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In a perfect world, Notre Dame would like to take its time making another epic decision about its athletic future.

A couple of years at least as the latest contract with NBC about broadcasting their home football game winds down.

Conferences like the SEC and Big Ten can brag about having multi-million dollars with networks, but they have to share the pie.

But Notre Dame is a school with it's own network. 

That's a big deal in South  Bend and is well noted in the $$$ driven world of college football.

When the current pact with NBC (which began in 1991) was signed, the Irish received $15 million a year and at the time that was a BIG deal.

But as we have seen over the past year (Oklahoma and Texas switching from Big 12 to SEC) and the past several days when the college world was shaken to its foundation by UCLA and USC jumping from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten, these are much different $$$ times.

In a truncated version, here is the world that ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick and the Irish administration are dealing with:

Conference media rights payouts per school:

Big Ten:  57.2 million--projected as high as 100 million with new contract which include UCLA, USC and perhaps two more teams.

SEC: 54.3 million, projected as high as 75 or 80 million.

Big 12--43.2 million, but projected as dropping to 30 million without Oklahoma and Texas, although expansion to 14 teams could maintain the status quo.

Pac-12- 42 million, but projected to 30 million without UCLA and USC

ACC-36 million, projected above 40 million with no defections.

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And then there is Notre Dame, which has a deal to play 5 games a year against ACC teams:

15 million from NBC, plus a shared ACC version of 6 million, plus assorted bowl and playoff revenue, maxing out at 22 to 23 million.

Those are pretty healthy numbers, but it's only one third of the two super conferences and significantly below a gutted Big 12 and Pac 12.

Notre Dame has offers on the table. The ACC would include them as a full member (football included) as it did two years ago in about 20 seconds.

The Big Ten, which has flirted with the Irish for more than 30 years has also a comeback home to the Midwest invitation which would put the Irish in the 100 million dollar a year neighborhood.

But no more football independence for the Irish and an affiliation with NBC which would also televise other Big Ten games.

And both the ACC and Big Ten want an answer now as do the networks like ESPN which are dealing with paying out more than a BILLION dollars for an expanded 12 team playoff.

Notre Dame wants a spot for its sports other than football, which it now has in the ACC and in the Big Ten in hockey.

Notre Dame as a Big Ten member in ALL sports makes the most sense and would secure the Irish future for decades.

Notre Dame knows that the if the Big Ten signs its deal, another team  would also be part of the package to make a more user friendly 18 team conference.  The Irish, with long standing rivalries with USC and Stanford, would prefer having Stanford come along, which may be very feasible, considering Stanford's academic reputation and location in the media fertile San Francisco market. 

So there lots of good options.

From a financial viewpoint, it seems like a no-brain decision.

And money, as we have seen time after time, is driving this bus.

But then again, it is Notre Dame, which has always done what it has wanted and cherishes its status as a football independent.