As we complete the lengthy July fourth weekend, one inquiry has relocated to the leading edge of the swirling supposition concerning the future of university athletics: was this Notre Dame’s last Freedom Day as an independent?

Considering that the rough statement last week that USC as well as UCLA are headed to the Big Ten in 2024, all is quiet under the Golden Dome. The longer it stays that way, the extra one can speculate the Battling Irish are considering their largest decision in decades. Possibly ever before.

After the earth moved again last Thursday, the following consideration has been the other eye-catching procurement candidates readily available as the sector combines power into two seminars, the Big 10 as well as SEC. Notre Dame stands alone on top of that list– as desirable as ever, and maybe as prone, also.

” The next choice,” one market expert told Sports Illustrated, “really rests with Notre Dame.” That very same individual speculated the choice could come “in a week, or 6 months, or a year from currently. We don’t understand.”

It stands to reason the Huge 10 would constantly take the things of its unequaled love, currently or at some point in the hazy future. It matters not if Notre Dame would certainly be the 17th, 19th or 21st team in the league, the Big Ten would certainly make it work to land the big reward it has actually chased after for time immemorial. So the Irish can, as constantly, manage to be picky and also patient.

Notre Dame football recently played under the ACC during the COVID-shortened 2020 football season. South Bend Tribune/USA TODAY Network

A resource aware of the college’s thinking informed Sports Illustrated that “freedom continues to be the choice as well as the leader in the club.” It will certainly take a lot to move Notre Dame off its cherished identity, yet the instability of the whole landscape remains a problem, as well as might better affect the Irish expectation.

Two areas to monitor: the fates of both the University Football Playoff as well as the Atlantic Coast Meeting. If one or both collapse, Notre Dame could be urged right into the Big 10. Per its present contract, the playoff ceases to exist in January 2026. There is no assurance one more model of it will take its place, at any type of size. “The vast majority of the writing thinks a playoff, which it’s going to get larger,” says the market source. “I’m not sure concerning that assumption.”

It’s feasible the diminished Big 12 and also Pac-12 could be frozen out. It’s possible the ACC likewise could be pushed aside. It’s possible the Huge Ten and SEC each hold their very own mini-playoffs, then the champions of the two organizations fulfill for a putative national title– or they don’t, and also each conference can announce its superiority without settling it on the field. (If you want a poor throwback to the poor dish system, this would certainly be it.).

Notre Dame wants a path to a football championship game. If every little thing but the Big 10 as well as SEC is decreased to non-contender standing, that can force them off Freedom Island. Or, if the ACC splinters amid its lengthy stay in an adverse contract with ESPN, the college would need to think of its sports that compete because organization as well as might need to be transferred.

The school of thought for why it could finally be time for Notre Dame to join the Big 10 contains 2 class: national organizing as well as earnings.

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