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Does Marcus Freeman's Hiring by Notre Dame Impact the College Football Playoffs?

The Irish are attempting to gain the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoffs.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - It is now official. Notre Dame hired its former Defensive Coordinator, Marcus Freeman, to be the Head Football Coach of the Fighting Irish. The timing is peculiar, not that it’s Notre Dame’s fault.

College head coaching changes happen at this time of year, and it’s right before national signing day and the college football bowl season. Not to mention, the College Football Playoffs are just about to start and the final rankings come out in just over two days.

It’s awkward for the College Football Playoff Committee and Notre Dame, the team being in transition; it still must be conquered quickly by both parties in question. That started with Notre Dame.

Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick and the Notre Dame administration came to a fairly quick decision to bring Coach Freeman onboard as the Head Coach. The players are happy about it, star safety Kyle Hamilton included, now will the College Football Playoff Committee be as joyful considering the odd timing?

The Irish players absolutely love him, but they do not vote for the Playoffs. Will the Irish be looked at differently by the Playoffs Committee with Coach Freeman now at the helm of the golden domers? A few points to ponder.

First, Notre Dame does not play in a conference so there is no chance to grade them in an actual game this weekend. The Irish finished 11-1 with their only loss coming at home to Cincinnati.

Second, Oklahoma State plays against Baylor. The Cowboys currently reside one spot higher in the polls than Notre Dame at No. 5 and the Irish of course then at No. 6. Oklahoma State finished the regular season at 11-1 with its only loss coming to Iowa State.

Third, regardless of what happens with Oklahoma State this weekend, the Cowboys and the Irish will actually be rooting for Houston to beat Cincinnati, Iowa to beat Michigan, and Georgia to beat Alabama during conference championship games. One of Michigan, Cincinnati, or Alabama needs to lose, at least, so that Oklahoma State and/or Notre Dame can move into the top four.

The next question may be the most important.

Fourth, what does the Playoffs Committee consider for positive and negative points with Coach Freeman now the Head Coach of the Irish? He’s never been a college football head coach prior to being named one today. Is that good, bad or indifferent?

Sure, he’s definitely been a top-notch Defensive Coordinator for Notre Dame this season and during his previous tenure for Cincinnati (2017-2020). Does that leave some doubt for the Playoffs Committee?

Perhaps it could. There are big decisions to be made if the Irish were to play Georgia or any other team included within the Playoffs. 

The other side of the coin says there’s renewed enthusiasm and the players will be dialed in. If anyone checked out numerous social media posts by Notre Dame players during the course of this week those individuals would see a plethora of Irish players casting their vote for Coach Freeman to be the next man in charge of the Notre Dame Football program.

It’s hard to say what the Playoffs Committee will do, but Coach Freeman being the new Head Coach for Notre Dame does bring something new into the equation to think about. Let’s see how this Saturday’s games play out and then perhaps this situation needs to be touched upon again on Sunday before the final rankings are released.

For UCF coverage and recruiting information go to: The Daily Knight podcast. For more college football, UCF and recruiting information, go to Twitter: @fbscout_florida and @UCF_FanNation, as well as my YouTube Channel and Instagram page. Like and Subscribe!

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