!

Another piece that might be teetering: Notre Dame.

For the Big East, losing TCU is another sucker punch to the groin or -- as Illinois’ Jonathan Brown prefers -- a knee to the groin.

Sure technically the Big East never really had TCU since the Horned Frogs weren’t officially joining the league until July 1, 2012, but the loss of what could have been is even more devastating for the Big East.

In the matter of weeks, the Big East has lost Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the ACC and now TCU to the Big 12. And if Missouri leaves for the SEC, sources have told CBSSports.com the Big 12 will likely add three more schools to get to 12 members. At the top of that list, sources said, is Louisville, along with a combination of BYU, West Virginia, Cincinnati or Tulane.

Losing Louisville and West Virginia or Cincinnati would likely be a fatal blow to the Big East's football BCS status. As damaging as these defections are to the Big East, it could have an even greater impact on the behemoth of college football.

Even before man invented fire, the Fighting Irish’s football program has been an independent. And Notre Dame plans on staying an independent until the galaxy explodes -- or until the Big East implodes -- whichever happens first.

So while the Big East’s pulse continues to weaken, Notre Dame could be forced to join a conference. The Fighting Irish have enjoyed the benefit of remaining a football independent, while their non-football sports competed in the Big East. Those days could be numbered.

"Certainly the factors that have contributed to the larger conference realignment continue to exist," Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told the Associated Press on Wednesday, a day before the news about TCU leaving to the Big 12. "And we’re doing the same thing we’ve done throughout, monitoring them closely, and hoping that the Big East stays a vibrant and successful partner for us."

But if there’s no Big East, then Notre Dame becomes the Holy Grail of college football. The Big 12, the Big Ten, the ACC and the SEC would add the Fighting Irish yesterday. Heck, even the Pac-12’s Larry Scott would find a way to bring the Irish on board if he could.

I’ve maintained that as long as Notre Dame has a conference home to put its non-football or Olympic sports (men’s basketball, women’s basketball, etc.) in it will never join a conference. But things are about to get interesting for Notre Dame.

If the Big East no longer exists, Notre Dame will have two options: Join the Big 12/Big Ten/ACC/SEC as a full member or stay independent in football and join one of those conferences with its non-football sports.

It will depend on how bad Notre Dame cherishes its football independence, because I’m sure one of those four conferences would prefer Notre Dame as a non-football member (and the guarantee of Notre Dame being on those future football schedules) to having Notre Dame in another league.

Before TCU and the Big 12’s announcement on Thursday, Swarbrick said Wednesday Notre Dame needed to continue to support the league.

"They’re [the Big East] working on additions," he said. "You got to wait until the whole picture is shaped to really have a feel for it, for what that option is like. Just continue to support them and be involved in their planning and hope they wind up in a great place.

"It's great to make plans. It’s whether the people you might be interested in or the circumstances will allow you to achieve those plans. But certainly the way the conference is thinking and what it’s trying to achieve are consistent with what I think it needs to do."

That was Swarbrick’s view Wednesday. That all changed Thursday with TCU headed to the Big 12 and there are likely more changes ahead. The question remains: will it be enough to force Notre Dame to give up its independence?


Comments

Since: Nov 3, 2009
Posted on: October 7, 2011 9:07 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

Is this guy a ND grad.  ND can go pound sand as far as I am concerned. All they have is history.  They bring nothing to any conference but disappointment and embarrassment



Since: Sep 13, 2010
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:56 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

This is a non story because:a- the Big East can add menmbers and stay a conference and b- ND finds another onference that will accomaodate them as the Big East does now. There is plenty of stories out there, CBS should go and write them.



Since: Oct 6, 2011
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:44 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

I agree. What does ND care if the football component of the Big East wastes away??  Would still survive as a pretty good Basketball/olympic sports conference...The whole point of Notre Dame's Big East membership.



