May 8th, 2010 at 9:38 AM ^

Nobody sees the Irish leaving the Big East voluntarily unless there's a stampede, and despite UConn coach Randy Edsall's comments, the conference is unlikely to force the Irish out.

Beyond that, imagine you're Jim Delaney, and Notre Dame comes knocking on your door. Naturally you welcome them with open arms. But why should you stop at 12 teams, if you can find two or four more in markets the Big Ten doesn't currently occupy?


May 8th, 2010 at 12:35 PM ^

I don't think Notre Dame can be compelled to give up the ability to schedule games all over the country or to give up a television deal designed specifically for them, nor would they be interested in playing the bottom half of the Big Ten every year. They seem to believe things are fine where they are, and that's probably true for them.

Even if an expansion tsunami hits I-A football and leaves mega-conferences right and left, that may not hurt ND that much. A 16-team conference isn't going to play 12 conference games ... more teams in the conference means fewer teams outside the conference, and that plays right into ND's hands. The only thing that might cause them some problems in football would be a collapse of the Big East, and even at that they could still probably swing decent bowl guarantees.


May 8th, 2010 at 1:39 PM ^

As you note, bowl guarantees aren’t an issue. The Irish are always a desirable “get” for almost any bowl. The problem is finding a home for all of their other sports. There are plenty of other conferences that would take the Irish, but not many that would take them without football. The ones that would, are mid-majors like the MAC and Conference USA, where the Irish probably don’t want to be.


May 10th, 2010 at 10:32 AM ^

but I have to believe the ACC isn't desperate enough to take ND without football ebing included.  The Big East took a chance because relative to the other BCS conferences they are at the back of the line.  They had hopes that someday ND would join for football as well.  If the Big East collapses, ND is basically faced with joining a BCS conference with ALL of their sports, in which case the Big 10 makes the most sense by far, or staying independent in football and joining a mid-teir conference with all their other sports.The obviousl problem facing ND though is there exists a large group of alumni who will cut off financial support to the university if the football team is no longer an independent, regardless of what logic and reasons dictates the school should do.


May 10th, 2010 at 8:43 AM ^

we've woken a sleeping beast.  Now that the wheels are rolling for the mega conference talks between the SEC, PAC10 and Big 12, the Big 10 would be foolish not to pull the trigger on the huge expansion.  At first it was a novel idea for a threat towards Notre Dame, but they never took the bait.  The threat however, forced the hand of the other major conferences, which in-turn, will force the hand of the Big 10.  This is the problem with playing with big guns, sometimes they go off.  Fortunately for the Big 10, we come out in the best position in any circumstance, as long as we determine the parameters of the changes.


May 8th, 2010 at 1:30 PM ^

Even with a 14- or 16-team Big Ten, it is not difficult to arrange the schedule so that Michigan and Ohio State play every year on the last day of the regular season. In a similar vein, I’m sure that Purdue and Indiana will want to continue their annual game, which likewise is normally played on the final Saturday. There’s no good reason to give that up.