Does Notre Dame need to join a Power 5 Conference?
The Notre Dame Football Program has been in a class of its’ own for over a century. Where else can you find another program that’s independent, have its’ own lucrative national television contract and storied like Notre Dame.
Everything about the Golden Domers represents tradition, prestige and championships. When the College Football format switched from the BCS to the Playoff it was the best chance for Notre Dame to join a conference. For years the Big 10 seemed like a possible destination for the program, especially with the proximity and a couple of rivals already league members. However, that hasn’t been the case.
The Fighting Irish already participate in basketball in the ACC and schedules a few teams from the conference on its’ football slate, but that’s where it stays. If it ain’t broke than don’t try to fix it. Why would Notre Dame change anything, especially with the current state of the program.
Brian Kelly has completed his second undefeated regular season with the Fighting Irish and he has his boys in the Playoff as a No. 3 seed. Clemson will be a tough out, but Kelly has proved he’s elite and earned Coach of the Year honors last week. Don’t forget about that third undefeated regular season Kelly had with Cincinnati in 2009.
No matter what type of year Notre Dame is having, the program annually finishes in the Top-10 in recruiting. The culture has remained a class act, academics are still a priority, four-star athletes continues to enroll into the school and Kelly has the Fighting Irish winning with consistency.
There’s something special about this year’s team after the switch to Ian Book at quarterback. Brandon Wimbush was great with his mobility, but Book can make the throws very few student-athlete signal-callers can. The defense has been tenacious and the rushing attack on offense has been down-hill physical.
The Fighting Irish haven’t won a National Title since 1988, but this year’s team is championship-caliber. Kelly will most likely get a contract extension at the end of the post season and Notre Dame will continue to sprinkle in teams from the Big 10 and ACC on its’ schedule to go along with USC. That recipe has lead to success for the team so don’t expect for the Fighting Irish to align with a Power 5 Conference unless its the best option for the program.
A Conference Championship Game would help a one-loss Fighting Irish squad if they were apart of a conference. Still, as long as Notre Dame can finish the regular season undefeated they’ll be in the Playoff no question. It would take an ultimatum from the NCAA and several court proceedings before Notre Dame will change ever change anything.
The Fighting Irish will remain the team that everyone loves to hate, but a good Notre Dame is beneficial for College Football overall.