* update: I was 100% incorrect in my desperation and am DAMN glad to admit it!
BIG 12 HERE WE COME!!!
Notre Dame has been much maligned in recent years. I’ve been part of the chorus of haters that resents their position at the elite of college football. Their own network? Their inclusion in Big East Olympic sports and basketball without mandating their participation in football? I even cheered when Pitt beat them, and I would usually rather have the flu than do this.
But NBC and Notre Dame may be the Big East’s last hope.
Consider this possibility: Notre Dame joins the Big East in football, securing NBC contracts as the BIG EAST network for football, basketball, and Olympic sports. In return, Notre Dame is guaranteed one of two weekly NBC college football games of the week. As well, because of their position as "most seen" they would be entitled to a commensurate level of T.V. money.
Here’s the plan: after we kick UCONN to the curb (as if 10/8/11’s ass kicking wasn’t enough), and adding four new Big East schools, we’d be left with six basketball only schools (Georgetown, Providence, St. Johns, Seton Hall, DePaul & Marquette) and ten football schools.
The 10 football schools would include:
And new football members…
Before you shoot down this plan with your smoking musket, consider what Notre Dame has to gain by doing this. Savior status amongst the Big East schools. Security amidst all of this turmoil. As well, a relatively easy conference football schedule would supply ample opportunities to be in BCS games.
And money. Loads more of it.
I’ve long thought that to make college athletics more competitive, the entirety of the league revenues (TV, Bowl games, etc.) should be divided up according to two factors:
1) Final place in Conference standings.
10 football teams? Millions in revenue?
1st place gets 15%
2nd = 13.5%
3rd = 12%
4th = 10%
5th = 9.5%
6th = 9.0%
7th = 8.5%
8th = 8.0%
9th = 7.5%
10th = 7.0%.
It can’t get more American than earning what you get.
2) Your television marketplace ratings.
The number of times you’re on television would equal a greater number of revenue dollars. Winning teams get to be on television. No one watches losing teams.
These two concessions in division of conference football revenues would give Notre Dame what they really want ($$$), and enable the rest of us to at least have a shot at competing for those dollars by beating the hell out of them and cheering for everyone else in the league to do so, too.
This plan also comes with the bonus that ND already plays Navy each year and they’ll be able to keep four of their other current non-conference rivalries (while not completely exhausting themselves during conference play). Also, they won't have to change the Big East logo on their stationary or basketball court.
I know it’s a big stretch, and a dream, but unless Oliver Luck knows something we all don’t, we’re relatively close to being left out in the cold. I prefer dreaming to dread.