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Neinas talks FSU, Notre Dame following bowl announcement

Chuck Neinan AP

Yesterday’s announcement that the Big 12 and the SEC were joining forces to create a new bowl game was tangible evidence that the college football landscape is indeed changing.

When and exactly how — looking at you, realignment — remains to be seen. But change doesn’t solely have to mean conference affiliation, either. If anything, the news was a symbol that major conferences are willing and able to dictate the terms of their postseason in a way that brings revenue back to where it belongs: with member institutions.

Where things get a bit convoluted is trying to figure out what this means for the likes of Florida State and Notre Dame. Depending on the day, the tides and/or who you ask, Florida State is either looking to escape the ACC, or remains perfectly content.  Now that the ACC is on the outside looking in, though, the pressure could escalate for the Seminoles to make a move.

Does that mean FSU is the Big 12’s newest member? Not necessarily, acting Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas¬†told the Austin-American Statesman.

“We did before,” Neinas said, referring to interested parties in general. “Who? Maybe some old folks, maybe some new ones. Have we had any conversations with Florida State? No.”

Keep in mind that while Neinas and Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds have publicly stated there’s no interest (today) in expanding, let alone FSU, there is at least one account of the Big 12 reaching out to the ‘Noles. How accurate that account is remains unknown.

As for Notre Dame, the other school having its name tossed around? Neinas reaffirmed what many already believe.

“I don’t think Notre Dame is going to join a league,” Neinas said. “They’re in the process of extending their contract with NBC. No, I don’t see any pressure on them.”

While the effects of the Big 12-SEC bowl game have the potential to be as monumental as any playoff, it’s the latter that still determines Notre Dame’s independent status. A playoff consisting of the four highest-ranked conference champions would obviously have a much greater impact on Notre Dame’s conference affiliation — or, lack thereof — than what the Big 12 and SEC decide to do independently.

The point is that as long as Notre Dame’s chances for inclusion in college football’s new postseason don’t diminish, don’t expect them to join a conference.

Yes, that means the Big 12 too.

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18 Responses to “Neinas talks FSU, Notre Dame following bowl announcement”
  1. bertenheim says: May 19, 2012 2:07 PM

    ND and FSU are going to have to decide where they want to be irrelevant.

  2. Deb says: May 19, 2012 2:22 PM

    I’m surprised ND’s name is being tossed around as a potential Big 12 candidate. If the Irish ever do opt for a conference, just seems the Big 10 would be the natural fit.

  3. ndnut says: May 19, 2012 2:29 PM

    Deb, I agree with you on football alone, but the other sports fit better in the Big East, especially basketball. I’d much sooner see ND remain independent in football rather than sell out to the Big Ten, compromising other sports.

  4. bertenheim says: May 19, 2012 2:30 PM

    Conference membership would magnify the fact that in any group ND would be sixth or seventh best.

  5. Deb says: May 19, 2012 2:59 PM

    @ndnut …

    Apologies … my weakness in commenting on any kind of conference realignment is that I’m solely a football fan. I think football and academics. Although my family talks about attending all sorts of Bama sporting events, for me, nothing but football even registers.

  6. normtide says: May 19, 2012 3:21 PM

    Thats why ND will not join a league. It would bee the last nail in their coffin. The NBC deal is the last, and only, thing that makes ND special. Without that, they are just another Purdue.

  7. halbert53 says: May 19, 2012 3:44 PM

    I think only teams in a conference should be able to participate in a fb playoff system. Independent teams can cherry pick their schedule, play 1-2 top 20 teams, and have a real high winning percentage. If you play mainly pansies, it is easy to get your team up for 1-2 tough games. ND won’t join a conference unless forced to. Geographically Big 10 makes sense. If FSU, Miami and Clemson jump to Big 12, Duke and NC to the SEC, then a reconfigured ACC would be a potential landing spot. ND wants a fb conference it can dominate if it is not going to remain independent, which would be ND’s preference.

  8. drummerhoff says: May 19, 2012 5:11 PM


    I agree with your article 100%.

    You make a great point about yesterday’s announcement: conferences are able to dictate the terms of their postseason in a way that brings revenue back to the member institutions.

    Something else to consider: since yesterday’s announcement (most likely) brings the playoff model closer to using the top 4 ranked teams, the divide between the haves and have-nots may be at 3 (not 4) major conferences … SOS is going to be a problem for Delany’s bunch and he knows it. I am kind of surprised no one has picked up on this.

