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Old 10-25-2011, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Questions about Notre Dame and football conferences completely center on will the Irish join one.

I'm tired of that conversation that has been played over and over (and over) again.

so, here's a different question that is more relevant:

What exactly do you get out of independence, Notre Dame? What's in it for you?

I have to wonder:

• current college football has become totally conference based. independence which once worked (let's not forget that it wasn't all that far back that ND was an independent along with virtually all major colleges in the East.) is now a dinosaur. ND didn't invent independence (in fact it wanted to join the B10 in the 1930s but prejudice kept the Catholic institution out of the fold), so what's the big deal if it gives it up, just like the rest did? Penn State started the ball rolling (or sailing) when it left independence for the Big Ten; seems to me the Lions were smarter than the Irish in this regard.

• Notre Dame's fame and glory was pure 20th century. No young college football fans ever experienced those heady times. Why does ND need to hold on to independence when that independence which used to mean something to fans of another era has lost all meaning?

• conference scheduling means very few slots are available for non-conference games once the season starts, thus pushing ND's best scheduling options into the early (and least competitive) part of the season. After that, well, not so much. Yes, there are bye weeks in conference scheduling, but do teams really want to fill them with a game against the Irish in mid-conference schedules? And might USC have been better off if last week had remained a true bye, giving them rest for the rest of the season (even if this season, by decree means no championship play). How will ND continue to be able to schedule quality opponents once the fifth game of the season comes up?

• The likes of LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma, Texas, etc., can play out their schedule and be into each and every game because it has an impact on the two schools that play in a national championship game. But if that isn't an option, how do you keep yourself into each game? Conferences keep the energy going, make the games, each game important. Without a conference, you are merely playing for where you rack up in the national polls. And in ND's case, it is doing so against schools where conference play is more important than playing the Irish. USC's two main rivals are Notre Dame and UCLA. The cross-town battle with the Bruins is the more important one; it affects the Pac 12 (actually Pac 12 South) standings.

Notre Dame and USC, major rivals, played each last Saturday night. ND-SC is an exciting matchup, but just can't match conference match ups. That very night, up the road only a little bit in East Lansing, MSU and Wisconsin lit up the night with what could arguably be the matchup of the B10's first championship. MSU, not the Catholic Irish, gave us the hail mary for the ages in a 37-31 Spartan victory. That excitement never could have been generated the way it was without the whole implications on the B10.

Look, I'm not telling Notre Dame to do anything. Stay independent, join a conference: heck, that's their choice. I merely want to know why independent status is so attractive to them when, to me, it comes across as an albatross around their necks.
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:54 AM
 
2,721 posts, read 3,750,965 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Questions about Notre Dame and football conferences completely center on will the Irish join one.

I'm tired of that conversation that has been played over and over (and over) again.

so, here's a different question that is more relevant:

What exactly do you get out of independence, Notre Dame? What's in it for you?

I have to wonder:

• current college football has become totally conference based. independence which once worked (let's not forget that it wasn't all that far back that ND was an independent along with virtually all major colleges in the East.)

• Notre Dame's fame and glory was pure 20th century. No young college football fans ever experienced those heady times. Why does ND need to hold on to independence when that independence which used to mean something to fans of another era has lost all meaning?

• The likes of LSU, Auburn, Oklahoma, Texas, etc., can play out their schedule and be into each and every game because it has an impact on the two schools that play in a national championship game. But if that isn't an option, how do you keep yourself into each game? Conferences keep the energy going, make the games, each game important. Without a conference, you are merely playing for where you rack up in the national polls. And in ND's case, it is doing so against schools where conference play is more important than playing the Irish. USC's two main rivals are Notre Dame and UCLA. The cross-town battle with the Bruins is the more important one; it affects the Pac 12 (actually Pac 12 South) standings.

Notre Dame and USC, major rivals, played each last Saturday night. The game is exciting, but just can't match conference match ups. That very night, up the road only a little bit in East Lansing, MSU and Wisconsin lit up the night with what could arguably be the matchup of the B10's first championship. MSU, not the Catholic Irish, gave us the hail mary for the ages in a 37-31 Spartan victory. That excitement never could have been generated the way it was without the whole implications on the B10.

