It feels like the writing is on the wall for Notre Dame to give up it's independence. On 4th of July weekend, no less. While I am disgusted with the changing landscape of college football, there is nothing Notre Dame or anyone else can do to stop it. I even said this in my blog the other day when the USC-UCLA news broke
This would bring the BigTen to 16 teams. Might as well go to 20 at this point. Go get Oregon, FSU, Clemson...and Notre Dame. That's right. I said it. If they're forming a truly national schedule, which is how this looks, and USC is a game on the schedule then idk...I don't care as much anymore because things that should matter to every college football fan now doesn't. I hate this era.
People have been in my mentions FOREVER saying "join a conference, pussies". Well it never made sense for ND to join a conference before. They are a national program and play a national schedule. They play multiple games against the ACC, BigTen, and Pac-12 every year because they recruit those areas heavily. Then they mix in games against teams like Texas, Georgia, etc and play the most compelling and diverse schedule in the country. That was a strength for Notre Dame and they played a schedule that allowed them to have a path to the playoff. Joining a conference as a small, private, catholic, midwest school (especially if they joined the old BigTen) would've made them regional by force. It would've shrunk their recruiting map. It would've shrunk their brand nationally. People who couldn't wrap their heads around that were stupid. Even the quasi-ACC membership gave them a better foothold than the BigTen would've.
That isn't going to the be case anymore. There is no regionality to conferences going forward. Being in the BigTen in the future is barely going to be different than being in the NCAA. We are moving towards two super leagues. The SEC league and the BigTen. That's it. USC, UCLA, and Oregon coming to the Midwest first. Notre Dame probably right behind them. Then my gut says that the SEC and BigTen will compete to land schools like UNC, Clemson, Florida State, and maybe Miami from the ACC as well.
So if there's only two conferences and then everyone else is left in the cold, well...it's a better decision to in than out. And because the BigTen will stretch from coast to coast and will be the conference home of their two biggest rivals then ND isn't losing anything by joining. They'll still play their schedule that they want.
College Football is going down the wrong path, imo. We've heard "too big to fail" before about banks. These leagues feel like they're so big that they have to fail. It sucks. I want the BigTen champ vs the Pac-10 champ in the Rose Bowl on New Years Day.
This was my realignment plan from a couple weeks ago