Should Delany pull the rug from under the Irish?

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture
September 12, 2012 at 3:59p

I know many of you couldn't care less, or don't want Notre Dame in the B1G. I for one do want them. I think when everyone goes to 14 teams we will be put into a tough spot finding quality teams. I love tradition in college football and want to keep that intact.  There is a part of me that thinks Jim Delany should pull all B1G games from Notre Dame and force their hand. I think without Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue, Notre Dame loses out on tradition, and it hurts them more. Doing this would force them to join a conference IMO. I think they need those 3 games. I say we put the pressure on them to join a conference, and if it happens to be the ACC, good luck. I think its time we put the clamps on them. 

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hodge's picture

Problem is that, odds are, that gambit would kill ND's chances of ever joining the Big Ten.  Yes, they spurned us once, but I've got the feeling that Delaney wants to see how everything plays out when ND re-ups with NBC.  I could see him pulling a coup like that if the Irish aren't getting the kind of deal that they envision befitting a program of their stature.  It's also worth noting that NBC is trying to become a player in the college sports market--it could be worth Delaney trying to get B1G distribution on their network, which again would put clamps on ND to join a conference.
Truth is that ND has the name, reputation, and money to be a boon to any conference they want.  I mentioned this in the Buckshot, but I have the feeling that they may be dragging their feet with the B1G--who can offer them the most, money and status-wise--because they're worried about what happened to Penn State.  Everyone thought Paterno was going to make the Big Ten his whipping boy, instead they went down a pretty steady decline (very similar to ND's), eventually culminating in the Sandusky Scandal and resultant sanctions.
In retrospect, PSU would have been better off--brand-wise--going to the Big East.  They recruit that area heavily, and could have fought VT every year once Miami left for the ACC.  I think that ND is acutely aware of the fact that while the B1G may be down, they won't be for long: there's just too much money in those schools to allow for it.  Their road back to an elite program becomes much  harder against UM, OSU, MSU Wisconsin and Nebraska than against FSU and VT.

Buckeyeneer's picture

^^^ What he said. Good Analysis.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

NW Buckeye's picture

How many times to you have to ask the pretty girl out before you know she will never accept?  And, in this case, the girl really isn't that pretty to begin with - in fact, she's kind of ugly.  Move on to someone who wants your proposal. 

Bucks43201's picture what you have to do with the "ugly" girl, leave a wrong phone number, then sneak out of her bad at 4 am.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

hodge's picture

I think that Delaney wants to try one more time.  And who can blame him?  The Big Ten has three of the nation's top 5 brands in Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State (though widespread fandom will drop in the next ten years, they still have the largest active alumni network in the country), and Nebraska is easily within the top 15 (maybe 20).  Notre Dame is another top 5 brand, and if we secured their participation in football (which Delaney would require) BTN would be privvy to unprecidented revenue--along with all the schools in the conference.  
Think about NBC.  In what I said above (but will elaborate on here), I mentioned NBC possibly low-balling ND on a television contract due to their waning performance.  Now, imagine if that happens and Delaney comes in as a white knight and brokers a deal that NBC will exclusively cover all ND games (save for one or two requisite BTN games) if Notre Dame were to join the Big Ten.  I mean, who loses out on that deal?  Imagine ND-UM on NBC at 8?  We're talking ESPN-killing revenue off that game, especially if both programs continue in their upward trajectory.
ND's been dealt a serious reality-check recently, they've lost all autonomy in the BCS (which will not be extended to them in the playoff), and have seen their team fall from the ranks of the elite (though they are improving under Kelly); now, if Delaney were able to make it in their best interest to join the B1G conference money-wise I don't see how they could say no.
Besides, what better way to facilitate a renewed B1G and PAC 12 relationship than to prop up the ND-USC rivalry?
The real only issue here is ND's national schedule: especially with Delaney pushing for nine conference games, ND's traditional rivals will have to take a back seat to their eventual conference.  I could see maintaining USC every year, and maybe rotating their other marquee rivalry games every other year.

kb1's picture

Id ND is in B1G but plays their games on NBC ( save for two btn games ) how would the BTN revenue be split with a "part-time" member?

hodge's picture

Oh no, I was implying that ND would become a full member in this scenario. Their games would just be televised on NBC to court their pre-existing relationship. They'd be paid as a full time member because they would be full time members. 

