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Realignment Today: What's next for the Big 12, Notre Dame and others now that the BCS is one step closer to a new format?

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Counting today, there are just 10 days remaining in the month of June and, after yesterday, we finally appear to be getting somewhere with the proposed BCS changes.

You know what that means. Once a final decision on some kind of four-team playoff is made, that could get the conference realignment cards shuffling once again and that could mean busy times for the Big 12 Conference.

On Wednesday, conference realignment darling Orangebloods.com ran with a story citing sources who told the site that Notre Dame was moving closer to taking its Olympic sports to the Big 12, a move that, clearly, would pave the way for Notre Dame’s powerhouse football program to someday join them.

Here’s a look at that article:

http://texas.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1377426

Not long after it was released, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick offered his thoughts on the BCS news and talked briefly about the Orangebloods report.

Included in his comments were this quote about the Orangebloods report: “I have no idea what prompted that. It is not based on any discussion, any meeting, anything we have done.”

Here’s a quick recap from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News:

http://collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/06/notre-dame-ad-denies-big-12-move-is-immi.html

Many sources have told me throughout the past couple of months that finalizing the BCS changes was a major hurdle that had to be cleared before the Big 12 would even seriously consider expansion. In May, multiple Big 12 officials and athletic directors were united in their stance that the league was happy with 10 schools and was not actively looking to expand.

True as that may be, at least a couple of them also told me that the league always has its eyes and ears open and admitted that circumstances could arise that would entice the league to look harder at going back to 12 or beyond.

A move by Notre Dame — even if it’s just the Olympic sports for now — could be such a move. And, of course, it’s always wise to keep an eye on what’s happening in the ACC with schools like Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech, all of which have been rumored to have entertained the idea of kicking the Big 12’s tires.

Of course, if the final change to the BCS simply requires that the selection committee selects the four best teams in the country to play for the national title each year, there would not be nearly as much of a sense of urgency on Notre Dame's end to tie itself to a conference. That would certainly decrease the likelihood of any Big 12 expansion - at least a little.

Here’s a good look at Notre Dame’s belief that it could flourish in the new BCS format from the Chicago Tribune’s Brian Hamilton. Interestingly enough, the Big 12 is not mentioned anywhere in Hamilton’s piece.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-0614-notre-dame-college-football--20120614,0,7468605.story

As for where we stand with the BCS, here the take from SI.com’s Stewart Mandel on why the BCS commissioners’ adoption of a proposal for a four-team playoff determined by a selection committee is a step in the right direction.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/stewart_mandel/06/20/bcs-four-team-playoff-system/index.html

Here's another look at what went down with the BCS on Wednesday:

http://msn.foxsports.com/collegefootball/story/bcs-commissioners-reach-consensus-on-2014-playoff-plan-062012

From here, the new BCS format still must be approved by the presidential oversight committee, which is expected to meet sometime next week.

Once that happens — assuming it does — things could really begin to get interesting. Of course, there remains the strong possibility that things could remain quiet on the realignment front.

Stay tuned...

Comments

Richard Payton 2 years, 6 months ago

Why might the Big 12 tell Notre Dame no to this?

bradh 2 years, 6 months ago

Matt, you mention "Notre Dame was moving closer to taking its Olympic sports to the Big 12, a move that, clearly, would pave the way for Notre Dame’s powerhouse football program to someday join them." I agree that it would make it easier for Notre Dame to join the Big 12 for football if their other teams were already here, but everyone thought the same thing when Notre Dame joined the Big East. It seems much more likely to me that Notre Dame is using the Big 12 like they used the Big East, as an easy way to provide schedules for their non-football sports while maintaining football independence. What does the Big 12 gain, other than imbalanced schedules and some mediocre teams, if Notre Dame joins the conference with only it's non-football sports?

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