Ok, usually I don’t get drawn offsides very much by any “Notre Dame should join X conference” articles, but this last attempt takes the cake in terms of stupidity. You can find the original by Dave Wischnowsky here, but I urge you not to click it. You’ll get all the breakdown you need after the jump.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I’m pretty sure that old Charles Dickens didn’t pen those words with Notre Dame in mind, but here in the waning days of 2012, he certainly could have.
Man, I thought I had issues trying to write post introductions.
You know you’re in for a great ride when the second sentence contains “pretty sure he didn’t do this, but he probably totally did, just go with it.”
That’s because, on one hand, the Fighting Irish are flying as high as ever with a No. 1 ranking and a chance to win their first national championship in a quarter century when they face Alabama on Jan. 7 in the BCS Championship Game. But on the other hand, the future of Notre Dame’s athletic programs – despite the football team’s current success – has never been less stable, or clear.
On Monday, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick acknowledged that the implosion of the Big East has left the Irish in an oh-so-precarious position. Notre Dame announced in September that its sports teams – except for the fiercely independent football program – are leaving the Big East for the ACC but that the school is contractually obligated to play in the league for two more years.
OK, maybe we should give this guy a chance. This actually could make some sense and present an article worthy of debate.
Let’s see where this goes…
However, with the Big East’s seven Catholic basketball schools declaring last week that they’re departing the conference, the Big East may not exist at all by next fall. And, as a result, Notre Dame could be without a conference in which to play basketball and other sports next season.
…right into a brick wall.
So let me get this straight. Notre Dame needs to join the Big Ten because the Big East fell apart (something that our departure accelerated, by the way) and Notre Dame might not have a conference in 2013. So despite the fact that we have an agreement in place with the ACC in 2014, Notre Dame should jump ship to the Big Ten now to solve this issue.
You’re kidding right, Dave?
However this drama plays out, it appears the Irish will eventually bolt one train wreck of a league (the Big East) for another one (the ACC) that’s resembled a sputtering jalopy ever since charter member Maryland announced last month that it’s bolting the conference for the sanctuary of the Big Ten.
The ACC is destined to be a train wreck because Maryland, that’s right, MARYLAND decided to jump ship.
Now, of course, if Notre Dame itself had joined the Big Ten – that deep-pocketed, powerful and highly stable league right in its own backyard – none of these annoying headaches involved with crumbling conferences would exist.
Yeah, we’d just have to deal with the headache of dealing with a conference that can’t even figure out division alignment without an internet survey. Oh, and the small fact that Delany has seemed to lose his damn mind by watering down his conference with Rutgers and Maryland.
Don’t cite TV markets as the reason either. If you think that the entire New York/New Jersey market actually cares about watching Rutgers do anything, you are as foolish as Delany. Maryland also isn’t exactly cornering any desirable TV markets either.
Maybe Delany really loves crab cakes?
Don’t give the “in ND’s own backyard” reason either. For 125 years Notre Dame football has played a national schedule for football. Why would we ever sacrifice that kind of national presence? Regional scheduling is small-time thinking. ND operates on a national scale and limiting ourselves to “our own backyard” completely screws that up.
Finally, money? You’re joking right? Notre Dame was the eighth most profitable football program last season and that was during a mediocre year without magical conference money. You seriously think money is a concern for ND?
But those headaches aren’t likely to cease soon. And considering how drastically the college sports landscape has changed over the past few years – and surely will continue to do so for several more – here’s my advice for Notre Dame:
Just join the Big Ten already.
Things will continue to change, but the Big Ten won’t, promise!
As I’ve written before, here in this age of emerging “superconferences,” a situation is almost certain to arise where Notre Dame is going to have to join a league – all the way – or find its football team left out of the evolving power structure.
You mean that “evolving power structure” that created a new playoff system which included Notre Dame?
Come on now, where you asleep this past offseason, Dave?
And when that does happens, Notre Dame football would be a much better fit in the Big Ten than the ACC, which (if it even survives) will always be more of a basketball conference than it ever will be a football one.
Good thing the goal is to remain independent in football!
Also, wasn’t the whole initial issue all of Notre Dame’s “other sports” not having a home?
And as we all know, football is what Notre Dame is really about. Today, tomorrow and forever.
OK, I guess this post is about football now.
However, in spite of pigskin being such a priority, a few years ago a friend of mine who is a Notre Dame alum said that despite the school’s powerful desire to maintain its football independence, it wouldn’t cling to that if it ended up hurting the school’s other sports programs.
Or not. Seriously, pick an argument and stick with it.
Also, bonus hilarity for citing “a friend of mine”. You would’ve been better off saying “a source familiar with the Notre Dame athletic program” if you really wanted to properly spoon-feed us this crap.
