Paul Finebaum predicts which conference Notre Dame will eventually join
Paul Finebaum predicts that if Notre Dame joins a conference for football, it will be the Big Ten.
Conference expansion and realignment, the hottest topic of the college football offseason, came up when Finebaum visited Greg McElroy’s “Always College Football” show. McElroy asked Finebaum, his ESPN colleague, for his thoughts on the Irish in a conference.
“I think Notre Dame will end up in the Big Ten if they go somewhere because it makes too much sense,” Finebeum said. “I don’t know what the history is with Knute Rockne and Fielding Yost and things that happened even before I was born. We’re talking 100 years ago, more than 100 years ago. But it’s time.”
Though Finebaum says “it’s time,” there’s no indication that Notre Dame is actively looking to join a conference. All eyes turned to the Irish as the biggest prize for potential expansion after USC and UCLA left the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.
Notre Dame is an ACC member in all sports except football. As a football independent, Notre Dame has a lucrative media rights deal with NBC.
The SEC and B1G are seen as the 2 most attractive options for Notre Dame if the football program joins a conference. Finebaum feels the SEC is at a cultural disadvantage to land the Irish.
“And I love them in the SEC, but I don’t think they’re going to be able to convince the people that really matter at Notre Dame – and that’s the administration – that this is where they should be,” Finebaum said. “It would wreak to some people up there as just a pure money grab, and Notre Dame, even though everything it does football-wise is about money, doesn’t want anybody else to know that.”