The Notre Dame football team is a prime target for every major conference, and for the Big Ten, they are the final piece of the puzzle.
Playing as an Independent, the Notre Dame football program certainly has advantages that other college programs do not. They are not tied to a conference and can play any team they choose to, while also keeping long-standing rivalries alive every season.
However, we are seeing a major shift in conference realignments in recent years, and it has decimated some of the storied conferences in college football history. This past week, USC and UCLA decided to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, which got people thinking that the Irish could be the next to join.
Recently, Dennis Dodd from CBSSports.com tweeted out that both Oregon and Washington want to join the Big Ten, but the conference is waiting to decide to see what Notre Dame football plans to do. The Irish already play hockey in the Big Ten, and with UCLA and USC now in the conference, a move would make sense in terms of rivalry games.
Should Notre Dame football join the Big Ten?
There are plenty of advantages for the Irish staying independent, as their schedule is usually tougher than teams that play within a conference. Sure, there are five ACC games per year, but that conference usually has strong teams, as evident by the Irish taking on what should be a very good Clemson squad this season.
However, joining the Big Ten would also have advantages, as they would be able to play the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, and USC every year. Wins against those programs would bolster their resume for the College Football Playoff, and the Big Ten has enough television money to lure the Irish.
The Notre Dame football program is recruiting on another level right now, and in the process, shattering its recruiting ceiling.
Notre Dame football has to seriously consider joining a conference, specifically the Big Ten, and possibly begin play in 2024. Of course, they could also stand pat, keeping their Independent status, and continuing to play tough schedules, and be in the CFP conversation every year.