So in the last two weeks we’ve heard a lot of complaining from head coaches across the country that Notre Dame needs to be in a conference.
Dabo Swinney agrees w/Gary Pinkel: “Absolutely Notre Dame needs to be in conference or play 13 games to be in @CFBPlayoff“
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 27, 2015
Kyle Whittingham said all P5 should play same number league games & have title game. “Notre Dame’s gotta join (a conference)”
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 29, 2015
Add Jimbo Fisher, David Cutcliffe, Frank Beamer & Dave Doeren to list who believe Notre Dame should be in league/play 13 games
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 28, 2015
That’s a lot coaches from the ACC making complaints. Kyle Whittingham from Utah represents the Pac 12 and Gary Pinkel from Missouri covers the SEC. I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear more of the same from other coaches questioning Notre Dame football independence for years to come. I’ll be the first to say it would be great if Notre Dame fully joined the ACC in football.
In fact I think it will eventually happen, but not anytime soon. By that I mean I don’t see Notre Dame moving into the ACC for at least 10 years despite what these coaches want, but don’t blame Notre Dame.
The real blame lies in the Power 5 conference commissioners, ADs, and college presidents. When the college football playoff format came into existence that was the opportunity for the Power 5 to black ball Notre Dame’s independent status. It’s would have been simple. You have to be a member of a conference to make the playoff. At the very least make it a significant component of making the playoffs.
Maybe Power 5 leaders were concerned that Notre Dame would join a rival conference great enhancing that conference. You can’t have it both ways though. Either you force the Irish into a conference or you don’t. Notre Dame isn’t coming willingly. As far as we know no Power 5 conference put up much resistance to Notre Dame and their current status.
These coaches can complain all night and day, but if they want Notre Dame in a conference they better go to their conference commissioners, ADs, and school decision makers. They are the only ones that can move this along faster than Notre Dame wants.