Marcus Freeman ranking snub: Notre Dame coach grabs 24th spot despite success

Notre Dame's coach, Marcus Freeman, secures 24th spot in CBS Sports ranking, despite team's potential for College Football Playoff.
Julie Vennitti Botos / Canton Repository

As we approach the 2024 season, all kinds of aspects of Notre Dame football are up for discussion. The Fighting Irish's offense and defense are discussed, as is their head coach. And, of course, some rankings show where analysts believe Notre Dame will finish this season.

However, one analyst's rankings of the Top 25 head coaches for the upcoming season seem a bit odd. CBS Sports writer Tom Fornelli doesn't give Marcus Freeman much love. On the one hand, he does have Freeman inside the Top 25. On the other hand, the Notre Dame football coach is ranked just 24th, despite the fact that most people believe the Irish are sure bets to make the College Football Playoffs.

It's not as though Fornelli doesn't like Freeman. However, the Irish coach seemingly stands in the shadow of his predecessor, Brian Kelly. Of course, the CBS Sports writer did point out that having Freeman at number 24 was higher than he had him a year ago, when he was 38th.

"Another one of our climbers. Freeman had his first 10-win season with the Fighting Irish last year and is now 19-7 over his two full seasons. Most importantly, last year didn't include any odd losses to teams like Marshall. Freeman and his staff have built a lot of positive momentum on the recruiting trail and landed a top transfer quarterback each of the last two seasons; ex-Duke QB Riley Leonard was this year's get. Next on the list? A College Football Playoff appearance."

Notre Dame football coach gets snubbed

"The ranking of 24th for Freeman would be more tolerable if Fornelli didn't lavish praise on Kelly. The LSU coach is ranked fourth on this list, a position that seems undeserved given that he has only one more win (20-7 compared to 19-7) since he left South Bend and Freeman took over."

It's evident that Freeman has the potential to climb higher. A successful 2024 season could significantly propel him up the list, a prospect that should inspire hope and optimism among Notre Dame football fans.