The Notre Dame athletic director is open to adding another game to the football slate annually.
As it stands right now, Hawai’i and teams that play at Hawai’i are allowed to play 13 games in a season. That doesn’t include conference championship games. The reasoning behind this is to recuperate the loss of money from the extreme amount of traveling it takes to get to and from Hawai’i.
Now, Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick says that, “We would love the opportunity to play a 13th game to take that issue off the table.”
That issue that Swarbrick is referring to is the argument that has been made against Notre Dame for not being able to play a conference championship game. That argument claims that Notre Dame shouldn’t make the College Football Playoff unless they join a conference — and win the conference championship. Mind you, the 2017-18 Alabama team proved you don’t need to even win your division, let alone conference, to still sneak into the Playoff.
There’s a number of issues with the idea of playing a thirteenth game. It’s extra stress on players, more chance for injuries, takes away a bye week, and it would potentially interferes with classes. More to my point, it is simply not necessary.
It’s not necessary because Notre Dame doesn’t play a FCS school, ever. This is a common practice, but since the Irish don’t do it, their schedule can be compared to a conference champion who won 12 FBS games.
Notre Dame made the Playoff this season by going unbeaten. Those with actual power over who makes the College Football Playoff did not care at all that they didn’t play in a conference championship game. All the Irish have to do is continue to schedule tough competition and win.
At the end of the day, it would be ridiculous for Notre Dame to change to fit the mold of who will get into the Playoff. The Irish already fit that mold. The only reason so many people in the media complain about Notre Dame’s inclusion is that it helps keep people listening to them.