Why Notre Dame should avoid the Big 10

[picappgallerysingle id="3130641"]The hottest topic in the college football world is all about Big 10 expansion.  Let’s face it, its mid-May.  The fact that we even have any news in college football is a miracle.

This isn’t the first time the Big 10 has explored expansion, but this time, it seems like a legitimate story.  The conference has reportedly contacted the University of Notre Dame as well as Nebraska, Missouri, and Rutgers.

For years now, the Big 10 had put an offer on the table, in an attempt to get the Fighting Irish to join.  Let’s face it, it would be a dream come true for the conference to lure in the Irish.  Notre Dame carries the most prestigious football program in college football.  11 National Titles, seven Heisman winners, nobody can touch what the Irish have done.

Notre Dame has always been competitive in each other sports.  The Irish have won the President’s Cup (given to the school with greatest success in all sports), and are a contender to win it each year.

[picappgallerysingle id="7779951"]Skylar Diggins, a part of the ND women’s basketball program, who reached the Sweet 16 in 2009-10

Along with the national championships in football, Notre Dame has won 14 national titles in other sports, most recently, women’s basketball, women’s soccer, and fencing.

Notre Dame is also in “Big 10 country,” and the Irish often compete against Big 10 schools.

In the past, Notre Dame would have offered the Big 10 a 12 team conference, which would put them on the same page as other conferences.  That would set up a conference championship game.

This time around, the conference is seeking mass expansion.  They are looking for a possible 16 team conference, although they will probably fall a few schools short of that.

The Big 10 conference has always wanted the Irish to join the conference, but the love isn’t mutual.  The move would not make sense for the Irish.  There is no need to jump ship.

The Irish are a member of the Big East conference in 21 of the 26 sports that Notre Dame competes in.  The one sport which they are independent in is football.

The Big 10 conference will throw every offer and benefit they have at Notre Dame.  Out of the schools that have reportedly been offered, no schools bring the prestige and brand name that Notre Dame would bring.

But a move to the Big 10 would not make sense for Notre Dame.  There are many different reasons why the university should turn down an offer from the conference.

The biggest reason why universities are considering the move to the Big 10 is to put their respective athletic programs in a place to potentially win championships.  The Big 10 offers a platform to play in BCS Bowls (Rose Bowl, etc.) and in a National Title game.

Notre Dame has their own deal with the BCS.  The Irish receive an automatic birth in the BCS if they finish in the top eight.

The Irish are a member of the Big East in most other sports, which provides a great platform to reach the NCAA tournaments for each sport.

Notre Dame does not need to join a conference to succeed in football, or any other sport.

Another reason why schools would consider an offer from the Big 10 conference is to gain exposure.  The Big 10 carries the Big 10 Network, which is the largest television network of any conference.  The Network carries games of almost every sport, and gives great publicity for each member of the conference.

The television exposure shouldn’t be a worry for Notre Dame.  The Irish have every football game aired on national television.  Each home game since 1991 has been aired on NBC, and the university and NBC have recently agreed to an extension on the deal, which would air home games through the 2015 football season.

[picappgallerysingle id="6842346"]Exposure has never been a problem for Notre Dame

In addition, the Irish play road football games on ABC, ESPN, and sometimes, CBS.  Notre Dame has always been shown on television.  Playing on the Big 10 Network would be a step down, compared to the network television stations that the Irish play on.

In other sports, Notre Dame can be found on television.  The basketball program is shown on television between 10-20 times.  The women’s basketball program had many games aired on ESPN.  Other sports can often be seen on ESPN, CBS College Sports, and other television networks.

If the Irish were looking for a new television deal, they should look any other direction, as opposed to joining the Big 10, and playing on their TV network.

Another reason the Irish should stay put is to hold together their rivalries.  Notre Dame has rivalries in football with USC, Michigan, Michigan St., Boston College, Purdue, Stanford, and also an annual match with the Naval Academy.

If the Irish were to give up their status as an independent team and join a conference, they would have to drop those rivalries.  Things just would not be the same if the Irish and Trojans did not battle each fall.  It would be a shame for college football if Notre Dame did not play against USC.

[picappgallerysingle id="6841788"]Could you imagine Notre Dame and USC not playing each fall?

The largest and most important reason that Notre Dame and any other school would consider an offer from the Big 10 is money.  Let’s face it, money rules everything.

If Notre Dame were to join the Big 10, they would receive $20-22 million.  That seems like a lot of money, but that is pocket change to Notre Dame.  The university receives $7 billion in endowment.

What good can that extra $20-22 million do?  Not much for a university that reels in as much wealth as Notre Dame does.  It just doesn’t make a huge difference for UND.

A move to the Big 10 would make sense for the other schools.  Rutgers is trapped in the weak Big East conference, and is stuck in college sports purgatory.  Nebraska and Missouri are in a Big 12 conference that could quickly deteriorate, and soon, may not even exist.

A move for either of these schools would make much more sense, and could greatly benefit them.

Things are different for Notre Dame.  The Irish have no reason to join the conference.  They are currently in a position where they don’t need to move.

Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick admitted in March that the college sports landscape is changing.  That is so far from the case for the Irish.  Things in South Bend aren’t changing, and just don’t need to change.