Does this friend actually have knowledge of the inner-workings of ND? I’m assuming not, otherwise you would’ve used it to strengthen your argument that is now completely coming off the rails.
To top it all off, you are citing an opinion from “a few years ago” back when the conference landscape looked nothing like it does now. What does your friend think now with the new ACC deal in place? Shame that we’ll never know.
Actually, you know what, I’m a Notre Dame alum. My opinion should hold weight to this argument! Guess what I think? You’re full of crap. Boom. Roasted.
Right now, it looks like the Irish’s other sports programs could indeed be hurting badly if they don’t have a conference home next year. A few years down the line, Notre Dame football could end up hurting too [...]
It’s other sports! It’s football!
Rabbit season! Duck season!
[...]if it’s ultimately forced into a weakened ACC that’s lost marquee members and is instead dominated by lackluster ones.
So now you’re just going to stick with the assumptions and start making crap up?
Fine, I’ll bite. All the ACC schools will jump ship. Who? To where? When? And what makes you so certain the Big Ten won’t budge?
I’m sure the next paragraph will shed some light on these burning questions.
While I still consider it unlikely to happen, what I’d like to see is for Notre Dame to get off its high horse and politely knock on Jim Delany’s door. If Notre Dame asked, I’d be willing to bet that the Irish basketball team and its other sports programs could be fit into the Big Ten schedule next season. And then the Notre Dame football team could join the Big Ten along with Maryland, Rutgers and a 16th member TBD when the 2013-14 season rolls around.
Or we’ll just completely ignore it and move on to more assumptions!
Not only will Delany take in the Irish, but he’ll find a 16th team as well (Cincinnati must be licking their chops!). Oh and the scheduling will be fine! Don’t mind the details, just carry on with this logic! We’re on a roll here!
Alright, I’m probably being too mean. Dave still has plenty of time to clear all of this up.
Now, would it be simple to pull all that off? Of course not.
Translation: “Remember all of that crap I just made up? You know, all those reasons that will save Notre Dame from all those “headaches” I mentioned earlier? Yeah, moving to the Big Ten will create more headaches.”
Notre Dame’s entanglements with the Big East, ACC, NBC and future football opponents would all have to be sorted out and appeasements would certainly have to be made. But nothing in college sports is impossible – especially with Notre Dame’s and the Big Ten’s money.
You’re right nothing is impossible…including Notre Dame staying independent and finding another dance partner that isn’t the Big Ten should the ACC falter. If you don’t think that’s possible, you are conviently forgetting DeLoss Dodds and Jack Swarbrick have a great relationship.
Oh hell, let’s get really crazy and start making crap up since you are.
Let’s say Notre Dame sees the ACC fall apart and says “OK, forget this independence thing. We’re starting our own national conference and will invite eleven other schools. We will use the NBC family of networks to promote our conference and televise all of our conference games just like the Olympics.” The line would for invitations would form to the left and include approximately 119 schools (rough estimate) hoping for an invitation.
Improbable and unlikely? Definitely. Then again so is your scenario, and mine actually makes more sense than joining the Big Ten.
This week, for example, rumors are swirling that Butler – which is in its first year in the Atlantic 10 – may leave already and instead link up with the “Catholic 7” from the Big East in forming a new hoops-centric league.
“Our administrators, our coaches, our trustees and our team will continue to do what is right for Butler and its students,” Butler president James Danko said in a statement Monday, not committing the school one way or another while showing that changes can always be made.
Can someone connect the dots for me?
How does talking about Butler follow anything resembling a continuous line of thought after “nothing in college sports is impossible – especially with Notre Dame’s and the Big Ten’s money”?
What are you even trying to say here? Butler is keeping its options open so therefore so should Notre Dame? And even if that’s the point, do you think Swarbrick, the same guy that kept his options open this year to make the move to the ACC is all of a sudden closed-minded?
Actually let’s back up even further. Are you comparing Notre Dame to Butler?!
My head hurts.
If Notre Dame was truly honest with itself, I think it would see that the Big Ten is still the conference that’s best for the Irish athletic programs and students-athletes. Just like it always has been.
Notre Dame is honest with itself. Notre Dame is a national presence and brand. Joining the Big Ten isolates us to the Midwest region. That alone is enough reason to reject this idea.
But even ignoring that, what other benefits have you actually presented in this article, Dave? The only other two are money (which ND needs no help with) and stability (which you can’t guarantee).
So why should ND join the Big Ten again?
I suspect that even Charles Dickens would agree with that.
Even the corpse of Charles Dickens would see the light! How can I possibly argue with that?
Message to anyone thinking about writing a Notre Dame to Big Ten article: don’t. There is no logic behind it. It will never happen. Just do yourself a favor and stop.
As for Dave? Here is your prize.