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Missouri Head Coach on Notre Dame: Independents Shouldn’t Qualify for Playoff

Notre Dame’s independent standing has been a point of contention around the college football world for years now. It’s now magnified a bit further with program identity wrapped up a great deal in conference relationships and the fact that other top schools have to play in conference championship games before even being considered for the new college football playoff.

Speaking with ESPN on Monday, Missouri’s Gary Pinkel addressed Notre Dame’s non-affiliation and what it should mean for the program’s ability to earn a spot in the four-team playoff:

That normally would be a decent point, but Pinkel’s attempt to use the Power Five argument should fall on deaf ears. Despite not having to play a tough conference slate, the Irish go up against teams from Power Five schools nine times this upcoming season. For comparison’s sake, Missouri goes up against eight such opponents.

In fact, Notre Dame’s first three games are against Texas, Virginia and Georgia Tech. Meanwhile, Missouri takes on Southeast Missouri State, Arkansas State and Connecticut to start the year.

If the Irish, who earn a ton of cash from an exclusive television contact with NBC, should be forced to align with a conference, maybe Power Five schools should be forced to get rid of their cupcake early-season schedules.

Photo: USA Today Sports