The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have always stated that they want to maintain their football independence, but now with the deal between the Big 12 and SEC creating a bowl matchup between the two league champions Notre Dame may be forced to join a league. With this new alliance it is leaving Notre Dame less options for their post season destination, and in the long run could lose millions of dollars by staying independent.
College football is starting shape up to have four major conferences between the Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big 12, and while Notre Dame has always felt like a natural fit for the Big Ten that league is not in a hurry to increase to 14 members.
Notre Dame has been rumored to go to the ACC, but that league is facing instability with the Florida State situation who is involved in rumors to join the Big 12. However, the Big 12 is probably going to add at least two teams in the near future and Notre Dame should be leaning toward trying to find a soft landing there. At least one inside source believes with the uncertainty of the ACC that Notre Dame should be looking at the Big 12:
"Now it's going to put more pressure on Notre Dame to look at the Big 12," said one source involved in the playoff discussions.
The Big 12 has now positioned themselves as one of the four elite conferences in college football and they can offer Notre Dame both conference stability and a whole lot of cash if they do decide to give up their independence and join the Big 12.