The Big 12 and Notre Dame: The Big 12's 12 Best Pickup Lines
So, if reports of Texas AD DeLoss Dodds’ desires to lure Notre Dame to the Big 12 are true, what could he and the rest of the league possibly say to the Irish to make them commit?
Yes, what utterance, expression or remark could be enticing enough to compel the Irish to drop their 125-year-old status as a football independent?
The following slideshow serves up the Big 12’s 12 best pickup lines to entice Notre Dame to join forces with a league that looked to be on life support, with zero chances of survival less than a year ago.
Coaxing a coy customer like the Irish is no easy task—just ask the Big Ten—but don’t count the Big 12 out of a race that suddenly looks, with the coming of the super conference era, wide freaking open.
'Hey, Want to See My Ridiculously Big Bank Account?'
We’ll kick-off the pick-up lines by going directly to the heart of the matter: cold, hard cash.
If Notre Dame wants to follow a trail of money to be a player among the biggest cash cows, and therefore power brokers, in college athletics, the Big 12 is that destination.
According to the latest college athletics financial database released by USA Today, Texas earns more revenue (try $150,295,926 in 2011) than any other institution in the nation.
Coming in at a respectable No. 9 is Oklahoma, with a whopping $104,338,844 in 2011 revenue.
What’s even more remarkable is that both schools are among a group of only seven listed that operate with zero dollars in subsidies, meaning their funds are completely “generated by the department’s athletic budgets.”
In other words, the budget is not injected with filler from “student fees, direct and indirect institutional support and state money.”
If the Irish are looking to swing their swords in a real way, the Big 12 is the place for them.
'Our Schedules Are Easier; That’s Why We Win More Games!'
Though a Big 12 schedule is certainly no picnic, by and large, the teams who make up the Big 12 have enjoyed a less treacherous slate of foes than those of the Irish.
Don’t think so?
Well, from 2010-12, numbers wizard Phil Steele has had Notre Dame’s schedule ranked as more difficult than the entire Big 12 field with only three exceptions.
These blips on the radar, when Big 12 teams have had a strength of schedule rating higher than the Irish, per Steele, are the Iowa State Cyclones in 2010 and 2011 and then the Baylor Bears in 2011.
Other than these, Notre Dame’s schedule has been rated higher than every other Big 12 team from 2010-12.
'You Look Magically Delicious…'
This one’s pretty obvious; Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick, Texas AD DeLoss Dodds and Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione are all sitting at the bar at a Buffalo Wild Wings.
Castiglione gets up momentarily to use the restroom or try to win something in the prize crane machine, and Dodds, who’s had a few, tries to use the brief interlude to entice Swarbrick to join the Big 12.
The warm haze of the evening and his own creativity get the better of him, and all Dodds can think of to say that hasn’t already been said is, “you look magically delicious…”
Awkwardness sets in until the two are relieved to hear a triumphant shout from Swarbick from the crane, who comes back to the bar victoriously with a large, stuffed pink, polka-dot elephant…
'Want to Go to the BCS Every Year WITHOUT Finishing in the Top 8?'
The logic behind this alluring line is fairly simple; if Notre Dame joins the Big 12, the conference would split back into divisions, and the Irish would join the re-born North.
The North Division would logically consist of Notre Dame, West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State and another team that would be added after the Irish sign on (think Louisville, or another really good school that is respectable in football, but not dominant).
Suddenly, Notre Dame has a clear path to the BCS that involves only winning the division and making it to a championship game.
Win or lose, what BCS bowl planner in their right mind wouldn’t extend a bid to the Irish if they are in the Top 15 (not Top 8) of the BCS standings?
Really, if they could finish in the Top 15, Notre Dame (with its media draw) wouldn’t even have to win the North.
Don’t think so?
Well, how did Michigan make it to the BCS Sugar Bowl last season?
Yes, they were No. 13 in the final BCS parade, but they didn’t even win the Legends Division; they didn’t even play in the Big Ten championship…
'Why Not Join the Super Conference You’re Most Likely to Win?'
Do you know which conference Notre Dame has the best record against all-time?
Is it C-USA, the Big East or the Mountain West?
No. Other than the Irish’s perfect 5-0 record against the MAC, they’ve dominated the teams that currently make up the Big 12 like no other grouping.
Notre Dame is 27-4-1 (85.93 percent) all-time against Big 12 teams, a mark which is better than their record against the ACC (71.3 percent), the Big East (68.1 percent), the Big Ten (64.3 percent), C-USA (85.1 percent), D I-A Independents (82.6 percent), MWC (82.3 percent), the Pac-12 (63.3 percent) and yes, the SEC (60.4 percent).
The Big 12 is actually the perfect mate for the Irish, and that’s true based solely on this statistical approach.
'Have You Ever Wanted to Ride a Bull Until He Is Tame?'
Though not necessarily a rodeo hotspot in the U.S.A., who from South Bend, Ind. wouldn’t want an opportunity to ride a bull?
The truth is, if the Big 12 can lasso Notre Dame, then the table could finally set for another program to dominate Texas from a power stroke perspective.