NC_Buckeye's picture

Based on what I've read today -- there's pretty much no chance ND would ever end up in the Big Ten.
I think you're right, Hodge, that Domers are starting to see the writing on the wall. The combination of the upcoming playoffs, the continuing struggles of their football team (even under Kelly), and the fact that they're getting vibes from NBC that ND football is going to be relegated to the NBC Sports Network in the next contract. It's basically forcing ND to adopt a contingency plan (at least a better one than status quo). Swarbrick is saying they are committed to supporting their ACC membership should ND's situation change in football. (Couldn't find the article, sorry.) I think this is code to Irish supporters to get used to this notion because it's going to happen. They have such a strong identification to their football independence and being a national team -- it's pretty clear that he's going to have to ease them into football membership.
And as far as UM, MSU, and Purdue, looks like one ND blog-writer is aleady telling his readers that ND will probably stop playing Big Ten teams going forward. But yeah, I agree with you that I think Notre Dame is afraid of the Big Ten. Any prestige they have left would dissolve in a couple of years if they had to play a B1G schedule. ND fans know this. That's not the case in the ACC though. It's an easier platform for them to stay relevant.

RBuck's picture

From what I read the ACC upped their exit fee to $50 Million when ND joined. I think they're gonna be locked in for quite a while.

Long live the southend.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

They could keep USC and Navy for sure. then rotate in Stanford and Boston College.  Man ESPN love this move. They say its better than being in the B1G because of recruiting and "expanding their brand" down the east coast. 

Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.

johnblairgobucks's picture

Maybe Notre Dame just really doesn't want to join the Big 10.  If Delaney pulled Big 10 teams from ND's schedule in protest of ND's joining the ACC, ND would have no problem replacing those 3 games on their schedule with 3 teams of similar quality. 
ND is and has been Michigan, MSU and Purdue big OOC opponent.
I do hope on the heels of this announcement, that Sparty gives ND/ACC a black-eye on Saturday night.

Boom777's picture

They will just schedule the shit teams from the ACC. I wonder if they are doing this because The "U" will be not be a factor for some time.

Wherever you are, there you be!

setman's picture

Notre Dame needed a home for their non football sports with the Big East going into the toilet.
ACC was in a position of weakness with all of the media attention on the trustee from FSU's public statements on the dissatisfaction of FSU with the latest ACC media contracts.  There was a lot of specualtion in the media over the possibility of FSU, Clemson, and even Virginia Tech leaving for the Big 12.  Sure a lot of it was typical 'wagging the dog' crap from the media, particularly the four letter network.  But it was still creating a perception of weakness of the conference and a feeling of insecurity among the ACC schools (outside of the Carolina 4).
Notre Dame used this insecurity to their advantage.  The ACC had stated in the past their lack of interest in adding a non football member.  But now Notre Dame has managed to get what they want.  And the ACC has pretty much closed the barn door on anyone leaving their conference, or did no one notice the new "exit fee" that was announced today for that conference.  $50 million. 
Yes it does reduce the number of candidates, for B1G expansion.  But considering the past history of the B1G on expansion, there wasn't going to be any teams added anytime soon.  I think they are content with having a 12 team conference.  Especially, with Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska, and Penn State, four of the top 7 schools in all time football wins.  Would they love to add a Texas, or a Notre Dame?  Sure.  But they do not feel as if they need them.  And they are sure not going to give in to Notre Dame having a non football membership.  Or Texas keeping their TV rights to maintain the Longhorn Network.  They would rather stay at 12 than have either of those scenarios.  They will be patient and wait to see if the current model of the ACC can survive, which could lead to Notre Dame being added 10 years from now.  Or if the LHN winds up flopping to the point that ESPN cuts its losses which could lead to Texas and/or Oklahoma being added in that same time frame. 

buckz4evr's picture

The Michigan rivalry ends in '18 anyway. 

setman's picture

2 year hiatus, is how it was announced.   Similar to what happened when we played them in the mid 90's.  They didn't play MSU or Michigan either of those years. 

SPreston2001's picture

Screw ND! They have been dodging the B1G for years. Everyone knows it only makes sense for them to join the B1G yet they find more and more excuses as to why its better for them to remain independent. ND is living off its past glory days...