Realignment Today: What's next for the Big 12, Notre Dame and others now that the BCS is one step closer to a new format?


Counting today, there are just 10 days remaining in the month of June and, after yesterday, we finally appear to be getting somewhere with the proposed BCS changes.

You know what that means. Once a final decision on some kind of four-team playoff is made, that could get the conference realignment cards shuffling once again and that could mean busy times for the Big 12 Conference.

On Wednesday, conference realignment darling ran with a story citing sources who told the site that Notre Dame was moving closer to taking its Olympic sports to the Big 12, a move that, clearly, would pave the way for Notre Dame’s powerhouse football program to someday join them.

Here’s a look at that article:

Not long after it was released, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick offered his thoughts on the BCS news and talked briefly about the Orangebloods report.

Included in his comments were this quote about the Orangebloods report: “I have no idea what prompted that. It is not based on any discussion, any meeting, anything we have done.”

Here’s a quick recap from Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News:

Many sources have told me throughout the past couple of months that finalizing the BCS changes was a major hurdle that had to be cleared before the Big 12 would even seriously consider expansion. In May, multiple Big 12 officials and athletic directors were united in their stance that the league was happy with 10 schools and was not actively looking to expand.

True as that may be, at least a couple of them also told me that the league always has its eyes and ears open and admitted that circumstances could arise that would entice the league to look harder at going back to 12 or beyond.

A move by Notre Dame — even if it’s just the Olympic sports for now — could be such a move. And, of course, it’s always wise to keep an eye on what’s happening in the ACC with schools like Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech, all of which have been rumored to have entertained the idea of kicking the Big 12’s tires.

Of course, if the final change to the BCS simply requires that the selection committee selects the four best teams in the country to play for the national title each year, there would not be nearly as much of a sense of urgency on Notre Dame's end to tie itself to a conference. That would certainly decrease the likelihood of any Big 12 expansion - at least a little.

Here’s a good look at Notre Dame’s belief that it could flourish in the new BCS format from the Chicago Tribune’s Brian Hamilton. Interestingly enough, the Big 12 is not mentioned anywhere in Hamilton’s piece.,0,7468605.story

As for where we stand with the BCS, here the take from’s Stewart Mandel on why the BCS commissioners’ adoption of a proposal for a four-team playoff determined by a selection committee is a step in the right direction.

Here's another look at what went down with the BCS on Wednesday:

From here, the new BCS format still must be approved by the presidential oversight committee, which is expected to meet sometime next week.

Once that happens — assuming it does — things could really begin to get interesting. Of course, there remains the strong possibility that things could remain quiet on the realignment front.

Stay tuned...


kuguardgrl13 10 years, 3 months ago

14 schools gets pretty complicated when scheduling. In football, 12 schools can have a league tournament, and you can play games (against all of your division opponents and half the teams in the other). In basketball, with 12 schools you can play everyone every year and have a conference tournament. With 14, you still play conference football games against some in your division and a few in the other, but divisions aren't nice for scheduling like 12. You also don't play everyone in basketball. I could really only see Big XII going back to 12 but no higher. We like getting to play everyone in basketball. And with 10, we play everyone in football and basketball.

baldwinjhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

The Mormons will never be invited. Our conference plays a lot of different sporting activities on sunday.

jhox 10 years, 3 months ago

I agree, all sports or nothing. I firmly believe if ND joins a conference in all sports it will be the Big 10. We're kidding ourselves if we think we could land them in football. I hope the Big 12 is smart enough to realize this and not get snookered into taking only their Olympic sports.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 3 months ago

Baby steps...

First they drove on a rectangle, the flaws were obvious.

Then they drove on a square, still pretty clunky, but not without the defenders who claimed "It worked fine for me for years!"

Then some engineer designed an octagon and it drove well enough, but still was too bumpy to drink your coffee while cruising. But it was a marked improvement.

Then one night Timothy Leary spiked the cool-aid and that same engineer realized what the world needed was a wheel.

We're at the octagon, just be patient and the wheel will happen.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 3 months ago

"Here’s a good look at Notre Dame’s belief that it could flourish," is funny.

Have they ever heard of a format they didn't think they could flourish in? Wait, the format where they don't pick over-rated turds, they won't flourish in that one.

Not to worry, the Big 10 voted that format down decades ago.

jgkojak 10 years, 3 months ago

It looks like the direction they are going will 1) encourage Notre Dame to stay an Independent, because they can make the most favorable sched for them to achieve that mix of SOS and winnable games.

2) encourages Boise St and San Diego St to stick with the better SOS in the Big East.

3) probably lights a fire under FSU and Clemson to get OUT of the ACC.

My view is that the B12 will add FSU and Clemson, but not have a championship game.

Spencer Goff 10 years, 3 months ago

When Mitch Holthus proposed the idea of adding Notre Dame in on a "special case" basis it felt like a desperate move for a conference that was lining up to be abused and used like the Big East was for the last decade or more.

Today this feels completely different. It actually makes sense for all parties concerned. And to be honest, the Big 12 could potentially go through with this deal and not NEED Notre Dame to ever join. They can freely add Florida State and Clemson, who would both love to play Notre Dame every other year, and not worry about "if and when" Notre Dame will come aboard fully.

This is one of those rare deals that actually makes sense for all parties concerned. Fans benefit, the schools benefit, the television networks benefit, EVERYBODY benefits. Well, except the Big 10 and ACC... They don't benefit.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 3 months ago

Letting ND do as it wants makes our already hybrid league appear even stranger. Who's to say if ND did join that they'd bolt after a few years to the Big 10? I'd like to get to 12, but I'm not sure they'd fit if they dictate the terms.

Vernon Riggs 10 years, 3 months ago

If the Big12 is adding FSU and Clemson for all sports and Notre Dame for non-football sports, the Big12 should go ahead and add two more schools from the ACC.

Football - Two Division of 7. Play everyone in division, play one rival game and two inter-division for a total of 9 league games.Have ND play 3-6 games vs Big12 schools. Notre Dame games count as inter-division games

Basketball - 3 Division of 5. Play home/away with everyone in division, play 1 game with all other teams for a total of 18 games, play-offs bottoms 3 drop out, seed 1-12 and play, no byes

If Notre Dame joins full time, reach out to another school to grow to 16 teams.

To grow to 14 football schools: FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Va Tech

To grow to 16 football schools if Notre Dame joins: Pick of Maryland, North Carolina St, Louisville, or Boston College.

bradh 10 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand why we don't invite FSU and some other team right now. That pretty much seals the fate of the ACC and guarantees that ND doesn't land there. If ND wants to join later, we just add another team with ND. All waiting does is give the ACC and the other conferences time to come up with plans to stop the Big 12. It looks to me like we'll be wondering why other conferences are doing so well and why our conference failed in 6 years.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

The BCS format will influence what ND does, and so the Big 12 has to wait for resolution on BCS format before B12 pursues its two larger objectives: a) expansion to achieve a two time zone foot print; and b) expansion to cement regional distribution infrastructure implementation. Because distribution infrastructure extension up the Ohio Valley, up the east coast, and Florida to Texas, and assembling a related university pork barreling alliance will depend on Romney's election, much of Big 12 realignment will likely wait until after the election.

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