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Old 03-24-2012, 04:37 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Notre Dame can continue its tradition of independence in football as long as it desires. This it controls.

What that independent status looks like, however, is not under its control. It is controlled by the landscape that is college football. And ND cannot prevent that status from turning totally grim.

Thus Notre Dame can, if it chooses, keep being an independent, though it may mean fewer match-ups with major football programs, perhaps an elimination from a post-BCS playoff format that could be conference based, finding that quality "slots" for conference membership are shrinking and vulnerable for future membership membership, arguably an end to its sweetheart tv contract, etc.

My question here is this: what would the scenario look like where Notre Dame would feel it needs to give up the ghost of independence and go...admittedly screaming and kicking....into full conference membership (and what might be the conference it would end up joining and why)
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Syracuse, New York
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It's not going to happen. Notre Dame provides the Big Six conferences with a very beatable but big-name non-conference opponent that still garners undue attention from the sports media.

Even if Notre Dame isn't in the top 25, a win over them still gets the victors mentioned early on Sportscenter. Are teams going to replace their Notre Dame game with a game against Syracuse?
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SyraBrian View Post
It's not going to happen. Notre Dame provides the Big Six conferences with a very beatable but big-name non-conference opponent that still garners undue attention from the sports media.

Even if Notre Dame isn't in the top 25, a win over them still gets the victors mentioned early on Sportscenter. Are teams going to replace their Notre Dame game with a game against Syracuse?
with conferences at 12 and now 14 teams, in conference scheduling becomes more and more important. The Big Ten, from what I understand, is thinking of expanding its conference games from 8 to 9 (leaving only two teams off the schedule).

This type of scheduling will take place within the context of a 12 team league, an even number, which means there wouldn't be the one team not playing on a given Saturday that could play Notre Dame.

So if I were to look at the major conferences, those currently in the BCS, it would seem the prime time to play the Irish would be only in the beginning of the season with the middle and end reserved for conference play.

and if the B10 goes to 9 conference games, its non-conference schedule falls to 3: the pickings get slim for ND.

How about USC? There's got to be scheduling issues there, given the Pac 12 has a championship game and when USC-ND is played in LA, it is the last game of the season. It can't be if there is a conference championship. I'm not suggesting that the game will be cancelled: I'm just making note of the scheduling issues.

The other issue is the BCS championship set up. The current one is disposed and in need of changing. I would suspect that with all the other BCS schools being in the same boat and ND being the only independent, whatever replacement system that they come up with likely won't be favorable to ND.

Yes, I agree with you that ND is an attractive opponent, but its stock goes down. Indeed for young fans of the game, ND doesn't mean that much as its glory days are way behind it. The world of college football has changed enormously.

In fact, ND started to drain power at the time when the concept of "independent" started to fade away. Penn State went to the B10. The other eastern indies created the Big East. Miami joined one, then another conference.

The concept today of independent is a dinosaur.

I also agree with you that ND may do nothing about that and continue its status. That's its prerogative. But I think it will shoot itself in the foot if it does and cease to be meaningful in college football.

My idea of a tipping point? I'd say it might come at the moment when there may become a real question if a Big Ten slot is available for ND. The B10 realistically is the only conference that ND would really want to join if it joined one. It's smack in the heart of B10 country, with long rivalries with U-M, MSU, and Purdue (and lots of games vs. Northwestern, Iowa, and other B10 teams over the years). Besides, a lot of people in ND's administration and faculty would like B10 and CIC membership.
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Old 03-24-2012, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Englewood, Near Eastside Indy
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You can start this same thread over and over and over and over again, it doesn't change facts. Notre Dame will join a conference whenever the h*** it wants and will have plenty of willing suitors.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Originally Posted by Toxic Toast View Post
You can start this same thread over and over and over and over again, it doesn't change facts. Notre Dame will join a conference whenever the h*** it wants and will have plenty of willing suitors.
and you can add comments to a new thread over and over again and that won't change reality.

you're right on some things though, TT.

