What are the real reasons why Notre Dame shouldn’t join the Big Ten?

I just read an opinion piece over at Leprechaun Legion that argues that Notre Dame should not join the Big Ten. Here are the writer’s main points:

The biggest reason why universities are considering the move to the Big 10 is to put their respective athletic programs in a place to potentially win championships. The Big 10 offers a platform to play in BCS Bowls (Rose Bowl, etc.) and in a National Title game.

Notre Dame has their own deal with the BCS. The Irish receive an automatic birth in the BCS if they finish in the top eight.

Notre Dame does have a sweetheart deal, but if the Irish joined the Big Ten and finished in the top eight, they’d still very likely play in a BCS game. It’s not like joining the conference would reduce Notre Dame’s chances of playing in a BCS bowl.

The Irish are a member of the Big East in most other sports, which provides a great platform to reach the NCAA tournaments for each sport.

Notre Dame does not need to join a conference to succeed in football, or any other sport.

Is anyone arguing that the Irish have to join the Big Ten to succeed at football, or any other sport? Isn’t the argument that the Big Ten is better than the Big East and that Notre Dame is a much better geographic fit in the Big Ten?

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Big Ten invites four schools to join

According to 810 WHB out of Kansas City, the Big Ten has made “informal” invitations to four schools to join the conference.

The Big Ten Conference has extended initial offers to join the league to four universities including Missouri and Nebraska from the Big 12, according to multiple sources close to the negotiations.

While nothing can be approved until the Big Ten presidents and chancellors meet the first week of June in Chicago, the league has informed the two Big 12 schools, Notre Dame and Rutgers that it would like to have them join. It is not yet clear whether the Big Ten will expand to 14 or 16 teams but sources indicated Missouri and Nebraska are invited in either scenario. Notre Dame has repeatedly declined the opportunity to join the Big Ten. If Notre Dame remains independent, Rutgers would be the 14th team. The Big Ten would then decide whether to stop at 14 or extend offers to two other schools. If Notre Dame joins, sources say an offer will be extended to one other school making it a 16-team league.

It’s a little frustrating that the Big Ten calls itself that even though it has 11 teams. Now they’re going to expand to 14 or 16 teams, and for what?

It makes a lot of sense to continue to convince Notre Dame to join. Geographically, that’s the move that makes the most sense. But the Fighting Irish seem intent on keeping their football independence, so the next logical choice would be Missouri, since it borders Iowa and Illinois, but I don’t like the fact that the Big Ten is trying to pluck the Big 12 stalwart.

And 12 teams is the perfect number. In basketball, it’s a small enough conference where a team can play every other team twice (home/away) while in football, it would allow for two divisions of six-teams each. Once you start going to 14 or 16 teams, it’s impossible for basketball to have a balanced schedule.

Easier said than done, but the Big Ten should convince Notre Dame to join the league and then change its name to the Big Midwest. Case closed.

Update: The Big Ten denies inviting any schools to join.

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