Notre Dame's storied independence might not be as rock-solid as previously thought, if comments today by ND AD Jack Swarbick are any indication.
"You can each come up with a scenario that would force our hand," Swarbick told a group of reporters in New York, including one from the Associated Press.
Such a scenario would result from a "seismic" realignment push like, say, getting Texas to join the Big Ten, along with, say, Missouri, Pitt and Syracuse. Tell ND that it would be team number 16 in that conference, with all the money that comes with it, and it's a game-changer.
Once the Big Ten is done, the Pac 10 is expected to expand up to 12. Colorado, BYU and Utah are among the schools always mentioned. And if the Big 12 does get its schools pillaged, they'll have to add a few teams as well - TCU, SMU, maybe grab Arkansas from the Big 12.
It would all be a massive shakeup, and Notre Dame doesn't necessarily want to get left out of that.
Oh, who am I kidding. This is all about TV revenue for the Irish, given that Notre Dame ignored its faculty who wanted to join the Big Ten back in 1999 in order to keep their NBC gig. The reason that's so significant is because ESPN's Adam Rittenberg estimated that the TV deal the Irish would get in the Big Ten could be twice as much money as they'd get by staying independent.
Money talks, and Notre Dame may walk... right into the Big Ten's arms.