It seems like Notre Dame either will or won't join the Big Ten, but Joel Klatt thinks there is a third option.
The Fighting Irish have been adamant about remaining independent in football, but the ever-shifting landscape of conference realignment could force their hand. It has been reported that the Big Ten is willing to wait on ND for as long as necessary.
On Twitter today, Klatt said he doesn't think the Big Ten will expand unless the Fighting Irish want to join, which "doesn't seem imminent." The FOX Sports analyst thinks that even if Notre Dame doesn't become a Big Ten member, it could still enter a different kind of agreement with the conference.
"Big 10 is likely not going to expand further unless Notre Dame wants to join, which at this point doesn't seem imminent," Klatt said. "I could see an expanded scheduling relationship between the two."
Notre Dame has had a scheduling agreement with the ACC for several years now. The Fighting Irish are ACC members in every sport except for football and men's ice hockey, and are required to play five other ACC institutions every year on the gridiron.
Notre Dame has several long-standing rivalries with current Big Ten schools--Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue among them--so scheduling games against the conference would be a natural fit.
But would the Big Ten really allow ND to agree to half-measures or would it force them to be all-in or all-out?