In the near future Notre Dame will join a BCS conference you can bet on it folks. The teams in the Big 10 are making so much more television money now than the Fighting Irish from South Bend. Notre Dame is looking at 10 million for their famous NBC contract, but Big 10 teams make more than that on a yearly basis. It’s possible that when the Big 10 possibly expands to 12 teams their television deals will be worth around $22 to 25 million per team, and that will force Notre Dame to make a decision on the matter. Seeing as money is all that motivates Notre Dame to remain an Independent team, a 12 million dollar a year difference will be too much for Notre Dame to resist joining a conference.
Maybe the big question involved in this whole situation is what conference does Notre Dame join in the near future. The Big 10 and Pac-10 are already in talks with teams like Texas, Missouri, Pitt and Utah about joining their conferences. The only ones that seemingly make sense for ND would be the Big 10 and the Big East. Perhaps there is a scenario where a team like Pitt leaves for the Big 10 and is replaced in the Big East by Notre Dame.
This is a good move that makes sense for Notre Dame as well. Yes there is the money but the Fighting Irish will also benefit from playing in better bowl games if they do not go to a major BCS bowl game. They will earn all the rewards of playing with a conference championship game. They currently play several Big 10 teams on a regular basis anyways (Michigan, Purdue and Michigan State) so they will only have to schedule 5 more, but still have 4 open scheduling opportunities, which is plenty of dates to continue the popular rivalries against teams like USC and Navy, and still add games in such sites as Yankee Stadium, Soldier Field, and other venues where the team hopes to go in the future.
It is time for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to make the obvious transition which is to the Big 10. If not then they are possibly going to be left on the outside getting left behind when the Big 10 and Pac-10 add teams and create a conference championship. Not long ago Notre Dame A.D. Jack Swarbrick may have answered the questions during the Big East hoops tournament, saying that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish “may have to rethink” their independent status. I think that at least tells us that the conversation has come up behind closed doors.