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Notre Dame Baseball

Sunday Reflections

July 23, 2022
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TV networks are changing college football and it could lead to long-term impacts much great than NIL and the Transfer Portal. 

Tradition is something college football has always had over professional sports and the latest moves could potentially take some of that away, yet conference realignment has been taking place fairly frequently throughout the last 40 years. 

Oklahoma and Texas in the SEC is a bit strange to say, but it’s not like the Big 12 has been around forever. UCLA and USC in the Big 10 will take some time to get used to, but at the same time, will anyone really miss USC playing Washington State or UCLA going to Autzen Stadium? No. 

That said, Notre Dame remains in a strong position and remains in control of the future for many programs - and whether that’s a positive or negative remains to be seen. 

A report from Navigate, a sports and entertainment market research company, did some quick research and came up with figures that are telling as it relates to Notre Dame’s standing. 

Navigate projects the Big Ten projecting $75 million per school (per year) by 2025 and the SEC over $100 million per school by 2028. They also project the ACC, Big 12, and Pac-12 to be around $50 million per school. 

There’s a big gap there between “Power 5 conferences.” It would likely lead to significant advantages in facilities, staff, and the ability to stay relevant to compete for a national title. 

Navigate

While they are projections, it’s definitely data schools have to factor in as conference realignment talks are very real and no one wants to get left in the dust. 

Where does this put Notre Dame? 

CBS reporter Dennis Dodd came out with an article earlier this week that Notre Dame wanted $75 million a year from NBC to keep its independence. It’s also quite a bit more than what Notre Dame annually makes from NBC as the current deal averages $15 million per year, but as Dodd pointed out, the Fighting Irish are earning around $22 million currently. 

Why does this make sense for Notre Dame? 

1. Notre Dame remains independent
2. It could keep Notre Dame’s relationship with the ACC while also potentially keeping the conference alive. 
3. And if the ACC is still around, Notre Dame could negotiate a more significant share of the conference payout, which was around $36.3 million this year. 

Dodd mentioned NBC using the Big 12 as a way to help NBC make more money if the network were to pay Notre Dame $75 million per year. There are likely other ways NBC can find a way to make up the difference, so it will fascinating to see where that leads. 

Notre Dame is in a good spot. The Big 10 and the SEC want the Irish. The ACC needs the Irish and the Big 12 would definitely love to get more money if it has a tie-in with NBC.

Navigate

The current contract with Notre Dame and NBC ends in 2025. 

Let’s say Notre Dame uses its leverage correctly for this example. Notre Dame gets $75 million annually from NBC and keeps its ACC deal in pace, but also negotiates a full revenue share with the ACC (because it would save the ACC and not join the Big 10) and keeps its independence. 

If you look at Navigates projections, Notre Dame could make $123.6 million, which would be more than any other program in the country in 2026. 

Would the ACC give Notre Dame a full revenue share? Who knows. But even a 50 percent revenue share would net Notre Dame $99.3 million in 2026, which would still be a high projection than the Big 10 and SEC. 

Not bad, right? 

Will NBC give Notre Dame $75? It remains to be seen. 

Did Notre Dame somehow make sure that figure was leaked? Probably as it sends a message to the Big 10, SEC and the other conferences along with the other TV networks. 

Notre Dame has always been coveted and will remain coveted, but the Fighting Irish also control the power as of now. 

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Notre Dame fans worked themselves into a frenzy as another round of rumors started about 2023 safety commit Peyton Bowen‍. The visits to other schools are definitely not ideal if you’re Notre Dame, but Bowen has also kept communication strong with the staff and has not taken an official visit to another program, which seems to the line in the sand. 

There have been plenty of comments about Bowen not being a Notre Dame kid or not committed. You name it, it’s been said. 

Yet on the opposite end of the spectrum, Notre Dame fans are hoping 2023 Baylor quarterback commit Austin Novosad‍ visits South Bend sooner than later. There aren’t questions about his character or his process. 

It’s all fair at the end of the day. It’s less dramatic if a recruit shuts down his recruitment following a commitment and calls it a day. But that’s a lot easier said than done, especially if you’re one of the best players at your position. 

In Bowen’s case, you can make a solid argument he’s the best safety in the country, which means coaches aren’t going to give up recruiting him despite his commitment to Notre Dame or if Bowen asks them to stop calling. He’s that good. 

And in all fairness, Bowen’s mother, Amee, fully admitted they have brought some of the extra attention on themselves because they have gone on other visits. She also explained the reasoning behind some of the visits and it made sense: Family Focus: Amee Bowen In-Depth on the Recruiting Process with Sons Eli, Peyton

It’s been said on here before, but Notre Dame recruiting is at a different level and with that comes dog fights for top talent. It’s always been that way and will continue to be that way. Notre Dame isn’t giving up committed recruits and neither are other schools. Relationships and the ability to present Notre Dame’s strengths are crucial and this staff has done an excellent job of that to this point.

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Notre Dame baseball got significant news when 2022 signees Estevan Moreno (SS) and David Lally Jr. (RHP) decided to enroll in August. Both players had projections to go in between 6th-8th rounds, but they realized the value of Notre Dame.

Lally and Moreno were very open to starting a professional career, yet it was clear both players had no issues going to college for three or four years. In fact, both players wanted over a million dollars to bypass college and while there were offers that were somewhat in the range of their figure, neither player budged. 

New head coach Shawn Stiffler has been in frequent contact with both players and has drawn positive reviews. 

Moreno is excited to play for Stiffler and he got some added comfort earlier this month from a few players on Notre Dame’s current roster. The Illinois native is getting a headstart on his collegiate career as he’s playing summer ball in the Northwoods League, a wooden bat collegiate summer league, and was able to catch up with Joey Spence following their matchup.

Spence was able to tell Moreno how the early Zoom meetings went and more feedback on Stiffler, which confirmed his thoughts on the new head skipper. 

Losing Link Jarrett was a tough blow for the Irish program, but less than two weeks into his tenure, Stiffler seems to be hitting the right notes with his current and future players. 

Stiffler was also in St. Petersburg (Fla.) this weekend to watch several 2023 commits workout and play at Perfect Game’s National Showcase.

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