Another day, another report of the Big 12 embracing the current 10 institution membership it currently boasts. As the Big 12 meetings continue in Kansas City, more reports surface that the conference is content with its current membership, giving the impression that the athletic directors oppose expanding the conference.
Big 12 officials seem to have embraced the 10-school model. Then again, other conferences said they were happy at 12, then added teams.— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) May 31, 2012
Well, this is exactly in line with what acting Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas said on Wednesday following the first day of the meetings.
However, DeLoss Dodds, Texas' athletic director, once again spoke openly about Notre Dame.
DeLoss Dodds says Notre Dame has smart people looking at Big East and BCS changes. Said Irish would be "interesting conversation."— Chuck Carlton (@ChuckCarltonDMN) May 31, 2012
This is consistent with what Neinas said on Wednesday -- that they'd "accept" Notre Dame's phone call, should they come calling.
Notre Dame, however, is unlikely to ever give up its independence in football. The Irish's television contract with NBC makes any type of transition to a conference in terms of football, and the Irish's alumni have always been reluctant to ever give up their football independence.
That said, if the Big East continues to falter, the Irish could be looking for a new conference to call home for all other sports. The Big East is currently still alive, so nothing should be imminent regarding the Irish leaving the Big East.
Still, it appears that the Big 12 is willing to expand...for the right schools. Texas, who may be against Big 12 expansion, would happily court and allow Notre Dame to join the conference.
Conference realignment will likely be on pause until the playoff system is ultimately determined later in June.