Big Ten Expansion: Why Rutgers Needs Some Luck of the Irish

Andrew WeaverCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010

PISCATAWAY, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  Tom Savage #7 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights throws a pass against the South Florida Bulls at Rutgers Stadium on November 12, 2009 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

I’m not in the business of counting chickens before they hatch, so the recent whirlwind of talk surrounding “Rutgers to the Big 10” I’ve taken with a grain of salt.

And most people should, too—considering all of the talk is speculation up to this point.

That said, if Rutgers does indeed fit the profile and meet the standards for an expansion team, the Scarlet Knights may need to rely on more than what it can bring to the table to expect an invitation.

Rutgers might need to break out all of the green apparel in its wardrobe, head to the closest pub Wednesday, and order up a shepherd’s pie and a pint of Guinness.


Well, Wednesday is March 17—St. Patrick’s Day—and Rutgers could use a little luck of the Irish this year.

Unfortunately, Notre Dame may control not only its own destiny, but also the destiny of any potential Big 10 invitee, such as Rutgers—that is, if the Scarlet Knights were to receive an invite.  Big if, of course.

The Irish have been coveted by the Big 10 Conference for football each time the conference has toyed with expansion, but Notre Dame has decided not to affiliate itself with the conference time and time again.

Year after year, Notre Dame has answered the Big 10 invite call the same way: “No, we’re God…I mean, good.”

But for some odd reason, the Golden Domers are sniffing around the conversation this year.

If Notre Dame were to accept a bid, the expansion could potentially stop there.

The Irish figure to be at the top of the Big 10’s wish list of potential additions—and the conference may be content with just 12 teams as opposed to 14.

But if Notre Dame maintains the football elitism the program has defined itself by and rejects an invitation again, some school(s)—maybe Rutgers—would be the direct beneficiary.

If the Big 10 invitation fate of Rutgers football lies in the hands of Notre Dame, it’s safe to say the Scarlet Knights are hoping to get lucky in the form of quietude from the Irish this St. Paddy’s Day.