College Football Insider: Irish eyes turn away from Big Ten

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER
  • Updated: September 14, 2012 - 6:24 AM

Notre Dame's long flirtation with the Big Ten ended with news that the university's prestigious athletic programs would link up with the ACC.

It's a good thing that Jim Delany walked away from negotiations with Notre Dame a couple of years ago. That allowed the Big Ten commissioner to feign indifference Wednesday, when the news broke that the Irish had found a willing conference to partner with - and it wasn't his.

Delany stood on principle, insisting that the Big Ten's share-and-share-alike structure was more important than the prestige of adding what remains, hard as it can be to accept, college football's most attention-getting attraction. (The Irish, now 24 years distant from their last national championship, are sort of the Anna Kournikova of the sport -- hogging attention far beyond their ability to win.)

It was the right call for Delany and the Big Ten, which has avoided the sort of rancor and favoritism that constantly threatens to pull the Big 12 apart. Notre Dame wanted special treatment, the right to keep football and its huge revenues separate from the conference structure that everyone else lives under. The deal the Atlantic Coast Conference gave the Irish, basically.

"We are very pleased with both our current conference membership," Delany said in a statement issued by the conference on Wednesday, "and our conference structure."

But standing on principle frequently involves suffering some pain, or what good are principles? And so it was Wednesday, when the Big Ten's dream of adding Notre Dame died for good. The pain isn't in the fact that the Irish aren't joining --the conference came to terms with that awhile back.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick's announcement, however, stung the Big Ten where it hurt: in its pride. It's confirmation that Notre Dame not only doesn't need the Big Ten, it doesn't particularly want it, either. The Irish's other sports needed to flee the Big East before they were forced to take bizarre road trips to places such as San Diego, Boise and Dallas. The football team wanted easier access to second-tier bowls such as the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Chick-fil-A Bowl, for the many years when they are not national contenders. And still they wouldn't call Delany.

Truthfully, the Irish don't seem to have much more than location in common with their Big Ten neighbors. They're an East Coast team stranded in Indiana; they're New York City's team in exile. Even in decline, they have a national brand that no individual Big Ten member can match. It's the glamour game on almost every one of its opponents' schedules.

Which is why, once the Irish begin canceling games with Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan in order to soften a schedule that's been beefed up with five ACC opponents a year, the insult will be compounded.

It hurts when your crush turns you down for a date. It's worse when she starts seeing someone else.

Which is why Delany's statement on Notre Dame sounded like denial. "Today's announcement ... was not a surprise," it read. "Both the Big 12 and the ACC have openly expressed an interest in adding Notre Dame under such a condition."

See? Our heart isn't broken. And who would go out with such a total flirt, anyway?

  • related content

  • Big Ten power poll

    Friday September 14, 2012

    1. Michigan State (2-0; vs. Notre Dame)

  • College football short takes

    Thursday September 13, 2012

    Good thing the Pac-12 backed out of its scheduling agreement with the Big Ten, isn't it? It'll save the Midwest some embarrassment.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 36 3rd Qtr
Cleveland 61
LA Lakers 50 3rd Qtr
Charlotte 50
Sacramento 61 2nd Qtr 1:54
New York 33
Houston 42 2nd Qtr 8:24
Atlanta 32
Utah 2 1st Qtr 9:14
Memphis 2
Washington 2 1st Qtr 8:47
Chicago 7
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Denver
Nashville 1 2nd Prd 11:20
New Jersey 2
Calgary 2 2nd Prd 12:53
Philadelphia 0
Washington 3 2nd Prd 14:25
Columbus 1
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 1:11
Tampa Bay 1
Toronto 0 1st Prd 3:51
Florida 0
Ottawa 0 1st Prd 16:11
Minnesota 0
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
Edmonton
San Jose 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Ole Miss 36 2nd Half 15:32
Alabama 40
Eastern Mich 37 2nd Half 16:52
Ball State 29
Kent State 47 2nd Half 17:45
Bowling Green 41
Ohio 35 2nd Half 17:36
Buffalo 51
Georgetown 34 2nd Half 15:25
Butler 30
Toledo 44 2nd Half 14:55
Central Mich 50
Rhode Island 30 2nd Half 17:35
Dayton 40
Youngstown St 41 2nd Half 17:04
Detroit 37
North Carolina 49 2nd Half 12:54
Georgia Tech 27
Loyola-Maryland 20 2nd Half 17:26
Holy Cross 38
Iowa 32 2nd Half 19:29
Indiana 28
Akron 33 2nd Half 15:28
Miami-Ohio 26
Army 29 2nd Half 16:42
Navy 31
Maryland 41 2nd Half 15:24
Rutgers 30
Kennesaw St 19 2nd Half 18:48
USC Upstate 47
Jacksonville 36 2nd Half 17:50
Fla Gulf Coast 45
Lipscomb 37 2nd Half 17:53
Northern Ky 38
Stetson 28 1st Half 1:42
North Florida 41
Wright State 6 1st Half 15:52
Ill-Chicago 4
Western Mich 11 1st Half 15:21
Northern Ill 9
Nebraska Omaha 14 1st Half 15:59
North Dakota 7
Houston Baptist 2 1st Half 15:58
Abilene Christian 9
NC State 8:00 PM
Clemson
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Florida
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Georgia
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Kansas
Auburn 8:00 PM
Missouri
Michigan 8:00 PM
Northwestern
Villanova 8:15 PM
Creighton
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 30 2nd Half 13:00
UMass Lowell 43
West Virginia 6 1st Half 16:10
Kansas State 4
TCU 4 1st Half 15:00
Texas 8
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close