If the Big 12 wants to make a deal with Notre Dame, some kind of minimum football scheduling should be required. Six games a year would be nice. A minimum of four.
Texas is hot and heavy to play Notre Dame every year, apparently on Thanksgiving, which would be the ultimate stick-it-to-A&M move. Bob Stoops probably isn't too keen on seeing the Irish every year, but frankly, the Sooners helped the Longhorns create this Big 12 mess. OU might need to take one for the team.
A batch of Notre Dame games, two or three a year on the road at Big 12 schools, would greatly enhance the Big 12 television package when it comes up for bid in a few years.
Why would Notre Dame suddenly sign off on showing its face in Manhattan, Kan., or Stillwater, places it would play only while holding its nose while getting its butt beat? Because the Irish need a home for those good basketball programs, and the Big East is turning into the Trans America Conference, with Boise State and Central Florida and SMU being mentioned to join the likes of Georgetown and St. John's.
Giving them that choice, a football game every once in awhile in Lubbock, Texas, doesn't seem so bad.
If the Big 12 wanted to add one more school, say Louisville, along with the quality addition of West Virginia, the league could then try to get the BYU/Notre Dame partnership for No. 12.
BYU in for football, Notre Dame in all other sports. Brigham Young's non-football teams are competing in the West Coast Conference; football is BYU's most pressing need. All the other sports are Notre Dame's most pressing need. So that might work.
It's probably a long shot. And yes, it would be in many ways a dubious arrangement. Nothing screams mickey mouse like a patched-together conference in which some schools don't toss all its teams into the mix.
But like I said, the Big 12's stately days are over. The Big 12 is in survival mode. The Big 12 will win no beauty contests. But nothing could proclaim the nine lives of this conference like a deal with Notre Dame.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.