Paul Finebaum forecasts Notre Dame to join Big Ten
July 25, 2022
The departure of UCLA and USC from the Pacific-12 to the Big Ten has sent shockwaves through college athletics. It also sparked the possibility of other prominent schools, such as Oklahoma and Texas, leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC. The addition of Notre Dame could be the most significant factor in conference realignment.
According to Finebaum, Notre Dame would be better off in the Big Ten as it makes sense for the school. He also noted that the school's history with former football coaches and Hall of Famers such as Fielding Yost and Knute Rockne dates back a hundred years.
"I think Notre Dame will end up in the Big Ten if they go somewhere because it makes too much sense," Finebaum said. "I don't know what the history is with Knute Rockne and Fielding Yost and things that happened even before I was born. We're talking 100 years ago, more than 100 years ago. But it's time."
Why it's hard for Notre Dame to join SEC soon
The Big Ten and the SEC are expected to be in a two-horse race regarding conference expansion. The former is reportedly linked to various programs from the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the latter is also reportedly eyeing some of the remaining members of the Pacific-12.
Despite the various factors that have been discussed regarding conference expansion, Finebaum believes that the University of Notre Dame will eventually join the SEC. However, he doesn't think that it will happen anytime soon. Even if it makes sense for the school, it would be hard for them to leave South Bend due to the perception that it would be for the sake of football.
Despite his love for Notre Dame in the SEC, Finebaum said that the school's administration will not be able to convince the people of Notre Dame that it's the right place for the football program. He also noted that it would be a money grab for the school.
"And I love them in the SEC, but I don't think they're going to be able to convince the people that really matter at Notre Dame – and that's the administration – that this is where they should be," Finebaum continued.
"It would wreak to some people up there as just a pure money grab, and Notre Dame, even though everything it does football wise is about money, doesn't want anybody else to know that."
Other expansion targets for Big Ten
Following the announcement that UCLA and USC were leaving the Pacific-12 to join the Big Ten, speculation about the possible addition of Oregon has been rampant. Although the school may not be able to bring the market size that the Big Ten is looking for, it would still help balance out the league's west coast presence. There are also other schools that the Big Ten should consider if it continues to expand.
One of the schools that the Big Ten should consider is Washington. If the league adds Oregon, the Huskies would be a great addition as it would give the league a presence in the north and south. Both Washington and Oregon would also be able to capitalize on the potential of the Portland and Seattle markets.