Thank You Texas

The University of Texas announced on Monday that they would be staying in the Big 12 after flirting with leaving the conference for the Pac 10 last week.  Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Texas AM were quick to follow suit thus saving the Big 12 (now just 10 teams) and in essence placing any conference talk for Notre Dame on the back burner.

Texas's decision to stay in the Big 12 Monday should help Notre Dame preserve its Independence. (Photo - IconSMI)

For a moment last week it looked like Notre Dame would have to seriously address the notion of joining a conference.  Colorado and Nebraska had left the Big 12, and five other schools from the Big 12 were looking to do the same.  It looked as though the dominoes had started to fall in the “seismic shift” in conferences everyone had been talking about for months was under way.

Had Texas and its fellow Big 12 rivals ditched the conference, the Big 12 wouldn’t have survived.

The impact of the Big 12 disbanding could have easily been felt in South Bend.

With more Big 12 schools searching for a conference and other conferences trying to catch up to what would have been a 16 team Pac 10, it’s very possible Notre Dame could have been backed into a corner it’s been trying to avoid for years.

Texas staying in the Big 12, along with the remaining 9 teams, however, likely puts an end to the realignment.

For now, it appears as though Notre Dame has weathered the storm.

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick had said all along that despite the rampant reports and rumors from unnamed sources that have filled the internet, the Irish preferred to remain Independent unless they were forced otherwise.

The only way Notre Dame could have been forced into a conference would have been if the super conference concept were adapted by the major conferences – something that could have happened had the Pac 10 added Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State as they were rumored to be close to doing last week.

Had the super conference idea took off, the Big East – Notre Dame’s partner for all sports other than football – could have been affected.  And in the end, that is really what could push the Irish into a conference for football.  If anything were ever to happen with the Big East and Notre Dame were to lose that partnership for its other sports, then Swarbrick and the ND admin would have some very difficult choices to make.

For now though, it appears as though Texas’s decision to stay within the Big 12 will help Notre Dame preserve it’s independence.

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  1. When I look at the Helmets lined up accross the top of this web site it becomes apparent that this is one of the more unique schedules in all of college football. Especially the games between Oct.23rd and Nov.20th.
    (Western Michigan, Navy at Giants field, Tulsa, Utah, and Army at Yankee stadium.)I never speculate about a schedule. I’ve seen too many preseason polls that claim a schedule too easy, only to discover by years end that it turned out to be pretty tough.
    But the uniqueness only happends because of our independence.
    I shudder at the thought of being confined to a confrence. Playing the same teams year after year. What a drag.

  2. I am with Shaz – plus with the way and the rate the government is spending our money we wont likely have 3 more years….GO IRISH! GO BK! The right guy at the right time!

  3. Now considering what just happened, it would behoove ND to look out on the horizon and design a new model for independent football rather than allowing conferences dictating the direction of college football. We will only have a few years at best before Texas and others will want another raise from 20 to 25 million a year from TV revenue. ND should start today planning preservation of independent football rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop. Innovative thinking and a few new alliances will go a long way to insuring we will have independent football for a long time to come.


    1. I think Swarbrick is already doing just that. I wonder just how much influence he had on the Texas decision.

      Imagine a super independent “confenrence” with the likes of Texas, Florida, USC, and Miami leaving their respective conferences to play a national schedule and to collect their own revenue!!

      Notre Dame is not the only school with a national following, just the only one going it alone at the moment.

      But, I think Texas could pull of its own network as well as Notre Dame. It only takes one or two to join the Irish for the whole conference coalitions to collapse.

      I think the landscape will change over the next 5-10 years. But I would not be surprised to learn that Swarbrick is a big player in the way is shakes out.

  4. Seems that by having Texas hold down the Big 12 they may have bought us some time to remain as a independant.
    With coach Kelly looking like he may be able to lead us back to a winning tradition, the next few years, may be our best, and final chance, to win a national championship as a independant.
    Reguardless, I’m going to try to enjoy whatever time we have left as a independant before the wolves of the super conferences come calling agian.

    1. woah there shaz.

      I’m just as excited about Kelly as anyone, but it’s a little early to start proclaiming Kelly looks capable of leading us anywhere besides September 4th against Purdue.

      Yes, I have been burned in the past. Meaning I’m not proclaiming the deeds of Kelly until after year 3 at least. I mean let’s face it, Weis AND Willingham looked awesome after year 1. That didn’t work out, so I’m just going to cheer the team and hold off on judgement until I see a clear picture of where we’re going.

      1. Bill,

        I have taken the same stance for several years. But this time it feels different to me.
        For the first time in a long time ND landed their first choice in a head coach.

        (If we had landed our first choice last time out, it would have been Urban Meyer!)

        Kelly is not an NFL’er but a lifetime college coach. He knows the college game and the college player.
        He has a coaching staff that he knows and has worked with in the past.
        He has inherited, at least on paper, one of the more gifted rosters in college football.

        And while every new head football coach who comes to ND boasts about what a great oppertunity it is, I really believe Kelly when he say’s it’s his dream job.

        He’s proven himself in recruiting, made all the right moves so far, and said all the right things. He has given me no reason to doubt his ability.

        I’m not saying that we will contend for the national Championship year in and year out, but I do think 6-6 is a thing of the past.

        Occasionally the planets align.
        When you get the right guy, at the right time, with the right coaches and players.
        Good things happen. I believe
        this is ne of those times. it just feels right.

        I’m a Notre Dame fan.
        I’m not passing judgement, but I am willing to go on a little faith. Sometimes, when it comes to being a ND fan that’s all we have.
        I’ve been doing it my whole life.
        Why stop now.

        It’s OK to believe

      2. Great view Shazamrock. I totally agree with you about Kelly. I cannot believe those ND fans who cannot bring themselves to believe in Brian K. I also think that what you said in your first comment is on target.

        Believe we must…GO IRISH!

  5. Just read where the pressure will be on Texas to strengthen its out of conference scheduling now. Let’s show our appreciation by scheduling a home and home clash with them. ND v Texas….now that would be fun.

  6. Does that mean that the Big 10 and the Big 12 should change names? The ultimate slap in the face to the Big 10 (now with 12 teams) would be if Notre Dame would join the Big 12 (now with 10 teams).

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