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Big East ultimatum in the offing for Irish?

When it comes to the expansion issue and Notre Dame, all the focus has been on the Irish either giving up their football independence and joining the Big Ten, or remaining both a football independent and a Big East conference member in all other sports.

Now, however, there seems to be a groundswell amongst Big East football coaches that the Domers need to either spit or get off the pot.

According to something called the Norwich Bulletin by way of the Chicago Tribune, UConn head coach Randy Edsall spoke Wednesday at a luncheon meeting for the Northeastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.  As part of the luncheon, Edsall took part in a Q&A with the audience and was asked about the Big East delivering an ultimatum to Notre Dame — either get all in or all out of the conference.

Edsall’s response, as written by Marc Allard of the Bulletin, will certainly ratchet up the expansion rhetoric and indicates that the Big East won’t allow the Big Ten to be the only league to rattle their verbal sabers in a very public manner:

“…Edsall said the football coaches have been asking the conference to deliver an ultimatum to Notre Dame to come into the conference for football or get out entirely for the last two years. He added that, if as speculated, two teams leave for the Big Ten, “the Big East is all done.”

Edsall then addressed the media regarding the ultimatum issue, and went a step further by intimating that it’s something already up for discussion by his league’s higher-ups.

“I think that’s something the powers that be are discussing in terms of the strategies that they’re looking at to be proactive rather than reactive,” Edsall said.

Of course, if the Big Ten does indeed raid the Big East as rumored, all of this would likely be a moot point because, as Edsall so eloquently stated, “the Big East [would be] all done.”  Still, though, it’s interesting that a Big East football coach would be so vocal about forcing Notre Dame into making a commitment.

Or getting the hell out entirely.

I think I now rather enjoy this Coach Edsall…

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Respond to “Big East ultimatum in the offing for Irish?”
  1. darlingknight27 says: Apr 29, 2010 1:15 PM

    Wow, this is a very, very bad move for the big east. They don’t have much to offer ND compared to the big ten, and forcing the issue could help ND make their minds up (If ND were sane and not so arrogant to think making millions less a year is worth their pride and waning fan base)

  2. John Taylor says: Apr 29, 2010 1:35 PM

    My two copper Lincolns on what the Big East’s thought process might be: They are fairly certain that, if the Big Ten does not land Notre Dame, they will grab at least two and possibly three schools from the Big East. If the Big Ten could get the Irish into the fold, maybe — maybe — the Big Ten would stop right there and leave the Big East alone. So, they apply some public pressure on ND in the hopes that things fall the right way and the Big East survives. Plausible? Who knows…

  3. Pier588 says: Apr 29, 2010 1:36 PM

    The Cryin’ Irish should join the conference they are most qualified for – the MAC. Then they’d be to lose to to Toledo, Central Michigan and Marshall every year.

  4. plfalzar says: Apr 29, 2010 1:50 PM

    Edsall’s a great coach, and has some real stones. Having said that, its not happening. Ever.
    Notre Dame’s olympic sports really have some great rivalries in the BE, and ND draws fans to all kinds of sporting events. I’m sure the BE would hate to lose that. But its their conference, so they can kick ND out if they so choose.
    ND would have to go back to the way they did their olympic sports back in the 90s: independently. That may or may not hurt non-football recruiting and revenue. Who’s to say?
    ND Football in any conference just isn’t happening. What’s the lure? Money? Exposure? The University is doing well for itself, and its football product for the past 15 years has been erratic. If they make a run… this topic never resurfaces again.
    Note I hope I don’t sound like snooty ND supporters who act pious regarding this topic. Miami and Penn State were powerful independents. Not sure why they gave it up, but they didn’t have to. They chose to. Florida could be independent if they wanted. So could Texas. They don’t need conferences. They choose to be included.
    Just like ND chooses to be independent.

  5. plfalzar says: Apr 29, 2010 2:00 PM

    @ darlingknight27: ND makes plenty of money already for crissakes. They would make even more if they could block and tackle for a change. ND’s fan base diminishes when they suck (and suck they have as of late), but when they’re good, the subway alumni watch in large numbers. To sum: win games, problems solved.
    Unless the BCS locks out independents. Then we’re screwed and the issue is forced.
    @John Taylor: I’m tracking with you. Its an interesting theory. I hate that the BE is in the situation its in now and never liked the way the ACC raped them. The B10/11 I have no pity for. They are doing just fine. It sucks that ND’s independence has become an issue for so many people.
    Why can’t they just stay independent in football and be left alone??? Its not arrogance. Its called tradition. Jeez.

  6. burntorangehorn says: Apr 29, 2010 2:05 PM

    JT: I think you’re right about the thought process. They don’t really have much to lose. ND is a brand that sells, but the vast majority of it is in football, where ND doesn’t contribute anything to be Big East. So by making this possible ultimatum, they’re risking little, because if ND bolts, the conference is still intact football-wise until the Big Ten actually expands, and ND could mean one less team the 10 would have to annex from the Big East.

