Irish to Lose Football Independence??

By: Nick Shepkowski
Chicagonow.com and 670 The Score

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AD Jack Swarbrick stated today that expansion in other conferences could mean the Irish may have to give up their football independence at some point.  Previous to this there haven't been many rumors to the Irish giving up their independence, but if the moves made by the Big Ten and Pac-10 are major enough, the Irish may join a league for football.

Its not surprising to me and it shouldn't be surprising to you that Notre Dame may one day have to join a conference.  Despite Notre Dame's biggest rival being USC, its biggest rivalry with a conference has to be the Big Ten where they play Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue on a yearly basis. 

It shouldn't come as a surprise that any of those three teams would consider dropping Notre Dame if their conference was to add a championship game.  Why make it that much harder to get to a BCS game or the BCS Championship by having an extra BCS opponent on the schedule?  In turn the lack of set competition would make Notre Dame have to join a conference in order to keep their schedule respectable.

I am still convinced Notre Dame would be able to join the Big Ten if ever forced to join a conference whether Joe Paterno likes it or not.  Why?  Location is perfect for the Big Ten, their academic standards are up to par with Big Ten schools, and the national appeal for Notre Dame is still there despite not being a national champion on the football field for now 21 years.

The Big Ten would jump all over the opportunity to add Notre Dame given the opportunity, don't let anyone fool you.

Let's hope the Irish stay independent for as long as possible but when the day comes for them to jump ship, know the Big Ten will still be there.

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