Headlinin’: Count Notre Dame out of the mix for Big Ten expansion

Making the morning rounds.

Irish need not apply. The Big Ten is playing it cool, taking it slow, keeping its conference expansion cards close to the vest. One card it will not be playing, according to an anonymous source in the Boston Globe: Notre Dame. The Irish "haven’t been in the mix for a while," according to the source, though he did add that the Big Ten could be looking at expanding by three or five teams to form a 14 or 16-team behemoth, as repeatedly speculated, is very much on the table. Even if Notre Dame is not one of those teams. But you already knew that. [Boston Globe]

Good luck with that. Meanwhile, in its effort to think outside the box — never an easy proposition when you use the cliché, "think outside the box" — the Big East has retained the services of Paul Tagliabue, former NFL commissioner, to help it stave off grim death if the Big Ten plucks multiple Big East members for its cosmic domination plan. Among the tentative propositions: Expanding the Big East to a 20-team basketball league, in part by luring Maryland and former member Boston College from the ACC, and forming a potentially lucrative scheduling arrangement with Notre Dame without making the Irish an official member. [Associated Press, Boston Globe]

Unga’s ‘desperate’ matter of honor. Less than a week after withdrawing from BYU to avoid disciplinary action for violating the school’s strict honor code — prohibiting, among other things, alcohol, tobacco and premarital sex — all-time rushing leader Harvey Unga is trying "in the most desperate way" to return to the Cougars for his senior season. The school issued a news release last week saying that Unga and his former fiancée, women’s basketball player Keilani Moeaki, were both leaving school for reasons related to the honor code. Coach Bronco Mendenhall said he’d welcome Unga back, but the decision is up to Church of Latter Day Saints leaders and BYU administration, and they’ll make it on their own timetable. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Lose some, win some others. One potential positive of quarterback Zach Mettenberger’s dismissal from Georgia over the weekend: It increases the Bulldogs’ chances of landing hotly-sought North Carolina prospect Christian LeMay, one of the top-rated quarterbacks in the 2011 class. Says LeMay’s father, Rev. Stacy LeMay, to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Yeah, I think it definitely helps Georgia. … The possibility before this was pretty encouraging anyway. Now Georgia’s situation has become even more attractive." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

Quickly … Alabama’s amended contract proposal to Nick Saban could include term life insurance. … We know the SEC East is up in the air, but what about the perception of the SEC East? … And Ohio State goes pink for its spring game draft. Maybe that explains why the cows roaming OSU’s campus Wednesday were so angry.

Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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