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Could Notre Dame Join the Big Ten or SEC? Latest Odds Say Unlikely

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 4 mins

Could Notre Dame Join the Big Ten or SEC? Latest Odds Say Unlikely

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USC and UCLA are joining the Big Ten. 

The aliens have not invaded. 

The seas are not boiling. 

We are all still here. 

The world has not ended – yet. 

But what’s the next monstrous change on the horizon for a traumatized college football betting landscape?

How about Notre Dame in the Big Ten? 

Or the SEC?

Or the Fighting Irish joining football forces as part of an ACC/SEC super-football conference?

Norms are being shattered across the college sports landscape. Athletes are now free to earn as much as they can through NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) endorsements. The NCAA is heading toward obsolescence and oblivion, at least when it comes to college football. 

Could Notre Dame Football Join the Big Ten or SEC?

The Fighting Irish remain college football’s last outpost of independence. But that model makes less and less sense each season. 

It is diminishing at the same speed as the emergence of power in the “Big Two” – that’s the Big Ten and SEC for those not paying attention. 

Odds on Notre Dame to Join a Conference

Where will the Fighting Irish stand after the 2025 season, when their current deal with NBC expires? Bookies.com has the latest hypothetical odds on Notre Dame’s future. 

Considering the importance of the TV deal, these odds are for Notre Dame's position ahead of Week 1 of the 2026 college football season. 

Notre Dame's StatusOddsImplied Probability
Independent-15060%
Big Ten+30025%
ACC+50016.67%
SEC+75011.76%
SEC/ACC Combo+15006.25%

These odds are created by our Bookies.com team and do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting sites or betting apps.

‘Independence Day’ Or Revolution?

Notre Dame’s commitment to remaining an independent player in college football remains the biggest outlier in this scenario. Talk of the Fighting Irish joining the Big Ten predates the likes of Penn State coming on board, never mind USC and UCLA. 

The lure of a nine-figure deal with either the ACC, Big Ten, SEC, or some combination thereof could be too much for the Irish to refuse. Brian Kelly’s comments about the impossibility of winning a national title given Notre Dame’s current list of opponents no doubt stung in South Bend, regardless of any public pronouncement. 

According to the latest college football futures odds, the Fighting Irish are +5000 to win the 2023 National Championship, behind the likes of Texas A&M (+2500), the Utah Utes (+4000) and the Texas Longhorns (+4000).

Kelly was right in terms of his overall point, and imagine Notre Dame facing Kelly’s LSU for the SEC title in 2026? Tickets start at $5,000 apiece. 

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Super Conferences Now Control College Football 

The shift of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten presents a needed balance to an SEC that includes Texas and Oklahoma. Where does that leave an independent like Notre Dame? 

Could an undefeated Notre Dame or Cincinnati crack the College Football Playoff against two unbeaten Big Ten/SEC champions and a pair of Big Ten/SEC teams that have just one loss in the conference title game? Highly doubtful. 

Toss in an undefeated ACC champion, and it's all-but impossible. 

Super conferences are calling the shots when it comes to determining the national championship. The money from television and streaming rights stands on the verge of exponential growth with the addition of players like Amazon and Apple+ to the landscape. 

Even though the SEC and Big Ten rights are tied down for several years, there’s nothing that prevents current rights holders from sub-letting some of those games to these behemoths. (See the NFL's “Thursday Night Football”). 

And the addition of Notre Dame would be the perfect catalyst.

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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.