It was just last week that Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel spoke out about Notre Dame’s lack of conference affiliation and whether it should play a role in the program’s ability to earn a playoff spot.
Ignoring the fact that Notre Dame’s schedule is more difficult than what his Tigers are going to go up against this year, Pinkel had the following to say:
“Give Notre Dame year to join a league. They don’t have independents in NFL.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is now reiterating Pinkel’s stance:
Dabo Swinney agrees w/Gary Pinkel: “Absolutely Notre Dame needs to be in conference or play 13 games to be in @CFBPlayoff"
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 27, 2015
Rather than simply indicate that the Irish should be forced to join a conference, Swinney went on to say that the other option here would be for the program to play a 13th game.
That last point makes some sense. Notre Dame’s potential competition for a playoff spot this year will include teams that have to play a conference title game. As an independent, the Irish are not bound by that.
Much like Missouri, it’s interesting that a head coach for a program with a cupcake early-season schedule would speak out against the Irish.
While Notre Dame opens the season against Texas and Virginia, Clemson will be taking on Wofford and Appalachian State. Let that sink in for a second.
Notre Dame travels to Memorial Stadium to take on Clemson in early October. It will be interesting to see where each team stands at that point and whether Swinney doubles down on the Irish.
Photo: USA Today Sports