Gary Pinkel wants Notre Dame to be forced into a conference

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel wants Notre Dame to join a conference.
Alex Menendez/Getty Images

By Dan Lyons

As fans of the Big 12 know, there aren’t a lot of huge pieces out there for the taking in college football conference expansion. The one big chip that still floats out there is Notre Dame, which has a partnership with the ACC, but remains technically independent.

It seems like everyone in the sport has an opinion on Notre Dame’s unique standing in the sport, including Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel. During the ESPN “car wash” on Monday, which a number of SEC head coaches took part in, Pinkel advocated for the sport forcing all five conferences to have a championship and making the Irish join one of them.

Pinkel has lost two straight SEC Championship Games, so it is understandable that he wants the playing field leveled for teams from the Big 12 and Notre Dame, who don’t need to play those high-profile, risky games. However, we doubt anyone is forcing the Irish to do anything anytime soon.

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