Seems like my concerns are valid.
The Big East is close to a deal that would send its No. 2 team to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando and its No. 3 to the Sun Bowl, a source close to the negotiations told ESPN.com.
The league's current deal, which ends after this season, has its No. 2 team going to the Gator Bowl or Sun Bowl, with Notre Dame eligible to be taken in place of the Big East twice in a four-year span.
The Champs Sports Bowl? I'll admit it's not the worst bowl in the world, but I don't think it's close to the Gator Bowl. This effectively would remove the Big East from New Years Day outside of the BCS.
I know what you're thinking. Surely this arrangement would at least keep Notre Dame out. Wrong again. The only minor benefit to this deal (as it's being reported) is that Notre Dame would only be able to steal this bowl appearance once every four years instead of twice every four with the Gator.
I'm sure this move will be met with the Big East patting themselves on the back in public, but in reality, this has to hurt. I'm hesitant to say the Big East should steer clear of a relationship with Notre Dame because aligning themselves together certainly helps the Big East in some ways. But at what point does the conference stand on its own two feet and say 'Enough'?
And this is where the NCAA steps in. Why are independents even allowed? Having Notre Dame being allowed to contend for a national championship independently is akin to allowing the NY Yankees declare themselves too good for a division, but claiming they have the right to play in the World Series. Slightly different situation because there is no 'playoff' in college football, but you get my point.
If the NCAA forced Notre Dame to join a conference (and the other 3-4 independents) if they wanted to compete in the postseason, Notre Dame would have signed the deal yesterday.
This is probably more complicated than I'm letting on, but this is frustrating.