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New 12-Team Playoff - Is Notre Dame smart to not be in a conference?
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Tiger Boards - Clemson Football
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New 12-Team Playoff - Is Notre Dame smart to not be in a conference?

Dec 5, 2022, 12:13 AM

Understanding that the top-4 seeds will only be conference championship winning teams, as an Independent, Notre Dame will not meet that mark without joining a conference.

At first, you'd think that was a bad thing for Notre Dame, but take a step back and think about it... it may be a smart choice to maintain...

Let's get this out of the way, first:
1. By not joining a conference, Notre Dame doesn't split revenue (season success/TV) with anyone else. NBC is locked down to ND.

Now that we have that consideration, think about this:
2. The best seed ND will ever be is a #5 seed. That means they'll be matched up with the #12 seed (this year, that team would be Tulane), and the winner would go on to play the #4 seed (this year, that team would be Utah). It's literally the easiest path to the semifinals, by ranking.

3. If ND were to join a conference, after the 12-game season, they'd play the best or second-best team in their conference (since many conferences are going away from divisions and taking the two teams with the best records).

So, here's the trade-off:
Would you rather be matched up with the second best team in your conference while splitting revenue, OR, play one of the worst teams in the playoff as a play-in game? (Not to mention the revenue difference).

If you were Notre Dame, would you sit tight as an independent or join a conference?

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They’ve already said it’s better for them to stay independent.

Dec 5, 2022, 12:22 AM

Which is correct. Their 13th game will be in the playoffs and they are totally fine with that.

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Re: New 12-Team Playoff - Is Notre Dame smart to not be in a conference?

Dec 5, 2022, 5:55 AM

Smart or not, what gives Notre Dame the right not to have to join a conference. Frankly I wish the NCAA had the power to mandate every team to have to join a conference.

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The only real advantage for ND remaining independent

Dec 5, 2022, 6:40 AM

is not having to split their TV money.

It is always an advantage (and easiest path to the CFP champ game) to get a first round bye in the playoff which under the current expanded playoff will go to the top-4 conference champs. Any team outside of that top 4 risks additional injury, wear and tear on players, and just getting beat by a lessor opponent having a really good day in the first round of play. By not being in a conference, ND will never (under current format) have a first round bye nor should they since they will not assume risk by playing a 13th regular season conference champ game.

For far too long ND has been granted special carve outs that accommodate their independent status among the governing bodies and those running the bowl match-ups of college football. No other school, including other independents, have gotten their level of special consideration and it is all because they have a big fan base that dates back to the Knute Rockne days.

In the modern era, the hype of ND has always been out of balance with their on field reality and it is time for ND's special considerations, carve outs and influence to go away.

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ND will be part of the Big Ten not long after

Dec 5, 2022, 7:45 AM

USC & UCLA officially come on board. Bank on it

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