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Big 10 wants to expand

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Well, hell, if that's really true, then not joining the Big 10 is just about ND getting over their damaged pride. This reminds me of how Bama boosters and fans screwed up the Tide's program for 25 years waiting for the next guy whose voice sounded gravelly like Bear Bryant's voice, instead of accepting that an era had passed and that they needed to do things differently if they wanted to climb back to the top. (They wouldn't even give Bobby Bowden a freaking interview, and coaching Bama was his big goal in life.)

The only disadvantage to joining the Big 10 that I can see is that it might cost ND their traditional polling advantage. If they're pretty good, they seem to get an extra 5 or 6 spots in the polls just for being ND. If they got good again, and had the same record as a few other schools who were in the hunt for the BCS title game, they'd likely get one of the two slots that matter, just because they're ND. Not sure if that would happen if they were in the BCS system as part of the Big 10 and thus had to win the Big 10 just to get a Rose Bowl spot...

Actually, I think this would work out for them. You have the most overrated college football program joining the most overrated conference. As long as they finish in the Top 2 of the conference and don't have more than 3 losses, ND would always be a good bet for a BCS Bowl in the Big 10.

True Fact: Since the advent of the BCS, the Big 10 has sent two teams to BCS Bowls more times than any other conference (including the SEC)....9 times in 12 years, including the last 5 years straight.

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It's an interesting discussion, no?

ND makes a lot of sense, but the Irish believe they are special and it kind of ends there. Pitt also seems like a good fit, but I wonder if they are looking for a school that the conference can really elevate the sports potential.

In that regard, Rutgers could make sense, but Rutgers seems like too much of a commuter school at times.

It's strange to hear academics having a sway in the discussion and to hear things like "Pitt's a good academic fit while Missouri is not".

I believe the Big Ten network is a huge plus for the conference. The exposure is tremendous and I'm sure the revenues are pretty good.

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As long as they finish in the Top 2 of the conference and don't have more than 3 losses' date=' ND would always be a good bet for a BCS Bowl in the Big 10.[/quote']

I think Penn State had such thoughts when they entered Big 10 play. While PSU has been successful, the schedule is a lot more difficult IMO than for a typical independent. There are few cream puffs on the schedule and playing a top 40-50 team almost every week in conference play is a lot more demanding than the average independent school's football schedule.

The post above is somewhat misguided considering Notre Dame does play Michigan, Mich State and Purdue almost every year to mixed results. The strength of the conference is the depth - especially in years, like recently, when the conference elite does not match up with the super-elite. The conference schedules pretty aggressively and ends up being a guest to a homer team at bowl games - something that is very much under-appreciated.

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Don't necessarily count ND out. Remember, there is a new regime coming in with Comcast taking over the reigns at NBC. They may not want ND when the television contract is up. When ND is bad, the rating will sag. Contrast that with the SEC football package CBS has. When Florida is bad, Alabama or LSU is usually good, and people still watch.

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Don't necessarily count ND out. Remember, there is a new regime coming in with Comcast taking over the reigns at NBC. They may not want ND when the television contract is up. When ND is bad, the rating will sag. Contrast that with the SEC football package CBS has. When Florida is bad, Alabama or LSU is usually good, and people still watch.

Good point, Re: change in ownership of NBC. If Brian Kelly doesn't turn things around there quickly, then renewal of the contract after 2015 might not be a gimme. Still, the Big 10 would probably expand around the 2012-13 time frame.....so I'm not sure how it would work as far as Notre Dame fulfilling their contract with NBC for 2-3 years while also in the Big 10. But if ratings continue to drop, perhaps NBC would be willing to void the remaining years of the contract?

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I think Penn State had such thoughts when they entered Big 10 play. While PSU has been successful, the schedule is a lot more difficult IMO than for a typical independent. There are few cream puffs on the schedule and playing a top 40-50 team almost every week in conference play is a lot more demanding than the average independent school's football schedule.

