The Big 10 is set to be the first Power Five conference to announce it is transitioning to a conference-only football schedule this season. But with that decision already affecting a handful of high-profile non-conference matchups, it seems like this is coming for the other leagues as well.
Whether the games on these schedules end up coming to fruition or not, it seems to be trending towards them at least being implemented. Which means Notre Dame will finally be punished for refusing to join a conference like a real college football program.
All these years, the Golden Domers have gotten away with scheduling whoever the hell they felt like and avoiding a conference championship game every year, knowing all they have to do is get past Michigan and USC and they have a one-way ticket to a New Year's Six game. Well not any more, Irish.
I sincerely hope the ACC doesn't bail Notre Dame out and allow the Irish to be part of whatever schedule it ends up devising, because their refusal for all these years has led us to this moment. Y'all want to make some cockamamy arrangement where you play Virginia and Syracuse every year and say you're in a conference? That's fine, but you don't get to come into the house when the storm rolls through.
And every once in a while — like was scheduled in 2020 — Notre Dame will draw Clemson from that ACC arrangement and play another real opponent or two, but it always insisted it maintain its independence and not be considered a conference member. So y'all enjoy that this year.
I actually think the Fighting Irish should get to play one football game this year. We have the SEC play its conference schedule and decide a conference champion and let Notre Dame play that team on a neutral field, just to give us some semblance of a national title game where the SEC champ gets to beat the hell out of whatever other team doesn't deserve to be there.