Notre Dame can join a conference whenever it wants.

But the suitor it wants may not be there.

No institution can afford to play the game in a radically different way than the game has begun and expect to survive in it. You just don't get it (as you never did): Notre Dame is not in the drivers seat. Holding on to independence is a death knoll. Each year that goes by with ND's glory years behind it makes the program less and less relevant. And you can be sure that whatever replaces the BCS will not be ND-friendly; the BCS does not need Notre Dame and is hardly going to reward its independence.

You'd have to figure there is something unique about Notre Dame that can keep it forever attractive, no matter what the circumstances. Sorry, Charlie....tradition only goes so far. Notre Dame's name is a far cry from what it once was.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Chicago were once very relevant, among the most, in college football. where are they today? times change.

College football is a traditional game. Yet it is giving up traditions left and right. Notre Dame has hardly been the only school in a quandary in this regard. Look all those schools that have spit in the face of tradition and dumped conference affiliations that have virtually 100 year life times: consider Missouri leaving the Big 12 (which emerged from the Big 8) to enter the SEC; new culture. A&M left the Big 12 (successor to the SWC) to a new culture, the SEC, too. West Virginia, always an "eastern" school, now finds itself in the great plains in the Big 12. All bets are off. That includes ND, too. Notre Dame is part of that same world; it is either going to have to change with it (as painful as that can be and as wrong as that can be since musical chairs conferences are a shame), or be left out in the cold.

Last edited by edsg25; 03-24-2012 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:56 PM
 
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As long as the deal with NBC keeps going they can probably keep things as they are.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Toast, I didn't start this thread to rehash old (but similar) ones; this one was just to ask what fans thought would be ND's "tipping point" for joining a conference.

I also had no intention of doing battle with you again. I don't have a crystal ball and neither do you.

I can't predict what the outcome will be, but I can look at trends and things today that I think will influence tomorrow.

The landscape of college football has radically changed. there is no comfortable role for an independent. During the greatest eras of ND history, independents were an important part of the game.

the game has also shifted with a tremendous shift to the South and, to a degree, the West. Notre Dame remains rust belt, hitting problems similar to the Big Ten.

And Notre Dame just doesn't register with younger fans, coming along well past the glory era. It's like a faded Hollywood star, living off its days on the silver screen.

I did tell you that I think that it won't be internal, but external issues that would tip ND into conference affiliation. ND would like nothing better than to keep its status. Problem is, keeping it may make the program totally irrelevant.

So don't look at Notre Dame's decision making: look at the BCS schools.

Why do they need Notre Dame?

You're right when you say that Notre Dame is still an attractive program to schedule. But they are hardly alone in that regard. And Notre Dame, being that attractive program, comes with a home-and-home series, not two games in the big guy's stadium that come with scheduling a mid-major.

Very few schools would be devastated if they had to, due to conference scheduling, to drop Notre Dame. USC loses the most, its tradition with ND the strongest of all. But it still has UCLA and it also has that Pac 12 championship game it will be thinking about. Are Michigan, MSU, or Purdue going to go belly up if they stop scheduling ND? Hardly. There is a gap coming in the ND-UM series and I believe MSU falls off the Irish schedule for a few years, too, something that hasn't happened in an eternity.

Why would the conferences in the BCS give Notre Dame preferential treatment in a BCS replacement. The Irish stock has gone decidedly down since the BCS was created. And why reward for a program that gives the other schools the idea they don't play by the rule. It's been virtually forever since ND could have made a run for the national championship; not having them as part of the mix is something those 70 or so schools can live with.

Notre Dame is good for college football, but the Irish carry no essentials. If the Big Ten decides it wants to schedule the last 8 (or 9) games in the season strictly with conference foes, they aren't going to let scheduling Notre Dame stop them (particularly in light of the snub they rec'd from the Irish for conference membership).

even in a bye week in that stretch, ND hardly would be a great opponent....based on what you actually said. Notre Dame is good enough a school wouldn't want the Irish on their schedule in the stretch of tough inter conference games.