Look, I'm not telling Notre Dame to do anything. Stay independent, join a conference: heck, that's their choice. I merely want to know why independent status is so attractive to them when, to me, it comes across as an albatross around their necks.
Good post. I think Notre Dame likes to hold onto its independence because it makes the school appear "special" in the eyes of many. This probably helps them with recruiting...

"Look at us-- we are independent. We are too good for a conference." = Typical Notre Dame attitude.

If Notre Dame were to join a conference, they would be similar to Wake Forest in terms of prestige and recruiting. It would be more difficult for them. I can't blame them for wanting to hold on to their independent status. Who the hell wants to be Wake Forest?
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
I merely want to know why independent status is so attractive to them when, to me, it comes across as an albatross around their necks.
Notre Dame has a lucrative TV contract with NBC, and they do not have to share the revenue with a conference. Notre Dame has their own clause with the BCS, and when the qualify, they do not have to share that money with anyone.

As long as that is the case, there is no reason for ND to join a conference.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by cyclone8570 View Post
Good post. I think Notre Dame likes to hold onto its independence because it makes the school appear "special" in the eyes of many. This probably helps them with recruiting...

"Look at us-- we are independent. We are too good for a conference." = Typical Notre Dame attitude.

If Notre Dame were to join a conference, they would be similar to Wake Forest in terms of prestige and recruiting. It would be more difficult for them. I can't blame them for wanting to hold on to their independent status. Who the hell wants to be Wake Forest?
excellent point, cyclone. yep, no question this changes exclusivity. but I do have to ask the Irish this:

how does independence and a mid-season schedule of, say, Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, and San Jose State (hey, it could happen) match up with Wake's midseason schedule of, say, UNC, FSU, and Miami?
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
Notre Dame has a lucrative TV contract with NBC, and they do not have to share the revenue with a conference. Notre Dame has their own clause with the BCS, and when the qualify, they do not have to share that money with anyone.

As long as that is the case, there is no reason for ND to join a conference.
From what I understand, each of the 12 Big Ten schools takes in more revenue from the Big Ten network than Notre Dame does through its own network.

All the Irish are proving is that they 100% of a very small pot may, at best, only equal 1/12 of a large pot.

Second point you raise is that Notre Dame keeps all the money it gets from a BCS game. what's the corrolary to that:

Notre Dame gets no revenue from its conference being in a BCS game.

Three BCS schools play in the state of Indiana. IU and Purdue (who aren't going anywhere, especially when you consider the Hoosiers could end up 0-12) will get B10 revenue from the Rose Bowl; Notre Dame will get none because it won't be going to the BCS.

do the math: 1 x 1 = 1. but then so does (1 x 12)/12 = 1.
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Old 10-25-2011, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
From what I understand, each of the 12 Big Ten schools takes in more revenue from the Big Ten network than Notre Dame does through its own network.

All the Irish are proving is that they 100% of a very small pot may, at best, only equal 1/12 of a large pot.

Second point you raise is that Notre Dame keeps all the money it gets from a BCS game. what's the corrolary to that:

Notre Dame gets no revenue from its conference being in a BCS game.
No one is disputing that the B1G Network isn't a cash cow. It is. However, so to is Notre Dame's contract with NBC. Whether it is true or not, ND believes that to be good enough. Notre Dame is excessively profitable as they are now, without the burden of being in a conference.

Please note, that this is the only part of your argument that holds water. This nonsense about the games meaning more to ND if they were part of a conference is irrelevant. If Notre Dame is 10-0, they are relevant whether they are playing a B1G game against Minnesota or an independent against Navy. Doesn't matter to the Irish.

