Could Brian Kelly Leaving Notre Dame Hurt Their Playoffs Chances? CFP Chair Explains How It’s Possible

College Football Playoffs decision Notre Dame no coach

Getty Image / David Madison

  • Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly up and left The Irish for LSU while ND was still in contention for the playoffs
  • On Tuesday, College Football Playoffs chairman Gary Barta explained how Notre Dame being without a full-time head coach could potentially effect a decision on if ND should be in or out
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The College Football Playoffs committee announced their latest rankings on Tuesday, days ahead of the conference championship games. The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame received the #6 ranking from the committee and they’re still very much in contention for a spot in the playoffs.

#1 Georgia will play #3 Alabama. #2 Michigan will play #15 Iowa. If Alabama and Michigan lose then Notre Dame could conceivably move up into a playoffs spot but they’d do so without former head coach Brian Kelly who jumped ship for LSU this week.

On Tuesday, College Football Playoffs chairman Gary Barta was asked if Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame would effect the committee’s decision on Notre Dame and he said it didn’t this week but he clarified that it might have an impact after the conference championships. Here’s what he had to say:

The door is definitely open for ‘Brian Kelly leaving screwed Notre Dame out of the playoffs’ based on that answer. This is the telling portion of his statement “our protocol does include the ability to consider a player/coach not being available.”

Of course, Bama could beat Georgia and UGA would still be in Playoffs contention as they likely wouldn’t drop out of the top 4 and none of this would matter.

But, if the committee ultimately leaves Notre Dame out of the College Football Playoffs because they’re without former head coach Brian Kelly then ND fans justifiably have a reason to be furious.