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.