I'm not saying this is going to happen, but circumstances (even without them being manipulated) could leave Notre Dame between a rock (independence) and a hard place (no good fit in the structure college football set for itself).

I'd be interested in why you'd think college football needs Notre Dame and would set up a favorable set up for an indy ND.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:30 PM
 
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It's been less than 20 years [okay, barely] since ND was in the national championship picture, which is not really that long. I think it would take at least a few decades for their "brand" to decline to where no conference would be interested.
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:20 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e_cuyler View Post
It's been less than 20 years [okay, barely] since ND was in the national championship picture, which is not really that long. I think it would take at least a few decades for their "brand" to decline to where no conference would be interested.
i never suggested no conference would be interested. but the right one may not be. the big ten is probably the only logical place for Notre Dame. I think that ND would be concerned if it reached a point where they felt there was no alternative home for them there.

20 years is actually a long time today since in all aspects of our society we tend to have collective amnesia about anything prior to yesterday.
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Old 03-25-2012, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Let's keep one thing in mind in discussion like this:

neither you or I or anyone on this board knows if Notre Dame will or will not join a conference.

It's all conjecture. It is a future event (or non-event) and one we do not control. only Notre Dame can make that decision.

when I pose a question like I did here, it is merely to get opinions. and opinions matter. if you are a student of the game, you bring in a certain amount of knowledge and that knowledge can help you in making a reasonable prediction.

Based on what I know, I feel I can comfortably make the following predictions:
1. Notre Dame would prefer to remain independent.
2. Forever
3. Independents are very few these days and are a dying breed.
4. The BCS and the entire structure of college football does not favor independents
5. conferences and post season schedules (BCS...and whatever replace it) are intertwined and the conferences are a key component to the mix. ND is not a member, the only BCS school that is not.
6. expanded conferences are likely to schedule their mid and late season games with conference members; the conferences schedule these, not the individual schools.
7. conferences go for even number of teams; thus every week in mid- through late- season, conference games are scheduled.
8. Notre Dame is past its glory years and thus is not as major a player in the game as it once was (but still a very attractive product)
9. No school "has" to play Notre Dame. None would be stuck without a game vs. the Irish.
10. Conferences are considering expanding conference schedules; that leaves fewer slots for ND and those slots come in the form of only the first 3 or 4 games of the season.
11. It is highly unlikely that the BCS replacement would be favorable to ND. ND had much higher stock when the BCS began. that is not true today and today the conferences rule and obviously resent ND's independence.
12. Many elements of the Notre Dame community (particularly faculty and administration) favor Big Ten membership with its CIC membership assured.
13. Don't think that Notre Dame's NBC sweetheart deal counts for what it used to. It doesn't. Through the Big Ten Network and other broadcasting rights, each of the 12 Big Ten schools get a revenue amount that is equal or greater than what Notre Dame gets on its own from broadcasting rights.

So.....again without a crystal ball.....it would not be an unlikely set of circumstances that Notre Dame could find itself in: choosing conference membership....with great reluctance...because it does not see that it has another choice.

Will that happen? again....my guess is as good as your own. Neither I nor Toxic can tell anyone anything here for sure: neither of us know; it's all conjecture.

So in light of that, let me rephrase my question:

If Notre Dame found itself with...
conference membership (particularly prized ones like the B10) slipping away
a BCS replacement unfavorable to it
in ability to play other current BCS conferences through much of the mid- and late seasons due to conference scheduling
NBC deal in trouble because of ratings
What would Notre Dame do?

A. remain independent, despite having to now play a backwater role in college football

B. join a power conference (i.e. Big Ten) where it gets prestige but very competitive play

C. join a conference with a lower profile (i.e. C-USA) where it plays in a smaller pond but with the ability to dominate

D. drop college football and make basketball the key sport, the hallmark of many other Catholic universities
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