I appreciate the analysis of ND as the conference's 12th team. It does make sense, given that ND plays several Big10 teams, is geographically relevant, and recruits the same metro areas.
But as a reasonable anti-domer, I say screw 'em.
I would propose that we (Michigan fans) consider, as a top priority, getting Cincinnati to jump ship.
From Michigan fan's view, it accomplishes the following:
1) Makes OSU have to work harder to remain the only game in town, and gives them an in-state rival to worry about, with both games and recruiting.
2) Extends a recruiting advantage further into SEC country. I know Cincy is still Ohio, but anyone who has done hard time there knows it as the capital of Kentucky, and is in TV range of SEC states.
3) Screws over ND. Other than non-conference scheduling, a 12-team Big10 might result in shutting out ND, and finishing what Yost started. I have a sneaking suspicion that their goal in playing 3-4 Big10 teams per year is to maintain national, or even regional relevance in a conference that they already shunned once. Without the Big10 games, ND has difficulty with scheduling more independents or with reasonable BCS conference opponents.
What do you think? Cincy or ND? Other schools?