Notre Dame football: Big 10 or Bust?

In light of almost certain SEC & Big 10 football conference expansion in the near future, must Notre Dame join the Big 10 in order to remain relevant ?

Notre Dame’s 2021-2022 football schedule of 11 games includes Big 10 member Ohio State and PAC 12 members Cal, Stanford, and USC.

If the Big 10 and Pac12 conferences merge, who will Notre Dame play in order to remain relevant in the national rankings ?

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Excluding Big 10 and Pac 12 opponents, Notre Dame’s football schedule includes Marshall, UNC, UNLV, Clemson, Navy, Boston College,& Syracuse.

As the top two Power 5 football conferences expand, there will be little to no opportunity for Notre Dame–as an independent–to play against any Big 10 or Pac 12 football team. Conferences with 16 to 20 or 24 teams need to play other conference members in order to qualify for the conference champlonship game and in order to generate excitement within the conference.

Does the Pac 12 or the Big 10 really care about enriching Notre Dame football ?

With the new NCAA rules regarding NIL (name, image, likeness),who will want to play for Notre Dame ?

Lots to unpack in those two posts, but ND football will highly likely remain independent. That’s in their DNA. And if they do join a football conference, the contractually obligated to join the ACC. Will ND break that contract? They’re not Texas and OU.

The Pac-12 and B1G may be exploring an agreement between them to have their teams play each other each year, but I sincerely doubt they’ll merge.

All that said, it’ll be interesting to watch how things will unfold. The more logical outcome is that the Big 12 disappears and the remaining teams join the AAC, Pac-12 and/or B1G.

I assume ND, as independent, could pick up non-conference games, as a carve out of some future agreement(s), against their usual opponents, like USC and Stanford, and maybe pickup a few games against the B1G, ACC and SEC since those conferences will probably allow non-conference games to be played.


Unlikely that the SEC or Big 10 will allow non-conference games during the regular season due to a greater number of teams in each conference.

Everyone. Lots of money playing for a popular team with wealthy alums.

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If that were true, then the University of Texas would not be leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

Texas cannot even win the Big 12 title & is likely to get slaughtered playing SEC teams, but recruiting in the era of NIL requires teams to be in a high profile conference.

Notre Dame’s best days of football are behind us.


There are currently 12 +/- “regular season” conference football games on a college schedule. And 8 of them (for SEC), before Covid, were in-conference. The SEC teams will need non-conference teams to fill their schedule, even with 20 or 24 teams, if it ever gets that far. At 32 teams, who really knows.

ND brings fans, money and NBC. Anyway, the B1G, who has been chasing them forever, or the ACC, would welcome ND immediately into their conference, no questions asked.

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The SEC & the Big 10 are unlikely to allow non-conference games during the regular season with expanded membership.

Yes, Notre Dame will be welcomed into the ACC as a full member if Notre Dame decides to play football as an ACC conference team.

Notre Dame is all about money–not independence. The Notre Dame sized money is in the Big 10,and then in the SEC.

Anyone who believes that Notre Dame’s football status as an independent is not ALL about money may want to study the situation further.


ND will do what it views as being in its best financial interests. As do other teams and conferences. If they thought it was in their best financial interests, ND would breach whatever agreement they have with the ACC in a heartbeat.

As conferences expand, there will likely be more conference games which leaves less room for non-conference games. Especially in the middle of the season. Doesn’t mean its impossible but tougher.

Good friend of mine (two kids who attend/recently graduated ND) that without football, ND is John Carroll (local to us) but in a worse city. LOL

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They aligned with the ACC last year, and don’t the have a ROFR agreement with the ACC? I’d think that would be more likely.

B1G would be the next logical choice. SEC doesn’t make sense to me.

Would love to see southern schools come up to midwest to play games in November. :slight_smile:

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That’s an opinion, which I don’t share.

ND will be just fine. They have a legion of fans, alumni, etc., who will support them. ND has a seat on the CFP committee, which controls the football playoff system, and the B1G conference president went to ND.

It’s always about money. You’re not breaking any new news there.

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Notre Dame would be an unlikely candidate for SEC membership even though the money is almost as good as Big 10 money.

Notre Dame’s culture aligns better with the Big 10 as do location and financial payout.

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And, ACC teams are rumored to be potentially being poached by the SEC and B1G, which means ND may not even be bound any current agreements.

There have been discussions–especially in the Big 10–about limiting or eliminating non-conference games over the past several years.

SEC will have little to no choice if it wants to manage a mega conference.

While ND does have an agreement to join the ACC, if ND joins any conference, ND does play B1G hockey.

Nobody cares about ice hockey as it makes for bad television due to the small puck.

Okay,few care about ice hockey. Very few. Very,very few. And, yes, I understand that I am now ineligible to cross the Northern border into Canada.

Pre-Covid? I’ve read nothing about that, but please post an article of substance, where the B1G or SEC was discussing eliminating games pre-pandemic.

I do. And there are a lot of hockey fans out there who would disagree with you. In any case, there’s a relationship between the B1G and ND, in terms of one sport already.

Been going on for many years now. Started years before Covid 19.

In another thread (about the University of Texas joining the SEC), I encouraged the Big 10 to go after Notre Dame even if it meant renaming the conference from the “Big 10” to “Notre Dame and the Big 10”. So far, it appears that no one is listening to that suggestion, but silence is not neccesarily a no.