UConn fans want the school’s administration to #BegHarder to escape from the BIG EAST. Perhaps that begging should be done in South Bend. According to The Hartford Courant, the ACC has a 16-team expansion model with UConn in the fold, but is only likely to act on it if Notre Dame wants to join.
Sources told The Courant recently that the ACC has a 16-team model in place with its first choices being Notre Dame and UConn, but with Notre Dame maintaining its independent position there is no rush to go to 16. If the ACC can’t convince Notre Dame, Rutgers could get the call with UConn, but sources say there is no rush there, either.
Dan Wetzel wrote about Notre Dame joining the ACC in September. Ostensibly, the shifting college football landscape could make Notre Dame’s independence untenable or, with a playoff and renegotiated TV deals afoot, far less lucrative relatively. The ACC could make sense as it would expand ND’s recruiting base in the Southeast without diminishing its brand. If Notre Dame goes to the ACC, Connecticut slides in alongside them as the 16th team.
If Notre Dame completes Jim Delany’s death star by joining the Big Ten, that almost undoubtedly springs UConn from the Big East. The Big Ten would need to add a 14th team. The Big Ten could add UConn themselves. Missouri joined the SEC. Syracuse and Pittsburgh joined the ACC. Both UConn and Rutgers would work academically. Connecticut, with a stable, burgeoning athletic department would probably be more desirable. The Huskies would also be the presumed replacement if an ACC team left for the Big Ten.
Notre Dame joining a conference seems unlikely. So did the Big Ten signing off on a playoff. With Notre Dame’s TV deal expiring in 2015, the Big Ten’s TV deal expiring in 2016 and the Irish needing a stable alternative for the non-revenue sports. Things could get very interesting, and that would be good for UConn.