Will remaining independent cost Notre Dame a BCS title shot this season? If the top three teams in the BCS all win out, No. 3 Notre Dame is likely to watch No. 1 Kansas State and No. 2 Oregon play for the National Championship on Jan. 7.
If Oregon wins out they’ll add victories over No. 13 Stanford, at No. 16 Oregon State, and either No. 17 UCLA or No.18 USC in the PAC 12 Championship Game.
Kansas State still has Baylor and No. 15 Texas.
ND still has to play Wake Forest and at USC. If the Irish do to USC what they did to No. 12 Oklahoma earlier this season, maybe they’ll jump Kansas State, but it's unlikely.
Notre Dame would probably need one more quality win to have a legitimate shot of jumping the Wildcats. If they were a member of a conference they would likely have that shot—a Conference Championship Game. If the Irish were a member of the ACC in football this year there would exist the possibility that they would meet No. 9 FSU in the Conference Championship Game.
The Big 12 of which Kansas State is a member does not presently have a Championship Game because their membership fell to 10 teams, but that is likely to change.
All BCS conferences currently have a Championship Game or are in the process of getting one shortly.
Will this be a yearly problem for the Irish? Will going 12-0 against a respectable schedule like this year’s not be enough to reach the BCS National Championship Game in the future?
Will 12-0 not be enough to stay ahead of a one loss team from the SEC that wins their Conference Championship Game?
Will 12-0 not be enough this year to stay ahead of No. 4 Alabama if they finish 12-1 by winning the SEC Championship against Georgia?
If this scenario plays out, and Notre Dame remains No. 3 in the final BCS regular-season poll, will this push the school into seriously considering joining the ACC as a full-time member?