Could the B12 force Notre Dame's hand? |

Could the B12 force Notre Dame's hand?


Living Legend
Aug 26, 2011
Let's assume that the latest reports out of B12 country are accurate wherein the conference retains a member's TV rights for x number of years even if they leave the conference. Let's also assume that the B12 grabs Louisville, West Virginia and TCU as has been rumored. That effectively leaves the Big East without a viable football set-up. Who is left at that point? UConn, Rutgers, Cincy and USF. And at that point, the service academies are not walking through that door. The Big East then becomes a BB and all-sports conference for those 4 schools plus the CYO teams.

The PAC 12 is done expanding. The SEC will add AtM and one more. Mizzou might be that and 1, or Mizzou may stick in the new B12. That leaves the B1G and ACC as the conferences with expansion possibilities along with the likelihood of the SEC adding one more team. If it's not Mizzou then they may go hard for an ACC team, particularly if West Virginia is off the board.

There would be 5 super conferences with a total of 64 teams (at that point), and not the 4x16=64. That configuration, though a bit messier than a 4x16, is enough to configure a play-off system. Where does that leave Notre Dame? Shut out the new world of FB playoffs as well as looking for a place to park their other sports. #1 should be enough to force their hand. But in addition, would a CYO league be seen as a good enough parking spot for hoops and non-revenue sports? Remember, at that point the new BE would also be missing Louisville and W. Virginia.

Would those two factors combined be enough to join a league? I think maybe so. This would all be pretty seismic after all. So they would have the option of the B1G or the ACC. ND would then get to choose if they want to go in with Rutgers or UConn. If the SEC does poach one ACC team, then the ACC adds either UConn or Rutgers, thus ratcheting up the pressure on the Irish even further. Given that it would be the B12 that put the final dagger in the Big East, the ACC would have no qualms about adding a BE team to replace an SEC poach. Under the SEC poach scenario, if Notre Dame is favorably disposed to heading east, then the ACC would end up taking Notre Dame, UConn And Rutgers. If no poach, then ND chooses its and one. If they prefer the B1G, then ND goes in with Either UConn or Rutgers (particularly assuming that Mizzou is off the board).
There is not going to be a playoff anytime soon.
The best thing that could happen to the ACC is if the Big 12 adds WVU/Louisville and TCU. I think this is what everybody is waiting for in ACC country.
How do we know that Notre Dame hasn't had contingency talks with Deloss Dodds about joining the Big 12 as an associate member in all sports except football? I'd bet these talks have already taken place, at least in an informal way.

ND is doing everything it can to save the BE (I am convinced the idea of adding the academies in football only originated in South Bend), but if the conference folds they want a safe landing place for their Olympic sports so they can maintain football independence. The Big 12 (i.e. Texas) would probably be happy to help them out.

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