It is all a moot point anyway. If ND ever gets to a point they are forced to join a conference, I can think of three conferences that would be falling over each other to land the Irish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Three BCS schools play in the state of Indiana. IU and Purdue (who aren't going anywhere, especially when you consider the Hoosiers could end up 0-12) will get B10 revenue from the Rose Bowl; Notre Dame will get none because it won't be going to the BCS.

do the math: 1 x 1 = 1. but then so does (1 x 12)/12 = 1.
Purdue is coming off a win against a ranked team and nearly knocked off Penn State in Happy Valley. They are two wins away from bowl eligibility with several winnable games ahead of them. Indiana can not finish 0-12 this year, as they are 1-7 at this point of the season.

It is also worth noting, USC had a bye earlier this year. Why would they need a second bye week as you suggest in the original post?

Last edited by Toxic Toast; 10-25-2011 at 03:27 PM..
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
Please note, that this is the only part of your argument that holds water. This nonsense about the games meaning more to ND if they were part of a conference is irrelevant. If Notre Dame is 10-0, they are relevant whether they are playing a B1G game against Minnesota or an independent against Navy. Doesn't matter to the Irish.
it's not nonsense, Toast. When was ND 10-0? And do you think in the modern world of college football they will be? I agree. A 10-0 ND does not need a conference. I said the same thing about LSU, OU, Texas, Bama, etc. But there aren't a lot of 10-0 seasons, especially for the Irish. Question is, at 6-4 or 4-6, would ND be happier with a conference game that might lead to a division championship or independent and have no meaning.

and again for that "nonsense" business, I'm not sure where you are coming from. I was merely giving my perspective, my opinion, and you giving yours. I don't see where that makes either you or me "right" or "wrong" but merely seeing things differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
It is all a moot point anyway. If ND ever gets to a point they are forced to join a conference, I can think of three conferences that would be falling over each other to land the Irish.
it's not so moot if you don't control your own destiny. ND doesn't. It isn't a question of "three conferences that would be falling over each other to land the Irish", it is question of the right one. For ND, in today's world, that means the Big Ten which may or may not take it depending on its own internal issues.

Keep in mind that "three conferences that would be falling over each other" doesn't hold much water in general. If so, Nebraska, Colorado, A&M, and Missouri would have been happy to stay in the Big 12, Pitt, BC, Syracuse in the Big East, etc.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
Purdue is coming off a win against a ranked team and nearly knocked off Penn State in Happy Valley. They are two wins away from bowl eligibility with several winnable games ahead of them. Indiana can not finish 0-12 this year, as they are 1-7 at this point of the season.

It is also worth noting, USC had a bye earlier this year. Why would they need a second bye week as you suggest in the original post?
I really wasn't putting too much emphasis on USC. My point was this:

the beginning of the season (let's say 3 or 4 games) is pretty open to whoever you want to schedule. but then conference scheduling takes over. and that scheduling is done by the conference.

conferences want an even number of teams for proper scheduling. so let's say you have a bye week in mid-season. do you really want to schedule a non-conference foe which won't count in your conf standing and you lose the benefit of the week off.

I think you go for the real bye. ND-USC is another circumstance. They play yearly and there are limitations on when the game will be played. With a Pac 12 championship game the week after the season ends, that pretty much means that ND-USC whether in South Bend or LA will be a mid-season game.

Look, Toxic, I really do believe that ND may be stuck with a mid-season schedule of the likes of mid-majors if the conference teams choose not to schedule at that time.

Notre Dame does not control its own fate if it wishes to remain relevant. In a world of conference foes, bucking the trend is an issue. And that mighty NBC contract might not go on if luckluster ND teams are playing minor foes.

Notre Dame can get by just fine as an independent in 2012, 2013, 2014, etc. But the future past that makes that a real question. and if the Irish wish to plan for that future, they need to do it now. We're in the biggest shake up period in conf alignment in the sport's history. When this settles down, the Irish may find it slim pickings.

That's fine if you and the Irish think that will work out. That doesn't make you or them wrong. but, IMHO, it won't.
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
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Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
it's not nonsense, Toast. When was ND 10-0? And do you think in the modern world of college football they will be? I agree. A 10-0 ND does not need a conference. I said the same thing about LSU, OU, Texas, Bama, etc. But there aren't a lot of 10-0 seasons, especially for the Irish. Question is, at 6-4 or 4-6, would ND be happier with a conference game that might lead to a division championship or independent and have no meaning.
The question you pose has already been answered with a resounding no. Whether the Domers are 4-6 or 10-0, they are just happy being indie.



Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
it's not so moot if you don't control your own destiny. ND doesn't. It isn't a question of "three conferences that would be falling over each other to land the Irish", it is question of the right one. For ND, in today's world, that means the Big Ten which may or may not take it depending on its own internal issues.

Keep in mind that "three conferences that would be falling over each other" doesn't hold much water in general. If so, Nebraska, Colorado, A&M, and Missouri would have been happy to stay in the Big 12, Pitt, BC, Syracuse in the Big East, etc.
It was reported that the ACC was interested in reaching out to Notre Dame as recently as a month ago. With the Big XII trying to hold itself together, and the B1G there as well; you can bet your bottom dollar that if ND wants to be in a conference, they have three willing suitors licking their chops.




Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
I really wasn't putting too much emphasis on USC. My point was this:

the beginning of the season (let's say 3 or 4 games) is pretty open to whoever you want to schedule. but then conference scheduling takes over. and that scheduling is done by the conference.

conferences want an even number of teams for proper scheduling. so let's say you have a bye week in mid-season. do you really want to schedule a non-conference foe which won't count in your conf standing and you lose the benefit of the week off.

I think you go for the real bye. ND-USC is another circumstance. They play yearly and there are limitations on when the game will be played. With a Pac 12 championship game the week after the season ends, that pretty much means that ND-USC whether in South Bend or LA will be a mid-season game.

Look, Toxic, I really do believe that ND may be stuck with a mid-season schedule of the likes of mid-majors if the conference teams choose not to schedule at that time.

Notre Dame does not control its own fate if it wishes to remain relevant. In a world of conference foes, bucking the trend is an issue. And that mighty NBC contract might not go on if luckluster ND teams are playing minor foes.

Notre Dame can get by just fine as an independent in 2012, 2013, 2014, etc. But the future past that makes that a real question. and if the Irish wish to plan for that future, they need to do it now. We're in the biggest shake up period in conf alignment in the sport's history. When this settles down, the Irish may find it slim pickings.

That's fine if you and the Irish think that will work out. That doesn't make you or them wrong. but, IMHO, it won't.
The question of bye weeks does not matter. USC has had their bye already, in a conference in which they already play 9 games. This has been going on for years and years and years. This is not a new concept for the Trojans. It is certainly possible that USC at some point may change its mind on scheduling ND, but it won't likely be due to a preference for bye weeks that already exist for them. Looking at teams that are lining up to play Notre Dame over the next decade, it doesn't look like their pipeline is running dry any time soon. Could it? Sure, it could. This is still Notre Dame, who would be a cash cow for any conference that wants to take them in. If ND wants to join a conference, they'll have suitors. A world with ND irrelevant is a world that only exists on internet message boards and talk radio.
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:16 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
The question you pose has already been answered with a resounding no. Whether the Domers are 4-6 or 10-0, they are just happy being indie.
i'd generally agree with you on this. i would note, however, the ND faculty heavily favored B10 membership because it would allow membership in the CIC, the conference's academic/research consortium.

If ND is happy to be an indie, that's fine. But to be happy, it has to mean they understand the notion that the glory years are over and can't come back and that lack of conference membership will prevent the school from having a major, highly competitive presence in the sport.

That does not necessarily mean there wouldn't be reasons for any joy on the part of the Irish. They can continue to enjoy the unique nature of independence, do what they can to continue a transcontinental schedule, and keep and embrace their traditions.

But they will not be playing on the same field as the big boys when they do. Look, Toxic, the Ivy Leaguers, once the powers of college football, were more than comfortable about a smaller profile and the clubby nature of Ivy League sports; it served them well. The University of Chicago dropped big time football and the Big Ten for what it considered loftier goals.

They, like us, make decisions of about their personal lives (the university being personified here).

that doesn't mean they control outside sources. In ND's case, it will be the outside sources that will contributing much to what the school's profile will be and those forces will probably work negatively on ND's football status.