  7. darlingknight27 says: Apr 29, 2010 4:36 PM

    Plfalzar
    Cut to three years form expansion, when there are 3-4 strong megaconferences with no room for further expansion, if ND hasnt made a run by then, their remaing fan(s) will be singing a different tune. Especially if it means the big conferences SOS is strong enough to make it nearly impossible for an independent to make a BCS bowl.

  8. 60eagles says: Apr 29, 2010 4:56 PM

    Especially since UConn is on the Irish schedule NEXT YEAR.

  9. Bious says: Apr 29, 2010 6:20 PM

    The Big East really doesn’t have much influence on ND even if they threatened it with kicking them out of basketball.
    Their football is not enticing at all and ND basketball would simply join another conference and it wouldn’t be the end of the world

  10. overratedgators says: Apr 29, 2010 8:16 PM

    I agree that you’re right on point, John. This is an “Ess or Get Off The Pot” move by the Big East. They’re telling ND to either (a) join them, which would be an obvious win, or (b) join the Big Te(leve)n, which might be enough appeasement to keep the midwesterners from poaching their backyard.
    Either way: a win for the Big East. Basically, no downside for them. The worst that could happen is that ND stays independent – which is the status quo and therefore, no real loss.

  11. John Taylor says: Apr 29, 2010 8:26 PM

    Quality points all around fellas.
    Now, where’s boosie to bring this excellent work to a grinding halt…

  12. shaunypoo says: Apr 30, 2010 7:15 AM

    The Big East needs to talk to the ACC about combining. The Big Ten will take a few, let the SEC take one or two, and everyone else form another Superconference. Tell ND to take a hike.

  13. power839 says: Apr 30, 2010 12:48 PM

    The Big10 (11) will probably go to 12 schools, then they can have their conference championship. The Big East on the other hand is fairly restricted about who they want or don’t want in their conference. Notre Dame fills their stadiums and basketball arena’s, to force them out would be shooting off their own foot. Remember the ACC almost wipe them out a few years ago.
    Notre Dame has been in a down cycle for awhile now. However if they can get back to being one of the elite teams of college football, all this conference talk will amount to squat!
    I don’t see where joining the Big10 has really helped Penn State’s football program either. I use to look forward to them playing Pitt and West Virginia, the old neighborhood back yard brawls. Plus their games with Notre Dame were normally a very good match up.

  14. george says: May 1, 2010 10:11 PM

    For my money, I agree with Pier. Thanks to Charlie, the little tuna that couldn’t, Notre Dame’s undeserved image as a football power is permanently tarnished.
    In spite of having more $$ than any program thanks to their equally undeserved NBC contract, the Irish can’t get out of their own way. It could be attributed to karma that most of their highly touted recruits turn out to be as over-rated as the ND football team. Ie.. Brady Quinn.
    So, the Irish football factory may have met the same fate that our American industries have felt since the greedy b@stards outsourced America’s jobs so that top 2% can hold on to 95% of our nation’s wealth. Greed is NOT good since it is one of the seven deadly sins.
    So, it is time for the Irish to get off their arrogant high horse and join any conference that will accept them. As a Big East fan, I agree with Randy Edsall.
    Irish BB has flourished playing there and their FB program will do so if they put restoration of their karma ahead of their greed.

  15. American Warrior says: May 2, 2010 7:53 AM

    It’s certainly not about the money. The Irish make plenty of that on their own, the least of which is the NBC contract. It’s a fraction of their total revenue. I don’t feel their being arrogant, just traditionalists. Everywhere the Irish play, it’s a sell out. What FBS team doesn’t want to sell out their stadium? If you do, schedule the Irish. That being said, I feel that the BE would be irrational to take a sure sold out stadium and replace it with a “maybe.” Plus, like UConn, you might have a chance to beat the Irish (just about everybody does.) By the way, I think the result of this years game will be the other way, so I suppose UConn better get their shots in while able.
    Kelly has a habit of taking a team that’s pretty medicore and turning them into players. Uh oh. What happens if, this year they win 9, next year 10, all the while remaining independent. The administration would look really stupid if they caved and joined a conference before giving their new coach a chance at the traditional status quo. No, I think ND remains independent for the near future as it appears that the Big Ten/Big East all want Notre Dame more than Notre Dame wants them .

  16. Mark R says: May 4, 2010 4:25 AM

    I am an ND alum – always against joining a conference, but now I am willing to join Big 10 under these conditions:
    * Big 10 jumps to 12 or 14 teams
    * Two divisions, which rotate every year, so that over time, you always have years where you play each team in your division. Keeps the schedule fresh from year to year.
    * ND (and all other teams) only required to play 5 or 6 conference games per year – the ones in your division (ND already plays 3 or 4 Big 10 teams annually anyway)
    * Leaves plenty of room to play USC, Navy, and “national schedule”
    I think this would really work for ND and the Big 10.

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