Notre Dame will play the realignment waiting game—because it can

As we wrap up the long July 4th weekend, one question has moved to the forefront of much speculation about the future of college athletics: Was this Independence Day Notre Dame’s last as an independent?

Since the jarring announcement last week that USC and UCLA are headed to the Big Ten in 2024, all is quiet under the Gold Dome. The longer it stays that way, the more one can assume the Fighting Irish are weighing their biggest decision in decades. Maybe sometimes.

After the ground moved again last Thursday, the next consideration has been the other attractive buyout candidates available as the industry consolidates power in two conferences, the Big Ten and the SEC. Notre Dame stands alone at the top of this list—as desirable as ever, and perhaps just as vulnerable.

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