If ND is comfortable with that, so am I. again, it's their choice.

BTW, when you note "Whether the Domers are 4-6 or 10-0, they are just happy being indie", let's be honest here. All those domers and their fans will not be consulted when decisions are made for the university to stay independent or join a conference. those decisions will be made by a small group of men in the upper echelons of Notre Dame's administration. They won't be taking a popular vote and this, of course, is no democracy. nor should it be. They will make their decisions on what they interpret the handwriting on the wall tells them about what the future of college sports will look like.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
It was reported that the ACC was interested in reaching out to Notre Dame as recently as a month ago. With the Big XII trying to hold itself together, and the B1G there as well; you can bet your bottom dollar that if ND wants to be in a conference, they have three willing suitors licking their chops.
No argument here. I fully agree. Notre Dame, for all its misfortunes, is still a marquis name. Any conference would gladly embrace them. That's true today. And tomorrow. And the day after.

Then....well, I don't know. When this whole realignment thing shakes out, those opportunities might not be there and slim pickings will be all that's available. A conference bound ND cannot afford to pick the wrong kind of conference.

It's all a futures game. Nobody knows the future, but we act upon it because we have no choice. We learn what we can and make our educated guesses.

And those educated guesses may well point to the notion that independence is a dying tradition not in tune with where the modern game is going. Who knows, a BCS replacement might boil down to a tournament of conference champions and leave ND in the cold. Do I think that will happen? I just don't know. But I do not that ND can not rely on today's landscape when planning its tomorrows.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
The question of bye weeks does not matter. USC has had their bye already, in a conference in which they already play 9 games. This has been going on for years and years and years. This is not a new concept for the Trojans. It is certainly possible that USC at some point may change its mind on scheduling ND, but it won't likely be due to a preference for bye weeks that already exist for them. Looking at teams that are lining up to play Notre Dame over the next decade, it doesn't look like their pipeline is running dry any time soon. Could it? Sure, it could. This is still Notre Dame, who would be a cash cow for any conference that wants to take them in. If ND wants to join a conference, they'll have suitors. A world with ND irrelevant is a world that only exists on internet message boards and talk radio.
"Looking at teams that are lining up to play Notre Dame over the next decade, it doesn't look like their pipeline is running dry any time soon."

Desire is irrelevant here, toxic. that's just my point. those teams you speak of don't control their own scheduling once conference play starts. the conferences do that.

I don't know how bitter Texas is over A&M's departure from the Big 12. who knows, given all the defections, if UT is even angry at all. The departure brings up the question of the continuation of the UT-A&M series, one of the big time rivalries of college football.

I don't know if UT is being disingenous or not, but when it notes the A&M series is over for a long time based on already scheduled non-conference games and the conference scheduling those weeks that come afterwards. It may be saying this in spite, but the fact is: it's true.

If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, does it make a sound. If Oklahoma or Alabama or Penn State would be more than happy to play the Irish in midseason but conference scheduling makes that impossible, does it really matter?

You tell me, Toxic:

how does ND override the scheduling of major conferences from coast-to-coast to get those mid- and late on the schedule?


If the Big Ten or Pac Ten or SEC or ACC say "the last 8 games of the season will be devoted to conference play", where does that leave the Irish?

When you say "A world with ND irrelevant is a world that only exists on internet message boards and talk radio." you are correctly describing today's college football. but worlds change. and with those who are young and never grew up with ND magic, the pull will be less and less if the Irish don't reestablish themselves.

Notre Dame is not basing conference membership or lack thereof on what the world looks like today because today is just fine. It's operating on tomorrow, the inevitability of change and forces it cannot control. I can't predict the future, toxic, and neither can you nor Notre Dame. But I do suspect that there are many of us who crunch the data and think a conferenceless ND of tomorrow would be a losing propostion.

Stay tuned; it should be interesting.

