Notre Dame was highly criticized for its 30–3 loss to Clemson in the Cotton Bowl.
Following No. 3 Notre Dame's 30–3 loss to No. 2 Clemson in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, Fighting Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he doesn't think the defeat will hurt the program's future College Football Playoff berth chances.
Notre Dame was on the receiving end of intense criticism on social media after the blowout loss to Clemson. Players from No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 Ohio State, who felt snubbed by the playoff committee, called out the Irish after Saturday's game.
ACC commissioner John Swofford said Notre Dame's outcome is not the result of a faulty playoff system.
"You make that selection based on the information they have at hand when they make it, not after the semifinal games," Swofford said, according to ESPN. "So a lot of things can happen in a game and if a team doesn't show well, it doesn't necessarily mean they didn't deserve to be here. They might've just had a bad day."
If Notre Dame chooses to join a conference before 2036, it would be obligated to enter the ACC. Notre Dame and the ACC currently have a contract for the Irish to play five conference games per season.
Swofford said the ACC would be "very open to having that conversation" with Notre Dame if the school was interested in joining a conference in the future.