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A Conference Realignment? New Athletic Director, New Possible Future for the Irish

Written by Liam Farrell|Writer|Twitter @LiamFarrell_IT



Via ON3


With the news breaking of Jack Swarbrick's departure as Notre Dame athletic director in 2024, the Chairman of NBC Sports Group, Pete Bevacqua, is the known successor for the demanding job. Atop the long list of responsibilities Mr. Bevacqua will face is the possible move to a powerhouse football conference. With the SEC and Big Ten making a splash with the additions of blue blood schools such as Texas, Oklahoma, USC, and UCLA: a conference must think adding a program with the notoriety of Notre Dame could totally change the college football landscape. This article will dive into the differing scenarios of staying independent or joining one of these super conferences.


The Case for Staying Independent


Via ESPN


For decades, the University of Notre Dame have enjoyed the luxuries and freedoms of being independent. These luxuries include the opportunity to keep long lasting rivalries on the schedule, control the strength of schedule, and have their own media network deal. First, as a fan base, we must appreciate the fact Notre Dame has gotten to handpick their schedule for the last 100 years. By doing this, the Irish have been able to elevate their performance on the field and give college athletes opportunities that they wouldn't get at other division 1 institutions. This includes the Shamrock Series, which has Notre Dame play at venues all across the globe. By giving kids the opportunities to play all over the world at some of the most historic stadiums known to man, the University of Notre Dame is able to broaden its fandom and reach new heights.





Another way Notre Dame continues its to grow its brand is the media tie in with NBC sports. I can imagine as the new AD is the Chairman of NBC Sports Group, this tie-in wouldn't be an issue even if the Irish were joining another conference. However, with Notre Dame being the sole college football program sponsored with NBC, every Irish home game can be seen every single week (despite the one game that will be televised on Peacock).


The biggest hurdle that Notre Dame faces with their lack of conference status is the fact that they don't play on conference championship week. This has hindered Notre Dame's reputation in some years, and could always be a determining factor in whether or not the Irish can clinch a playoff berth. Another interesting thing to keep in mind are the conference tie-ins to the new college football playoff format in the upcoming years. These tie-ins could be yet another motivating reason for Notre Dame to switch into a conference.


The Move to the Big Ten


Via NBC Sports


Now, how much fun would this be? If Notre Dame would join the Big Ten, they would most likely need a partner to do so to even out the conference. One name that might be enticing is someone from the ACC, or even a school like Oregon. The college football landscape is shifting from the power 5 conferences to simply the power 2 conferences. The SEC and Big Ten are creating the epicenter for all college football talent. With the top teams in the Pac 12 and Big 12 being poached, the ACC is somewhat left out of the loop.


If Notre Dame was to go to any conference, the Big Ten would definitely be the best fit, both geographically and skill wise. How awesome would it be to have the Michigan rivalry back? Or maybe a November game under the lights in a sellout whiteout in Happy Valley? The Big Ten makes the MOST sense for Notre Dame. This would also be a great opportunity to keep the USC game on the schedule every year.





Conclusion


At the end of the day, most people are afraid of change. This is no different when looking at Notre Dame and their lack of a conference. While the addition to a conference may be nice, Mr. Bevacqua already stated in an interview with Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated that, "I’m a fan of independence, for sure, it’s another element of what makes Notre Dame different." Then again, anything can change over time, and this transition of power to Athletic Director could definitely sway the mind of Bevacqua. Only time will tell.



 

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3 Kommentare


Gast
15. Juni 2023

This article was written by a bot, not a person. Nothing new here.

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Gast
14. Juni 2023

I hope you realize that it is in the ACC contract that if Notre Dame joins a football conference before 2038 it has to be the ACC! Can't imagine the payout of that one!

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Gast
14. Juni 2023

Really well written and describes interesting ideas

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