The post above is somewhat misguided considering Notre Dame does play Michigan, Mich State and Purdue almost every year to mixed results. The strength of the conference is the depth - especially in years, like recently, when the conference elite does not match up with the super-elite. The conference schedules pretty aggressively and ends up being a guest to a homer team at bowl games - something that is very much under-appreciated.

A lot of people say ND plays an easy schedule, but I don't see it that way. Like you mentioned, they have the 3 teams from the Big 10, plus USC and Stanford every year. That's 5 BCS conference teams. They also frequently play Pitt and/or Boston College. And Navy is certainly no slouch either. Add in recent home-and-homes against teams like GaTech, Penn St and UNC. And finally, AFAIK they have never played a Div 1-AA school, whereas just about every other BCS team regularly does nowadays.

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Good point' date=' Re: change in ownership of NBC. If Brian Kelly doesn't turn things around there quickly, then renewal of the contract after 2015 might not be a gimme. Still, the Big 10 would probably expand around the 2012-13 time frame.....so I'm not sure how it would work as far as Notre Dame fulfilling their contract with NBC for 2-3 years while also in the Big 10. But if ratings continue to drop, perhaps NBC would be willing to void the remaining years of the contract?[/quote']

B' of B', I don't think that NBC will void the contract right now since it will take a year for the sale of NBC to clear regulatory scrutiny. So we are talking around 2011 before the boys at Comcast will begin to make changes. The real question is what will Comcast want to do with the sports programming? Will they want to something like what Disney has done with ABC? If so, that means more football games needed in multiple markets. Maybe they want to make a deal like what CBS has done the with SEC and grab a few marquee games each week and a conference championship. They can't bid on the SEC contract since they resigned with CBS for another 15 yrs. The ACC contract is up in 2011. The ACC may not have the best football, but there are a lot of good coaches like Paul Johnson, Butch Davis, and Frank Beamer et al that could make the league better. Then there is the Big 12. The Big 12's contract expires with Fox sports net in 2012, and Commissioner Don Beebe if fishing for a better deal. The Big 12 is a more attractive partner for NBC because of multiple television markets and storied programs such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. These schools may not be on the same level as Notre Dame, but they are definitely not that far away. Once NBC opens the wallet for someone like the Big 12, they are not going want to open the wallet for Notre Dame like they have done in the past. The Big 10 should wait until Notre Dame's contract is up, and then offer in invitation if and when things go sour.

Edited by Majin Buu

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ND is very happy w/their conference affiliation in other sports. If (and it's a huge if) they ever join a conference in football it will be to join the football program with all their other sports in the Big East.

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ND is very happy w/their conference affiliation in other sports. If (and it's a huge if) they ever join a conference in football it will be to join the football program with all their other sports in the Big East.

I wouldn't be so sure of that. If Notre Dame ever decides to give up its football independence, it will be to get the most money possible. Big 10 schools get $20 million a year from radio and TV. I seriously doubt the Big East can compete with that.

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ND is very happy w/their conference affiliation in other sports. If (and it's a huge if) they ever join a conference in football it will be to join the football program with all their other sports in the Big East.

If football truly "drives the bus", I very much doubt Notre Dame will trade in their old rivalries that go back about 100 yrs to play in the Big East. If they joined the Big East, how will they maintain a potential out of conference schedule of USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Navy, Army, BC, and Purdue? If they joint the Big 10, they get to keep all of it and gain an annual or semi-annual game with Ohio State. No matter how you slice it, region and history still matter in college football.

Edited by Majin Buu

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If football truly "drives the bus", I very much doubt Notre Dame will trade in their old rivalries that go back about 100 yrs to play in the Big East. If the joined the Big East, how will they maintain a potential out of conference schedule of USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Navy, Army, BC, and Purdue? If they joint the Big 10, they get to keep all of it and gain an annual or semi-annual game with Ohio State. No matter how you slice it, region and history still matter in college football.