Last edited by edsg25; 10-26-2011 at 04:39 AM..
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
8,345 posts, read 14,130,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
i'd generally agree with you on this. i would note, however, the ND faculty heavily favored B10 membership because it would allow membership in the CIC, the conference's academic/research consortium.

If ND is happy to be an indie, that's fine. But to be happy, it has to mean they understand the notion that the glory years are over and can't come back and that lack of conference membership will prevent the school from having a major, highly competitive presence in the sport.

That does not necessarily mean there wouldn't be reasons for any joy on the part of the Irish. They can continue to enjoy the unique nature of independence, do what they can to continue a transcontinental schedule, and keep and embrace their traditions.

But they will not be playing on the same field as the big boys when they do. Look, Toxic, the Ivy Leaguers, once the powers of college football, were more than comfortable about a smaller profile and the clubby nature of Ivy League sports; it served them well. The University of Chicago dropped big time football and the Big Ten for what it considered loftier goals.

They, like us, make decisions of about their personal lives (the university being personified here).

that doesn't mean they control outside sources. In ND's case, it will be the outside sources that will contributing much to what the school's profile will be and those forces will probably work negatively on ND's football status.

If ND is comfortable with that, so am I. again, it's their choice.

BTW, when you note "Whether the Domers are 4-6 or 10-0, they are just happy being indie", let's be honest here. All those domers and their fans will not be consulted when decisions are made for the university to stay independent or join a conference. those decisions will be made by a small group of men in the upper echelons of Notre Dame's administration. They won't be taking a popular vote and this, of course, is no democracy. nor should it be. They will make their decisions on what they interpret the handwriting on the wall tells them about what the future of college sports will look like.
Notre Dame has acknowledged that outside forces could force them into a conference. My point is that Notre Dame doesn't have to jump into a conference right now. If those outside forces push ND into a conference, they'll have suitors. Notre Dame will join if they are forced. As of right now, there is not a reason for them to join a conference.







Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
"Looking at teams that are lining up to play Notre Dame over the next decade, it doesn't look like their pipeline is running dry any time soon."

Desire is irrelevant here, toxic. that's just my point. those teams you speak of don't control their own scheduling once conference play starts. the conferences do that.

I don't know how bitter Texas is over A&M's departure from the Big 12. who knows, given all the defections, if UT is even angry at all. The departure brings up the question of the continuation of the UT-A&M series, one of the big time rivalries of college football.

I don't know if UT is being disingenous or not, but when it notes the A&M series is over for a long time based on already scheduled non-conference games and the conference scheduling those weeks that come afterwards. It may be saying this in spite, but the fact is: it's true.
You tell me, Toxic:

how does ND override the scheduling of major conferences from coast-to-coast to get those mid- and late on the schedule?


If the Big Ten or Pac Ten or SEC or ACC say "the last 8 games of the season will be devoted to conference play", where does that leave the Irish?
Notre Dame has contracts with teams through 2017 to play at all times of year. Michigan extended their agreement with Notre Dame through 2031. The pipeline is there. It is real, and is not drying up. Could it dry up in a decade; maybe. Conferences have never dictated that the last 8 weeks of the season have to be dedicated to the conference games alone. Why would they start that now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
When you say "A world with ND irrelevant is a world that only exists on internet message boards and talk radio." you are correctly describing today's college football. but worlds change. and with those who are young and never grew up with ND magic, the pull will be less and less if the Irish don't reestablish themselves.

Notre Dame is not basing conference membership or lack thereof on what the world looks like today because today is just fine. It's operating on tomorrow, the inevitability of change and forces it cannot control. I can't predict the future, toxic, and neither can you nor Notre Dame. But I do suspect that there are many of us who crunch the data and think a conferenceless ND of tomorrow would be a losing propostion.

Stay tuned; it should be interesting.
Notre Dame has acknowledged this publicly. It is no secret that things are changing in college football, and Notre Dame has said as much publicly. As of today, there is not a compelling reason for Notre Dame to do anything until their hand is forced. When that day comes, they'll be fine. Notre Dame is a national program with a deeply entrenched fanbase that very few programs can claim. If outside forces dictate a change, they will change. This is not a newsflash.
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