With the wheels of realignment kicking into gear once again the only conference that has been consistently linked with expansion is ours, the Big 12. What does this mean? Firstly it means that the Big 12 is seen as a solid enough to be desirable to other schools, despite being the victim of the last two realignment raids, which is all good news from the TCU standpoint. Secondly, it means that there are a lot of schools out there who may covet entry into the Big 12 conference- which is all well and good, but what do we really know about these schools and how attached they are to their conference, or which ones would be the best fit for the Big 12? Fortunately Frogs O' War is here to enlighten as we share some basic information and interesting facts about the universities rumored to be interested in Big 12 membership. Make the jump if you will and learn what there is to know about the sixth school to be investigated: The University of Notre Dame
Tale of the Tape: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Stadium: Notre Dame Stadium. Pretty self-explanatory.
Championships: Eleven claimed national championships (1924, 1929, 1930, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977, 1988)- though some pollsters of the day didn't seem to know any teams other than Notre Dame, so grain of salt and all that.
Conference History: Short section here. None.
Traditions: Long section here. Where to start? The real gold in the helmets? The "Play like a champion today" sign? Touchdown Jesus? Waking up the echoes?
Rivals: They play just about everyone on their schedule for a trophy, but their most famous rivals are USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Navy and Purdue.
You may remember them from such TCU games as: A loss in 1972 is the only time that TCU and Notre Dame have played. There was a bit of a kerfuffle a few years back where the Notre Dame Athletic Director commented that they would be playing TCU in San Antonio the next season... without ever talking to TCU's AD about it. The game did not come to pass.
Are they interested in making the jump?: They dread the fact that it's even being discussed. Independence is how the Irish define themselves, and they consider the idea of conference championships beneath them.
Insisting on bringing any rivals with them?: If they want to bring Michigan and USC to the conference with them I say we listen. Why not be courteous after all?
Is the Big 12 their dream conference?: Not at all. Texas and Notre Dame maintain friendly relations and as a result of the Big 12's media rights Notre Dame could conceivably make more money in the Big 12 than they could in any other conference. The caveats? Notre Dame doesn't want to be in any conference as they make plenty of money all on their own, and if the day came when the Irish did decide to join a conference the Big Ten makes the most sense from geographic and historic standpoints. However, if some of the playoff proposals the Big Ten is throwing out there gain traction, Notre Dame may be left without much choice but to join a conference. Notre Dame fans will not tolerate not having access to national titles, and a conference champions playoff would put things out of reach for them. And which conference has top tier football and is in the expansion business? The Big 12.
Any factors we should count against them?: Their fans are even more convinced (delusional?) that every year will be the year of their triumphant return to perpetual glory. That gets old after a decade or two of mediocre results. Also the fact that they aren't coming, but they'll still be the lynchpin of every expansion debate is annoying as well.