I agree with this. Several of ND's rivals are Big 10 schools. Football is much bigger to ND than the other sports. They'll leave the Big East and go to the Big 10 if they ever decide to stop being independent.

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ND is very happy w/their conference affiliation in other sports. If (and it's a huge if) they ever join a conference in football it will be to join the football program with all their other sports in the Big East.

Man, I just can't see that. Compared to the Big 10, that would cost them a fortune, plus they'd have to give up a bunch of traditional football rivalries. Face it, ND-culture mostly cares about football, and everything else is small potatoes. If ND goes anywhere, it's to the Big 10.

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If football truly "drives the bus", I very much doubt Notre Dame will trade in their old rivalries that go back about 100 yrs to play in the Big East. If the joined the Big East, how will they maintain a potential out of conference schedule of USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Navy, Army, BC, and Purdue? If they joint the Big 10, they get to keep all of it and gain an annual or semi-annual game with Ohio State. No matter how you slice it, region and history still matter in college football.

If ND were to join a conference (and it would be the Big 10 if they did) then they would probably drop some of their rivalries. They would only have 4 non-conference games per season, and I doubt they would want it to be USC, Stanford, Navy and BC (I don't think they play Army regularly). Those rivalries are home-and-home arrangements, which means those combined with the Big 10 schedule means ND would only have 6 home games per season. Most of the big time schools need at least 7 home games per season for the revenues they generate. I'd look for ND to drop at least 2 of their non-Big 10 rivals in favor of lower-level 1A teams that will do a 2-for-1 so ND can have 7 home games per season.

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I wouldn't be so sure of that. If Notre Dame ever decides to give up its football independence' date=' it will be to get the most money possible. Big 10 schools get $20 million a year from radio and TV. I seriously doubt the Big East can compete with that.

Joining the B10 would almost certainly lead to a reduction in revenues. TV is only a small fraction of those revenues. Notre Dame brings in almost $60m a year from football. They benefit from being able to keep a national profile playing big market teams from California, and the Northeast on a yearly basis which helps w/fundraising etc... If they joing a conference it's going to require special treatment (limited conference schedule, etc...) and realistically its something only the Big East can offer.

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B' of B', I don't think that NBC will void the contract right now since it will take a year for the sale of NBC to clear regulatory scrutiny. So we are talking around 2011 before the boys at Comcast will begin to make changes. The real question is what will Comcast want to do with the sports programming? Will they want to something like what Disney has done with ABC? If so, that means more football games needed in multiple markets. Maybe they want to make a deal like what CBS has done the with SEC and grab a few marquee games each week and a conference championship. They can't bid on the SEC contract since they resigned with CBS for another 15 yrs. The ACC contract is up in 2011. The ACC may not have the best football, but there are a lot of good coaches like Paul Johnson, Butch Davis, and Frank Beamer et al that could make the league better. Then there is the Big 12. The Big 12's contract expires with Fox sports net in 2012, and Commissioner Don Beebe if fishing for a better deal. The Big 12 is a more attractive partner for NBC because of multiple television markets and storied programs such as Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. These schools may not be on the same level as Notre Dame, but they are definitely not that far away. Once NBC opens the wallet for someone like the Big 12, they are not going want to open the wallet for Notre Dame like they have done in the past. The Big 10 should wait until Notre Dame's contract is up, and then offer in invitation if and when things go sour.

The Pac-10's contract is also up after 2011, I believe. I was reading in one of the local paper's out here that the Pac-10 has discussed forming their own network, like the Big-10. The big difference is that they would consider joining with another conference to do it. If that's the case, I think an ACC/Pac 10 venture makes sense...with the difference in time zones each conference could combine to have live games broadcast from 12pm ET (9am PT) until well past midnight ET on football Saturday's. It could work similarly for basketball too. And perhaps Comcast/NBC would want to be a partner.

Just speculating.

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