You gotta hand it to the selection committee.
While Brian Kelly’s departure obviously shook up the college football landscape, it also could have potentially hurt Notre Dame’s College Football Playoff chances. After Notre Dame opted to promote defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to become the team’s next head coach, CFP committee chairman Gary Barta has acknowledged that the move will likely help Notre Dame in playoff discussions.
“We met last night as a committee as we got the weekend underway, and we talked about Notre Dame, the continuity, the quickness [of hiring Freeman to replace Kelly],” Barta said of Notre Dame on College GameDay Saturday morning. “And I can tell you, it is still part of our protocol, but based on our conversation last night, I’d be really surprised if it factors in at all in the conversation evaluating Notre Dame.”
With three teams a seeming lock in the semifinal field, if it comes down to Georgia and Notre Dame for the final slot, what’s the committee going to do?
If there’s such a thing as a meteor press conference, I’d say yesterday’s Brian Kelly vs. the Alabama media hook up surely qualifies.
And it isn’t some lowly mid-major backing out, either.
Week 15 just got a little more crowded, methinks.
This is some deal Notre Dame has cut for itself.
All that and you get to keep your own TV contract, to boot. Sweet!
Father Jenkins, the president of the University of Notre Dame:
Athletic competition presents another set of challenges. We believe we can, with aggressive testing, hygiene and careful monitoring, keep student-athletes safe. Indeed, keeping healthy relatively small cadres of student-athletes, coaches and support staff members is a less daunting challenge than keeping safe the several thousand other people in the campus community.
Fans in the stadium, however, are a different matter. Fighting Irish fans regularly fill Notre Dame Stadium’s 80,000 seats. I see no way currently to allow spectators unless we restrict admissions so that physical distancing is possible…
We are in our society regularly willing to take on ourselves or impose on others risks — even lethal risks — for the good of society. We send off young men and women to war to defend the security of our nation knowing that many will not return. We applaud medical professionals who risk their health to provide care to the sick and suffering.
How can you equate college football players with soldiers and medical professionals like that? Seriously, because I got nothing.
He goes on to get this part right: “The pivotal question for us individually and as a society is not whether we should take risks, but what risks are acceptable and why.” That is a debate worth having, and not just at his institution.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t offer anything more than his hope that most people won’t disagree with his choice. I wonder if he’s going to make the effort to find out what those football players being imposed on think about it.
I mentioned earlier that it was likely one reason Smart felt comfortable letting Rodrigo kick that field goal — you know the field goal I’m talking about — is that his defense to that point had done a superlative job limiting Book’s ability to operate in short-yardage situations.
… The Irish finished with just 46 yards rushing on 14 carries, barely 3 yards a pop, with a long gain of just 9 via scramble by QB Ian Book. Still, their reluctance was mostly a matter of necessity. Situationally, they struggled throughout to stay ahead of schedule re: down-and-distance, keeping Book in obvious passing downs. Through the first 3 quarters, ND ran just 1 play on 2nd-and-short (less than 5 yards to go) and 0 on 3rd-and-short, a situation it didn’t face until well into the final quarter.
If only the secret sauce had lasted for the next drive…
Kelly gave a terse response when asked about the fake injury in his Sunday conference call:
“Owusu was evaluated for a concussion. He was brought to the tent. So, that’s hard to be booing at a young man who suffered an evaluation for a concussion.
“Quite honestly, Georgia doesn’t play very fast, so I found that to be quite interesting there would be a number of questions on something like that.”
To paraphrase a saying, it’s better to remain silent and be thought an asshole than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Georgia-Notre Dame was berry, berry good for CBS.
Even if not quite as good as you-know-what.
Compared to last year’s primetime SEC game on CBS, Alabama-LSU in week ten, overnights fell 7% from a 6.7. The 6.2 ranks sixth out of the past nine primetime SEC games on CBS (dating back to 2011). Each of the other eight pit LSU against Alabama.
There’s something about life (or, maybe, the lack thereof) in Tuscaloosa.
Sometimes you don’t know you’re hurt and it takes the diagnosis of an alert teammate to save you.
Then again, sometimes you just cheat.
Looking forward to seeing you folks again.