Ever since Brian Kelly took off for LSU, his exit from Notre Dame has left much to be desired. From telling the players in a group text he was leaving for LSU to having an early meeting that reportedly lasted two minutes to tell the players the same thing he told them in the group text, Kelly didn’t do himself any favors to those at South Bend.
It might be somewhat overdramatic to say that Kelly left Notre Dame in shambles but his departure might be a huge detriment for the Fighting Irish for one big reason.
Gary Barta, the chairperson of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee revealed that the committee is able to “consider a player or coach not being available” as a reason for them to not make the tournament.
“At this point, we’ll have to wait and see how that factors in."
— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) December 1, 2021
I guess I can understand the logic, even if it is incredibly flawed. If a coach leaves or a top player gets injured, it’s assumed that the team in question will be worse and will be terrible in the tournament. And that spot can be taken by a team that’s full strength and can compete. It’s totally unfair but look around college football and a lot of it is unfair.
In all seriousness, it may not even matter for Notre Dame. The 11-1 Fighting Irish is sixth in the latest College Football Playoff ranking and Barta pointed out that Kelly’s absence didn’t affect Notre Dame’s ranking this week. With their regular season over, Notre Dame would need to have at least two teams ahead of them lose if they want a realistic shot at the top four. One will definitely lose as No. 1 Georgia plays No. 3 Alabama but Georgia might stay ahead if they were to lose. And given how the CFP is desperately trying to keep Alabama in the top four, a loss to the top team in the country might still keep them up.
Either way, it’s insane to imagine that a head coach would leave a school that has a shot at making the College Football Playoff but as we’ve seen, it’s all about the money.