Report Claims Notre Dame Is Content To Stay As An Independent In Football

Notre Dame is the white whale of conference realignment. The elite academic and athletic institution in South Bend, Indiana, has long been arguably the biggest prize of any school outside the Big Ten and SEC.

You can’t tell the story of college football without Notre Dame. Once Knute Rockne stepped on campus in 1910, Notre Dame was almost instantly the biggest brand in college football, and have remained one of the sports’ biggest brands.

It’s also the last major institution to not join a conference for football. 40 years ago, schools like Penn State, Florida State, Pitt, Georgia Tech, and others were football independents. But, they’ve all joined leagues, and Notre Dame, who was famously rejected due to their Catholic affiliations three times in the first half of the 20th century, is the last one standing.

Of course, the Big Ten would not keep them out now due to their Catholic affiliation now. Honestly, the league would bend over backwards to get the Fighting Irish, who are a perfect geographical, academic, and athletic fit. But, the Irish do not want to give up their independence in football, as their television contract with NBC allows not joining a league to be financial viable.

In a way, Notre Dame is only pseudo-independent. Their non-football sports play in the ACC with hockey playing in the Big Ten, and they’re required to play five ACC opponents in football each year. For some reason, they don’t want to go to the Big Ten, make a lot more money, and play teams they have longstanding rivalries with like USC, Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Purdue.

Conference realignment has gone crazy lately, if you’ve been under a rock. Colorado has already announced they are moving to the Big 12, with Arizona State, Utah, and Arizona likely right behind them. Washington and Oregon seem to be headed to the Big Ten, and Florida State is itching to get out of the ACC.

As for Notre Dame? Yeah, they’re fine where they’re at.

Just join the Big Ten already, fellas. It’s inevitable.