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The week in news- Conference Realignment and Independence

Did anything else happen this week? It sure doesn't feel like it. On Monday the initial news hit that the Big Ten had made offers to Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri and Rutgers. Keeping track of anything other than realignment talk has been difficult ever since.

While the report has since been refuted by all parties we all know that it is out there. Realignment is coming. It is just a matter of waiting on the 5 W's to shake out. As the powers that be work out the who, what, when, where, why and how we at least have something interesting to discuss.

So what do we know? As I chronicled in my original post on the subject Monday Notre Dame has said that independence is the priority all along. Coach Kelly echoed that same sentiment yesterday. But what about everybody else?

The subject is ludicrous big and complicated with an infinite number of potential scenarios. Someone should probably consider tracking down Miles Dyson to pull the plug before it takes on a life of its own, starts communicating with Skynet and becomes self aware.

Here is the extremely short version. The Big Ten is going to expand, most likely to 16 teams. We can argue about who those teams might be but the long and short appears to be this. Their desire for ND is a no brainer. The Big 12 North presents a couple of intriguing options in Missouri and Nebraska. The Big East is ripe for poaching however many teams arfe required to round out the 16. As a result if the big fish like Notre Dame and Nebraska say no the Big East stands to take an even bigger hit.

The Big 12 is also vulnerable at the moment and I see that conference as the one that will ultimately determine the size of the ripple effect. The Big 12 is in discussions with the Pac Ten about a partnership that could help to secure both conferences. There have been some great posts written here on the FanTake network this week that provide a lot of insight on the Big 12 perspective. Looking to kill a Friday morning? The links are below. Since all of them have written multiple posts on the matter the links will take you to their home pages. Enjoy.

Barking Carnival- Texas is in a very good position. Fringe benefits of being a juggernaut.

Boomer and Sooner- These guys want to keep the Big 12 together and make a great case for it.

Atomic Teeth- Missouri thinks they are definitely Big Ten bound.

Better Off Red- Nebraska is torn. Would they really leave their old Big 8 partners?

If nothing else this pending realignment is going to be interesting. Best case scenario would be the Big Ten is able to pick up a couple of Big East teams and a mid major or two to round it out. The Big 12 and Pac 10 shore themselves up with a new TV deal and a scheduling partnership, while Notre Dame remains independent. It could happen so long as nobody panicks in the short term.

So besides all of this realignment talk what else happened this week? I didn't take my usual look around the country this week but with an ND focus there were a few things of note.

The future of second team Tight End Mike Ragone is very much in doubt after a run in with the law. This is disappointing on several levels. If he is dismissed he will be the third second team Tight End to leave ND due to disciplinary problems in two years.

Charlie Weis was paid $2.9 Million from July 08 to June 09. Does it matter?

Pete Carroll doesn't think USC will receive any serious penalties from the NCAA. He also says Golden Tate tore it up in mini camp. I still can't believe Tate plays for him now. Everything about that is wrong.