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:42 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

1) ND despises the Big Ten.  Lots of emnity left over from the anti-Catholic bigots at Michigan like Fitz Crisler and Fielding Yost who refused to let ND join back in the Rockne years and then later tried to blackball ND.  Why do you think that Michigan would not play ND regularly until 1978?


Um, ND almost joined the big 10 in the 90's.   You think ND is bitter over something that happend in the 1920's?  ND has a great relationship with the big 10 in football.   They play 3 big 10 teams almost every year, more than any other conference.  The reason the 2 did not play each other has more to do with the National Championship both claimed in the late 40's.  AND THEY STILL DON'T PLAY "REGULARLY"  missing 6 or 7 years since 1983 and as recent as missing 2 years since 2000.   It has nothing to do with the knute rockne years or anti-catholic bigots...  Michigan was acutally Notre Dame's very first game ever... 

ND doesn't join the big 10 because of money.  They wanted to join big 10 in other sports but big 10 denied them so they went elsewhere.  They WANTED to go to big 10 with their other sports, that doesn't seem like they despise the Big 10. 

1. Play more big 10 schools than any other in football.

2. Tried to join big 10 in other sports before joining the big east in the 1990's,

3. 
Following the addition of previously independent Penn State, efforts were made to encourage the , the last remaining non- independent, to join the league. Early in the 20th century, Notre Dame briefly considered official entry into the Big Ten but chose to maintain its independence instead.<sup id="cite_ref-15" class="reference"></sup> However, in 1999, both Notre Dame and the Big Ten entered into private negotiations concerning a possible membership that would include Notre Dame. Although the Notre Dame faculty senate endorsed the idea with a near unanimous vote, the ND board of trustees decided against joining the conference and Notre Dame ultimately withdrew from negotiations.
4. ND does not despise the big 10.



 Lived in Indiana most of my life.  I follow the Big 10 and ND football.  NEVER heard that before today.



Since: Oct 6, 2011
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:39 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

What does Notre dame care if the Football component of the Big East dies??  No big deal. The basketball schools will likely continue on with the Big East lead by Notre Dame. ND has way too much clout to be suckered into realignment scenarios. They will remain independents as football.



Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:31 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

Mcmurphy you should be fired for being such a idiot, ND will not join any conferance in football. CBS must hire anyone to right articles




Since: Sep 4, 2010
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:11 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

1) ND despises the Big Ten.  Lots of emnity left over from the anti-Catholic bigots at Michigan like Fitz Crisler and Fielding Yost who refused to let ND join back in the Rockne years and then later tried to blackball ND.  Why do you think that Michigan would not play ND regularly until 1978?

2) ND does not want to join a conference dominated by OSU and Michigan.  They also have little in common with giant, land grant universities like Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc..

3) ND is the national Catholic university.  It  recruits nation wide, its alumni and fan base are nationwide, many in the big cities in the Northeast.  It does not want to become "landlocked" and "regionalized" in a Midwestern conference.

4)  ND wants to remain a football independent because that is its identity.  It markets the university through its football program.  It is also a very emotional issue for ND alumni.  They want ND to remain a football independent at all costs, even if ND makes less money and even if  it hurts the other sports.



Since: Oct 28, 2010
Posted on: October 7, 2011 8:09 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

No that's not happening. Why would LSU and Arkansas leave a better conference where they receive more in revenues? I'm guessing the only possible reason would be for a easier schedule....no they will stay with a better conference, better revenues, where no one is try to screw (i.e. Texas) work their own deal.



Since: Jul 31, 2010
Posted on: October 7, 2011 7:32 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

This would be wild and would really throw things out of whack.  Big 12 keeps Mizzou,  the big 12 shares revenue like the SEC and gets Arkansas and LSU to join.



Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2011 7:28 am
 

Notre Dame's football independence now at risk

I think he forgot that there is a whole non football conference in the Big East and even if the football side of the big east goes away it will have Georgetown, St. Johns, etc for all the other sports and Notre Dame could stay independant along with the left over BigEast Schools.


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