Big 12 Expansion: Notre Dame to Leave Big East?

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on June 20 2012 3:00 PM
Notre Dame football players celebrate a touchdown against Army
Notre Dame football players celebrate a touchdown against Army REUTERS

Notre Dame is strongly considering moving its Olympic sports teams out of the Big East and into the Big 12, according to a report.

Orangebloods.com's Chip Brown reported on Wednesday that it was becoming more and more likely that Notre Dame would make the move out of the Big East. The school would maintain its football independence, according to Brown, but would agree to schedule up to six football games against Big 12 teams.

Notre Dame has long been a school of interest for all of the major power conferences, but has maintained its football independence. Its television rights deal with NBC guarantees it a steady income each year and the freedom to play a national schedule.

But the school could be interested in capitalizing on having its own Tier 3 television network in the Big 12 like the one Texas has with its Longhorn Network.

The Big 12 recently asserted that it wasn't interested in expanding beyond 10 schools after Florida State created a circus when it indicated it was interested in leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference for the Big 12. It was believed that Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech also indicated interest in possibly leaving for the Big 12's assumed greener pastures.

Adding Notre Dame for its Olympic sports would go against that decree, but Brown reports that Notre Dame is the only expansion target that would receive universal approval from the league.

If Notre Dame makes the move to Big 12, which is just a rumor at this point, it would undoubtedly get the conference realignment carousel going once again. Louisville would try to make a play to join the Big 12 once again, as could several ACC teams.

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