Yes, if AD Dodds and Texas actually get what they want under the tree at Christmas, what next?
Who runs the show?
The Big 12 is arguably a better fit for Notre Dame because of Texas, not in spite of them.
In a very ironic way, the two could allow the other to dominate to different degrees in different areas.
If Notre Dame must affiliate with a league due to the rise of the football super conference era, perhaps the Texas-centric Big 12 is the best bet after all.
'Your Therapist Told You That You Need to Get over Your Fear of Commitment…'
Of all the 123 current members of the FBS, only two have never, in their history, been a member of a conference.
And those two teams are Navy, and yes, Notre Dame.
Even currently independent Army jumped in bed with C-USA in a brief yet tumultuous affair from 1998-2004, and we all know that BYU didn’t declare its gridiron freedom until just a couple of years ago.
Now, with reports of Navy purportedly sailing off to the Big East to become a football-only member in 2015, the Irish stand alone as the only program that has been independent since day one.
Notre Dame has been single, conference-less and unattached for 125 long years, years filled with innuendo, rumor, secret rendezvous and scattered with broken hearts.
The gig is up from the unbetrothed Irish, and it’s time for the Leprechaun to put a ring on the Big 12’s finger and make an honest woman out of everyone…
'If You’re Going to Regret This in the Morning, We Can Sleep Until Afternoon…'
If the Big 12 gets lucky and Notre Dame decides to follow the trend of hastily hopping in bed with a new conference home, then Dodds and company need to work on some soothing one-liners to seal the deal.
Yes, what if the Big 12 gets Notre Dame out of the bar and into its car and the Irish suddenly think, “Hey, what in the hell are we doing here?”
After Dodds and company feeds them more of the logic they’ve won the day with, they’ll need to remind Notre Dame of the beautiful honeymoon period that lies ahead when two of the biggest forces in college football enter a partnership.
And then they need to bravely hold the Golden Domers' hands, look directly into their eyes and remind them that everything, and I mean everything, is reversible.
'Did You Know That You Are 16-3 Against Our Two Best Teams?'
Though Texas and Oklahoma have won 10 of the 16 Big 12 championships since the league formed in 1996 and seven of the last eight, the Irish have completely dominated the two powerhouses through history.
The Irish are 8-1 all-time against Oklahoma and haven’t fallen to the Sooners since getting schooled 40-0 in South Bend in 1956.
As for their series with the Longhorns, Notre Dame is 8-2 all-time and hasn’t dropped a game to Texas since losing 21-17 in the 1970 Cotton Bowl.
'Your Schedule Has a Serious Lack of Tex-Mex; We Can Fix That…'
Anyone who has eaten Tex-Mex in the state of Texas knows that there is a monumental difference between in-state fare and that served under the same name across the country.
Yes, you can get good Mexican food beyond the state lines, but Tex-Mex…not so much.
If Notre Dame enlists in the Big 12, suddenly, a culinary trip through the Lone Star State doesn’t have to wait on a bowl berth or a delicately-planned home and away series.
The Irish will regularly visit cities such as Austin, Fort Worth, Waco and Lubbock who all do their part to preserve the fine art of culturally infused Texas and Mexican cuisine.
If this line of reasoning sounds ridiculous, I urge you to jump on the next flight to any of the many locations of Pappasito’s, Guadalajara’s, Chuy’s or Lupe Tortilla’s. These aren’t the only sheriffs in town, but they’re a darn good place to see the difference.
'If You Transfer Your “Olympic” Sports, We'll Never Mention Football Again.'
The ever busy college football rumor mills have been churning out plenty of stories that involve Notre Dame finding a new conference home for their “Olympic” sports.
This conversation is due to the obvious instability of the current home of these events, the Big East, and obviously does not include the issue of football independence.
Though Texas AD DeLoss Dodds has already made overtures towards Notre Dame’s non-football sports and offered the solution of either playing “some football” within the Big 12 or an approach of slow integration, why not just entice them by saying that, for now, the question of football is off the table?
If you think about it logically, the conference that gets the “Olympic” sports will be in the very best position to receive the football participation.
That is, if the day indeed comes when Notre Dame’s hand is forced due to the arrival of the super conference.
The truth is, the best way to get a hesitant potential partner to commit is gradually, little by little, bit by bit and unhurriedly shifting them into your corner.
Before they know it, bam! they wake up in the morning and see a Big 12 logo emblazoned on their pillowcases…
'Hey Little Lady…how’s About Some TV Money to Go with That Pot of Gold?'
Perhaps the most enticing asset that the Big 12 can offer Notre Dame is a TV deal that can, if maneuvered properly, retain the unique value of their nationwide fanbase while honoring a conference commitment.
Well, Texas has already managed just that, and while some will argue that the Big 12 nearly died as a result, what if the near-death experience was just a prelude to the league becoming the post powerful in all of college sport?
Yes, what if the Longhorn Network’s emergence didn’t spell the demise of the Big 12, but instead signaled its rebirth as the biggest kid on the block?
A big rich kid with Notre Dame, and their own TV network, neatly in tow.