Here's the opinion of Ivan Maisel of ESPN"Notre Dame's
independence will die of asphyxiation. With the announcement Wednesday morning
that the school will play five football games a year against ACC opponents as a
condition of its league membership... the Fighting Irish are still, barely,
independent.The vital signs of Notre Dame's ability to forge
its own path have weakened over the two-decade life of the BCS and its
antecedents. It is no longer an equal partner with the other conferences.It is a weaker, meeker Notre Dame that made a deal with the ACC, the
Monty Python knight yelling, "merely a flesh wound" as it loses limb
after limb. Notre Dame has made sacrifices that the university and its partisans
never dreamed would have to be made even a decade ago. Notre Dame is not a
full-fledged member of the ACC yet. But the trend is unmistakable."
Irish pundits are saying the writing is on the wall. ND will eventually join a
conference, the ACC. Since the BCS era their impact behind the scenes as an
independent has dwindled. They know that the road to a BCS title game is by
joining a conference.When the ACC invites UConn, it will be a 16 team
conference.This throws a curve ball at Boise St, San Deigo St, SMU
and the others joining the Big East. It now appears they may become a basketball
conference only.We are going down the road of inter conference
strength of schedule. I know some BYU fans don't want to hear this. But in
the end your ESPN contract is extremely small compared to what is going on out
there. Who knows, the Big 12 could extend an invite and bend its rules a bit.
ND head football coach Kelly thinks Notre Dame is keeping independence even
after 2015, and says they did this to get better bowl tie-ins for the years they
don't make the BCS.Even if Notre Dame buys out of their
contract, BYU shouldn't feel too upset. BYU is finding plenty of great
games anyways (see 2013 schedule) and they would get a nice big fat buy-out
check without even having to do anything. Most of the games in the Notre Dame
series are far enough out in advance that BYU won't have too big of trouble
finding replacement games.
The news from out here in ACC land is Notre Dame's football TV contract
ends 2015. This leave them the option to join a conference since the play off
teams for national championship will come from the conference championships,
shutting out the independents. They also report that under a proposed deal that
would ultimately have ND join the conference officially in 2015, they would have
a net increase in revenue. ND will start with a 5 game in conference schedule
next year, solving some of its scheduling issues, and keeping their commitments
with other agreed upon games. In 2015 that would likely move to an 8 game ACC
schedule in football.I am sure BYU is doing some thinking around
this.... it does change the table stakes a little.
I agree with Southern Utah Cougar, it basically ends the Notre Dame game because
the Fighting Irish will want to keep their other traditional rivalries:
Michigan, Purdue, Michigan State, USC, etc.It' too bad BYU
snubbed the Big 12. They should now try to get in the Big East. Otherwise, the
only opponents they will get to play at LES are Sun Belt, C-USA, and MAC teams.
I think most Mountain West Teams won't schedule them with Craig Thompson
discouraging it, and with as weak as most of the PAC-12 is this year, I
don't see many of those teams wanting to schedule them either.If USU was smart, they would demand a home-and-home against BYU as BYU needs
the game for scheduling purposes. I think if they don't get into the Big
East, they may want to go back on bended knee and plead to get back into the
MWC. If not, enjoy Southern Mississippi, Arkansas State, Miami of Ohio, etc.,
too bad, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, would have been a lot better.
"I am still trying to figure out what it means, does the Big 12 go for BYU
now?"Probably not. If they expand, the Big 12 would like to find
partners/rivals for West Virginia. They'll look east. The Big 12 has
stated several times that they are happy staying at 10 members. With their new
TV contract, maybe people will start believing them.
I don't think this changes anything with Notre Dame's Independence.
With this switch they are basically in a conference with the original teams they
put their other sports with when it was the Big East: Pittsburgh, Syracuse,
Miami, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. As part of the Big East in all other
sports they agreed to play a certain number of games in football against Big
Eats teams. I don't think they wanted to play the left overs of the Big
East in footabll, but quality football schools from the ACC. Notre Dame's
athletic director was excited that this move allowed them to keep their
independence in football.The thing I am worried about is the future
BYU-NDU football games on the schedule...
This means nothing other than ND has decided the Big East is a sinking ship for
all sports. They'll stay independent in football, especially with
guarantees of 5 ACC games plus bowl tie-ins. ND is great at limiting liability
while fleecing suitors.
Oh brother! Independence is NOT going to become a thing of the past. At least
not any time soon. Did the synapses fail to fire around 'in ALL sports
EXCEPT football'? Notre Dame is remaining a football independent with 5
games against the ACC each season. How does this signal an end? Come on!
@ Boise BillFYI:"The move allows the Irish to
maintain football independence" is a direct quote from the article.
If you read the article a few days ago about the Big 12's TV deal, Texas
was allowed to keep their interests in the Lonmghorn Network, so coupled with
the ACC's exception for Notre Dame as described in the article, it
isn't a one-size-fits-all world any more. I expect the Cougars are giving
due dilligence to all their options. In the meantime, the best thing for them
to do is win games, keeping alive their 10-wins per season streak, especially
this and next year.
Independence will soon be a thing of the past. BYU better get on board.
I am still trying to figure out what it means, does the Big 12 go for BYU now?
Or what now, just curious, I don't want banter from this because I am sure
Ute fans will have some classy thing to say.