Notre Dame does not need to change.  They will forever carry prestige and stature as one of the most respected and successful universities.  They don’t belong in the Big 10.  A move would not make sense.  The Irish should stay put.

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  • Wayne

    Some of your reasoning for not joining is flawed. ND wouldn’t loose any of it’s rivalries. Michigan, Michigan St, Prudue are in the B10 if you forgot, so they would play them anyway. There are 3 to 4 Non Conf games which whould take care of USC, BC and Stanford and sometimes Navy.
    Being in the B10 and ranked 8th still will get them in a BSC bowl game.
    But most of all ND as a school will be getting it’s share of ton’s of research money which is given to the schools membership. Joining a maybe more then just sports. Remember ND is a University not just a football breading groung.

  • Big Ten guy

    Let’s first start with the 11 National Titles, UCLA has more National Titles in Basketball than any school and they belong to the Pack 10 and it didn’t hurt them.

    2. The 7 billion dollar endowment, Texas and Michigan have more and they both are part of a conference. Mute point

    3. The cost of funding there other programs will rise beyond the TV deal it has. Outside of the 1 National Titles in W-BB and a couple of titles in Soccer; the other sports don’t offer much in the National Title area

    4. The 22 million from the Big ten Network goes to each school, and they split the bowl money as well. Much more than ND brings in….

    5. Rivalries with USC, Stanford, BC, and Navy would all stay intact. You do play out of conference games

    6. Brand, the ND brand is down and we all know that. Just look at the ratings on NBC and the revenue generated.

    7. Loose the Independent status, you already did by joining the Big East. Keeping football as an independent makes ND feel better just admit it.

    8. Joining the Big Ten makes not only business since, but brand since as well. If the mega conferences do develop and they (ND) are apart of any other conference where the travel cost will out weigh any monetary gain as part of the ACC or SEC. College sports is a business and this is a great business move.

    Traditions don’t die, they evolve. Making the move where you already play a portion of the leagues teams hasn’t hurt ND national reputation. Not to mention that Michigan is the school responsible for ND football anyway

    The bottom line is sustainability and it can’t be done. Everyone must change, evolve, or join a conference. Change has come, you either embrace the change or you go out of business

  • Big 11 Fan

    Without question, ND is a perfect fit academically in the Big 10.

  • Brandon

    If I am not mistaken, USC has played against Ohio St for the past couple years…. What conference is Ohio St in? Oh, that’s right The Big Ten. So it IS possible to be in The Big Ten and STILL play against USC.

  • Buckeyes27

    i’m so tired of hearing how much better ND is than the BIG 10, tired of hearing everyone saying “they doint need the Big10″ or they are better off on their own”, but they doint mind playing Big 10 teams every year do they…im sorry did somone say somthing about having their cake and eating it to.!!..thats FINE i doint want them in the Big 10. I would rather see Rutgers or PITT. I wont take nothing away from their history..they have a great history, but history is made by living in the moment, and here is a little known fact for ND and their fans, your history wont disappear if you join the Big 10, you can build on it.

  • Willy

    ND sucks. With out having a major TV corp up their rear ends they would be just another college playing on saturday

  • Z

    I love hearing about how Notre Dame is the most prestigious football program in the nation. They must have forgot the past several years because that football team is a joke (and will remain a joke). Sure, you have a nice history, and as was stated by Big Ten Guy, that won’t change. But as it stands right now, Notre Dame isn’t exactly the best thing out there.

    Additionally, when 60% of your schedule is composed of Big Ten teams, you might as well come on over. Your little love fests with Stanford, USC, Navy, and BC will stay in tact as your 4 game non-conference schedule (although I’m pretty sure you have to win a game every once in awhile against USC for it to be a rivalry).

    And lastly: perhaps ND doesn’t need extra money. But lets face it, ND is a whore when it comes to exposure and money and they will jump through the hoops no matter how high to get their brand out there. The BTN will get the non-revenue sports in the public’s eye much better than any other network. I don’t know about anyone else, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw a ND sporting event that wasn’t football or mens/womens basketball. But I’ve seen several Indiana wrestling meets and just as many Northwestern indoor track meets on the BTN.

    Bottom line, Notre Dame will end up in the Big Ten within the next five years. They will eventually realize that the ND name and that stupid dome aren’t nearly as prestigious as they thought and they’ll come running to the Big Ten.

  • wahawks68

    Where does FOX find its sports journalists? Are they folks that were laid off from Burger King because they couldn’t hack it?

    Chris Emma, call up Wayne or BigTenGuy; they may be able to give you pointers on how to think critically.

    You really used keeping rivalries with USC BC, Navy, and Stanford as a reason they shouldn’t move to the Big 10? I’m sure the President and Trustees are really weighing keeping a football rivalry with BC and Stanford in football in their decision on something that could be very lucrative to the university.

    This decision will simply be made on if it can benefit Notre Dame financially and add to their academic and athletic presige. The Big 10 is the most prestigious academic major Division I conference, easily; it will bring them in boat loads of money; will at least keep their college football program on par where it is now; and the Big 10 Network will bring more exposure and money into their other sports.

    Moving to the Big 10 would be a win for Notre Dame; but they may just be dumb enough to let pride get in the way.