After adding USC and UCLA from the Pac-12, the Big Ten Conference is hoping to add a prized school that’s much closer to their home base: Notre Dame.
One person who is a strong voice in advocating for Notre Dame’s admission into the Big Ten is Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, a Notre Dame alum.
Speaking to the media on Friday, Smith said that he’s always felt that Notre Dame should in a conference – any conference. He said he’s hopeful that his alma mater will consider the opportunity to join the Big Ten if extended.
“It’s hard to speculate on that. I love my alma mater, except when we play them in any sport. But I’ve always felt like they should be in a conference,” Smith said. “And I hope that they are considering that. I don’t know what a next step would be, but I’ve always shared that I hope they consider that opportunity and I hope it’s the Big Ten. But who knows? They’ve been operating the way they’ve been operating for a long time.”
Notre Dame has had conference ties for decades in most sports except their main moneymaker: Football. All of their sports except football and ice hockey are tied to the ACC, while ice hockey is tied to the Big Ten.
But the Notre Dame football program is the crown jewel that would cause any conference’s media rights deal to skyrocket.
The Big Ten makes the most sense given Notre Dame’s geographic proximity to the rest of the conference.
Will Notre Dame join the Big Ten?