We in Big Ten country have known for a few days that UCLA and USC will soon be joining the Big Ten. There have been countless discussions on what this means for the college football landscape, and what other changes could possibly be down the pipeline.
Some reports have stated the Big Ten could expand further but is waiting on a decision by Notre Dame first. It has long been known that the Big Ten has coveted Notre Dame for geographical and historic reasons. Multiple rivals of the Fighting Irish, Purdue, Michigan, and Michigan State, all play in the Big Ten and would love to get a chance to battle with Notre Dame again. With Notre Dame’s agreement with the ACC however, that dream seemed long gone.
Sources: Oregon and Washington have been told by @bigten that it is standing pat for now. Waiting on a decision by Notre Dame.
— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) July 1, 2022
— Bleacher Report CFB (@BR_CFB) July 1, 2022
The recent additions of UCLA and USC further complicate this matter. There is a scenario now in place where the Big Ten can hold the USC rivalry over Notre Dame’s head. With major money coming to save UCLA and help bolster a surprisingly irrelevant USC football program, the Big Ten can dangle the most important rivalry to Notre Dame to coerce them to join.
Notre Dame’s move to the Big Ten is inevitable
Before, the cards had never been in the Big Ten’s favor in this negotiation, but the move to add the Los Angeles schools now means the Big Ten has what Notre Dame craves. Think of this the same way as if Ohio State ever got the wanderlust to leave the Big Ten. Having the rivalry with Michigan laying in the balance, the Buckeyes would never dream of leaving to throw away history and a national spotlight game. Notre Dame is in this exact situation.
Would the Fighting Irish really stay with a far inferior conference without any major historical ties while the Big Ten holds FOUR serious rivals theirs? The Big Ten playing power broker leaves open the possibility that this USC addition specifically was all in the pursuit of forcing the Irish to join the conference they should’ve been a part of from the start.
Nation, how do you think this will play out? Is it just a matter of time before Notre Dame announces that they too are joining the Big Ten?