Monday, May 21, 2012

Notre Dame to the Big 12?

Blair Kerkhoff of the KC Star described the attractiveness of adding Notre Dame and BYU to the Big 12 in this article. Lately folks have been talking Florida State and Clemson, perhaps as a package.

Should the Big 12 stick with 10 teams? Move to 12 again? Or jump all the way to 14 teams?

I wasn't convinced that Notre Dame would ever join a conference. But now that the Big 12 and SEC have announced their championship game, the landscape for college football has changed again. The BCS, best buddy of Notre Dame though they've been, has been staked through the heart.

It's as though a couple of conferences finally woke up and said, "Hey - we're the ones with content. Stadiums and networks come to us, we don't go begging to them."

About time.

Notre Dame can't get in the Rose Bowl. And they can't ever get in the championship game between the SEC and Big 12. Oh, they could probably join the Big 10 if they want... but the Irish think they're special. Would the Big 10 give them the face-saving special treatment that the Big 12 would offer? I don't think so.

I think Notre Dame has to be strongly considering the Big 12, especially if they can get some concessions regarding the remainder of their NBC television contract.

Florida State and Clemson are strong football programs in a rapidly diminishing football conference. As much or more than money, relevance is on on the line. If they choose to bolt the ACC together, the Big 12 really should take them both.

I say that because the SEC is probably a more natural fit for each of them, and where will that conference ultimately go to get to the super-size of 16 that seems the ultimate destination for four conferences? I don't think the SEC wants the 'Noles or Tigers right now, but when 16 becomes the magic number, I think the Big 12 will be happy to have those two southeastern schools locked up. The SEC would probably make a play for Virgina Tech when that next round comes, and that could work for them too.

Orangebloods thinks that the Big 12 could become the Big 12.5, with Clemson, FSU, and Notre Dame in everything but football until 2016. Could be - if Notre Dame were poised to be fully on board in 2016, the 14th member might come from anywhere - BYU, Louisville, Cincinatti, Virginia Tech... even Georgia Tech has been floated.

For the third summer in a row, our little youth football blog is considering the vagaries of college football and the Big 12. Feels MUCH better writing about it this year.

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