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Report: Notre Dame's Preference Amid Conference Changes Revealed

Notre Dame's mascot leading the football team onto the field.

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 04: The macot, cheerleaders and players forthe Notre Dame Fighting Irish run onto the field before a game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Notre Dame Stadium on November 4, 2017 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Wake Forest 48-37. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Notre Dame has been linked to the Big Ten, SEC and ACC amid the conference realignment talk over the last week.

With USC and UCLA heading to the Big Ten, many believe college football is heading toward a "two superconferences" future. 

Notre Dame might have to finally join a conference in full-time capacity or risk getting left behind. 

However, according to Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde, the Fighting Irish still have one priority: remaining independent. 

A source familiar with the school’s thinking told Sports Illustrated that “independence remains the preference and the leader in the clubhouse.” It will take a lot to move Notre Dame off its cherished identity, but the instability of the entire landscape remains a concern, and could further affect the Irish outlook.

Forde, though, adds that there could be two factors that ultimately push the Fighting Irish to a conference. 

Specifically, the Big Ten.