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These Sooners look tough enough to give the league a national championship, maybe as a going away present.

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CONFERENCE CHAOS

So what becomes of Notre Dame when all these conferences are done expanding?

There are so many moving parts and possibilities it’s almost impossible to play out every scenario. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick on Saturday told reporters at the Fighting Irish’s home game against Michigan State that, as always, football independence is the top priority.

“We’ll see whether we can manage our circumstances to meet that goal,” Swarbrick was quoted as saying by the Chicago Tribune.

The Irish need a place to house the rest of their athletic programs because being an independent in everything isn’t manageable.

The key for Notre Dame is having some sort of living and breathing Big East. It would help if the Big East has football, because a conference with football is more lucrative and, in turn, stronger than one without.

It’s doubtful any other major conference would allow Notre Dame to have the same deal it gets from the Big East. But until the Big East is dead, and it’s not even close to being there yet, Notre Dame has no reason to give up what it has.

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QUICK HITS

_ Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins had 10 catches for 155 yards in a 38-24 victory against Auburn to set a freshman school record. He is one of several freshman coach Dabo Swinney has turned to to help rejuvenate an offense that struggled last season. So far it’s worked, but betting on freshman can be risky.

_Watch out for Army. The Cadets went through the toughest part of their schedule 1-2, getting their first win Saturday, 21-14 at home against Northwestern. Army played well in losses at Northern Illinois and to San Diego State and there’s not another team left on its schedule it will be overmatched by.

_Ohio State is unranked this week for the first time since November 2004. Michigan is No. 22. The last time the Wolverines were ranked ahead of the Buckeyes was the preseason poll of 2007.

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