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Swarbrick named biggest winner of conference realignment

Over at The Sporting News, columnists Matt Hayes and Dave Curtis named their 10 biggest winners in the whole conference realignment shake-up.

Nobody ranked higher on Hayes’ list than Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick:

From Hayes:

The Irish kept their independent status, the Big East stayed intact for ND’s non-football sports and the program is right back where it is every year: winning cures everything. If ND wins and goes to BCS bowls and plays for a national championship more times than not under new coach Brian Kelly, the bidding war from network television for Irish games will be astronomical -- dwarfing anything any other team in any other conference can generate. Now, getting there is another story. Just ask Bob Davie, Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis.

Rounding out the Top Ten for Hayes is Texas AD DeLoss Dodds, Nebraska AD Tom Osbourne, Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, Kansas basketball coach Bill Self, Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson, SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Big Ten czar Jim Delany, and Senator Orrin Hatch.

Curtis’ list also had Swarbrick near the top with Notre Dame’s AD listed at third.

Here’s Curtis’ explanation:

From the beginning, the Irish brain trust wanted to maintain the school’s football independence. Swarbrick got it done; now he will be judged on his football coach.

Tough to disagree with this assessment. Curtis had a top ten of Dodds, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, Swarbrick, Texas A&M regent Gene Stallings, Delany, Boise State president Bob Kustra, reporter Chip Brown, Big East commish John Marinatto, Whittingham, and Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman.

Some pretty interesting opinions from two national writers that are very plugged in. Especially like the inclusion of Bill Self and Gene Stallings, two guys that might not have been talked about too much lately, but certainly did well for themselves the past few weeks.