Pete Thamel of the New York Times has a story here with Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick saying that his school is being forced to take a close look at its football independence.

Why? Well, the Big Ten and Pac-10 are considering expansion. That, according to what Swarbrick told the Times, could change the landscape. Swarbrick is correct, especially if the Big Ten opts to expand to 16 teams. With what the Big Ten has now and the possible addition of five schools (take your pick from Missouri or Rutgers or Pittsburgh or Texas or Syracuse or whichever teams you think fit), it would be tough for Notre Dame not to join or even give it serious consideration. That appears to be what Notre Dame is contemplating now.

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True, Notre Dame has an exclusive television contract with NBC. But the Big Ten has its own television network. Without being a financial expert, I can confidently say that there's much more money involved with joining the Big Ten than remaining independent. With the SEC, Big 12, ACC, an expanded Big Ten and an expanded Pac-10, that certainly does change things. The Pac-10 could add Utah or BYU or Boise State, for example.

Notre Dame plays the rest of its sports in the Big East. But football is where the money is. That is why Notre Dame is considering its options.