  9. Deb says: May 19, 2012 5:11 PM

    @halbert53 …

    If FSU, Miami, and Clemson jumped to the Big 12, then Duke and NC jumped to the SEC, what teams would you see in a reconfigured ACC? The ACC may not be worth much now in football terms, but if no one jumps ship, the ACC has several historically relevant and academically stellar programs. That might be a good place for ND, and I’d like to see Pittsburgh go to the ACC because their program once was relevant and deserves a better conference than the Big East.

  10. bill2018 says: May 19, 2012 5:40 PM

    People need to understand notre dames history. To be short, when ND was trying to get into college football way back in the day, no one would accept them into their conference. Once they became popular, everyone wanted them. ND remembered how they were treated and wouldn’t join a conference. This is why they want to remain independent. It’s not a money issue for them. As far as scheduling goes, they play a much tougher schedule every year than most college teams. If you were average their strength of schedule over 10 years, it’s probably one of the toughest. It’s because of this history and tradition that ND is so popular and why, irregardless of wins and losses, people will always love them. Because of their popularity they will always have an NBC contract. Why join a conference as long as there is an opportunity to play a BCS game?

  11. corvusrex96 says: May 19, 2012 6:10 PM

    @bill2018 – Great point!

    Back in the day none of the major schools would play or let ND join a conference b/c they are a Catholic institution. Ironicly the service acadamies , West Point and Annapolis ,would schedule them and as a result ND became a household name.

    I think they should join the BiG 10 but I completely respect their reasons for staying independant.

  12. Deb says: May 19, 2012 6:14 PM

    @bill2018 …

    Yes, Notre Dame was the scrappy lil school that fought the establishment, but their tremendous fan base comes from the huge Irish and Catholic demographic that’s remained loyal to the school for generations. It is a great story. I love to hate Notre Dame, and would like to see the team become relevant again.

    And you’re right–I just checked Notre Dame’s 2012 schedule, and they certainly haven’t cherry-picked an easy road for themselves. Their schedule is as challenging as any SEC, Big 12, Big 10, or Pac-12 schedule. But if the Powers-That-Be insist on filtering the playoff participants through conferences, I don’t see how ND can avoid making that commitment. Personally, I favor the playoffs featuring the top schools by rank regardless of conference. If that were the method chosen, conference membership wouldn’t be required.

  13. drummerhoff says: May 19, 2012 6:54 PM

    The B1G is the the 4th best conference in a system that will only reward the top 2-3 players.

  14. thefiesty1 says: May 19, 2012 10:19 PM

    ND and FSU need to get off the spot. Enough already. Staying with the ACC or independent serves nether in the long run.

  15. uh1973 says: May 20, 2012 9:40 AM

    Sorry to burst your balloon Domers, but the ND program has been irrelevant for the last 10-15 years. Unless they loosen the admissions standards, they won’t be a player in any national championship picture. They ought to get off their haughty horse and join a league. They will be forced to when the next round of expansion takes place which might be sooner than later. Get used to third, fourth and fifth-place finishes Irish fans and enjoy those visits to the Bowl or to such places as Charlotte, Shreveport and Ft. Worth. Forget about seeing New Orleans, Pasadena or Miami!

  16. Deb says: May 20, 2012 2:11 PM

    uh1973 …

    Like I said, I love to hate Notre Dame. But in fairness, after looking at their 2012 opponents, they might not be irrelevant if they joined the Big 10 and played that much easier schedule.

  17. irishdodger says: May 20, 2012 8:49 PM


    While ND has not vied for a national championship since 1993, all it takes is getting the right HC to start competing. ND has failed w/ Davie, Willingham & Weis since Holtz retired. Just like OU failed between Switzer & Stoops. Just like Texas failed between Royal & Mack (a long damn time). Just like SC failed between Robinson’s 1st tenure & Pete Carroll. Just like Bama failed between Stallings & Saban. Just like Florida until Spurrier. Get the picture? I have no problem w/ CFB fans hating ND. I have a problem w/ CFB fans that don’t know their history. As Bill correctly noted earlier, you can blame Coach Fielding Yost of Michigan for ND not originally being allowed in the B10. You can also thank ND or paving the way on tv deals…you’re welcome. I hate preseason rankings, but I challenge anyone to show me a tougher schedule than ND for 2012. ND is one of only a few schools to have NEVER scheduled an FCS (Div 1-AA) school. Know you’re history before letting emotions fuel your hate.

  18. burttherese says: May 21, 2012 9:43 AM

    what Bernard said I’m in shock that a person can make $8993 in one month on the computer. have you seen this page (Click on menu Home more information)

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