It might be hard to believe, but Notre Dame has sports other than football. A shift to the Big Ten, now under consideration, would save millions in travel costs for the school's nonrevenue sports. Sure, the Irish would have to share some of their football loot, but the Big Ten's multiple bowl affiliations would help ensure Notre Dame a postseason berth.
The league turned down the Irish five times between 1897 and '26. That forced Notre Dame to rely on itself and become a national institution. Now the Irish sell out stadiums in California and play hoops in the Big East. Why give up national stature for the thrill of finishing first—or third or fifth—in a regional conference?