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Jun 16, 2010

The Texas Connection

Tuesday’s Texas-led Big XII revival affirmed ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick’s foresight last week: “It increasingly feels like there'll be a lot of change, or very little,” he told Pat Forde June 7 for an article published two days later.

His on-point prediction—and admission of the latter option when chaos seemed inevitable—suggests Swarbrick at least sustained discussions with the involved parties (which is his job as an AD) or perhaps even direct influence (which would make him good at his job). Keith Arnold considered the possibility of a behind-the-scenes agreement in his fascinating NBC

In any case, UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds and Longhorn decision makers just did ND’s independence a Texas-sized favor. Brian Kelly openly prefers football independence, and on Tuesday he
told Bruce Feldman that the Texas decision was “huge piece” for this goal.

As Swarbrick prudently
mentioned to the Chicago Tribune during the height of realignment chaos, the Nebraska and Colorado decisions impacted the Irish only indirectly.

A UT move would’ve been quite different, and Swarbrick recognized this priority by May at the latest, when he talked to
USA Today for a feature on Notre Dame and Texas. Swarbrick said he and Dodds share “a similar perspective.” His Texas counterpart’s reluctance to create a 16-team conference meshes with Swarbrick’s cited concern of having “a different division of college football all of a sudden.”

The extent to which Swarbrick interacted with Dodds during the process is an interesting but ultimately less important question. Results matter, and as the dust temporarily settles, ND indeed benefited from the Texas decision. Despite the Dodds assist, the win for Notre Dame shows that the
half of Swarbrick’s time devoted to realignment was truly well spent.


  1. Great points. I like the way you're thinking here, and I agree wholeheartedly that a lot of evidence points to the fact that Mr. Swarbrick acted behind the scenes with tremendous foresight and dedication to Notre Dame during this entire dilemma. Actually, I haven't been following all of the conference realignment chaos as closely as most diehard ND and college football fans because I am fully confident in our Athletic Director's ability to protect our best interests. Not only is he extremely good at what he does, but he understands what is at stake along with his duty to Notre Dame. He's also a Domer and a ND history buff, both of which make it very easy for someone who cares about Notre Dame tradition as much as I do to fall in line behind him. I hope more of our loyal sons and daughters will come to recognize and appreciate all that he does for us. He deserves many thanks.

  2. Swarbrick's so-called "on-point prediction," is one that anyone could have made and everyone would have stated to the press.

    What kind of behind-the-scenes agreement are you trying to suggest? Texas just made the decision that was best for Texas.

  3. By last week, most people thought a 16-team Pac-10 was a certainty. The discussion was almost entirely about huge change (i.e., four superconferences).

    I'm not suggesting any type of agreement, but the aforementioned writer alludes to an agreement, and other ND fans have speculated that the Big XII's instruction for its schools to schedule aggressively out of conference might include games against Notre Dame. I don't know. But you're right that Texas acted in its own interest, and ND benefited as a byproduct.

  4. Just wanted to give yall a quick shoutout. Love the blog - between both of your perspectives I have no doubt that Irish Creed will quickly become one of the most highly respected Irish news/opinion sources out there. Keep up the good work fellas.

    -"Robert" in Dallas


2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule

2012 Notre Dame Football Schedule
DateOpponent / EventLocationTime / Result
09/01/12vs. Navy Dublin, IrelandW, 50-10
09/08/12vs. PurdontNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-17
09/15/12at SpartyEast Lansing, Mich.W, 20-3
09/22/12vs. SkunkbearsNotre Dame, Ind.W, 13-6
Shamrock Series
10/06/12vs. Da UChicago, Ill.W, 41-3
10/13/12vs. TreesNotre Dame, Ind.W, 20-13 (OT)
10/20/12vs. BYU Notre Dame, Ind.W, 17-14
10/27/12at Oklahoma Norman, Okla.W, 30-13
11/03/12vs. Pittsburgh Notre Dame, Ind.W, 29-26 (3OT)
11/10/12at Backup College Chestnut Hill, Mass.W, 21-6
11/17/12vs. Fake Worest Notre Dame, Ind.W, 38-0
11/24/12at U$C Los Angeles, Calif.W, 22-13
1/7/13vs. AlabamaBCS CHAMPIONSHIP
(Miami, Florida)
L, :(