The Big Ten is on the verge of adding USC and UCLA to its ranks but it doesn’t look like they’re going to stop there with Notre Dame topping the wish list.
The college football landscape underwent another systemic shift this week as USC and UCLA took steps to join the Big Ten.
The Pac-12 powers from one of the biggest media markets in the country are jumping ship from their traditional conference partners to cash in on the Big Ten’s financial strength.
The move likely spells the death of the Pac-12 and pushes college football closer to a megaconference setup pitting the SEC footprint against the coast-to-coast membership of the Big Ten.
Naturally, there has been speculation about which realignment domino could fall next. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg says it’s Notre Dame.
Notre Dame is the next big target for the Big Ten after landing USC, UCLA
“Lot of talk about additional Pac-12 schools possibly being on Big Ten’s radar. Not ruling that out, but the one school they want — the one they’ve always wanted — is Notre Dame,” Rittenberg tweeted. “That’s where the energy likely will be placed.”
One of Rittenberg’s sources suggested the Irish may have to consider the option: “It’s really unsustainable to be an independent now.”
With power consolidating in the two most influential conferences, it’s tough to imagine Notre Dame holding out as an independent entity much longer. They’ve already partnered up with the ACC but a growing Big Ten would offer more money and opportunities that would be hard to turn down.
The rivalry between USC and Notre Dame could only help draw the Irish in.