Marcus Freeman snubbed: Notre Dame football coach overlooked in Top 25 rankings

Marcus Freeman's absence from top 25 college football coaches list sparks controversy amid Notre Dame football's rising prominence.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Things have changed rather abruptly when it comes to Notre Dame football head coach Marcus Freeman. In the middle of last season. Say after the Irish lost to Louisville, there were some who very much doubted that Freeman was the right man for the job. 

With the hiring of Mike Denbrock and the strategic management of the transfer portal by Freeman, the perception of the Notre Dame football team has shifted. They are now seen as strong contenders for the playoffs in the upcoming season. This shift in perception has also led to Freeman gaining a 'cool dad' reputation, further adding to the excitement surrounding the team.

And that's why it was a shock when On3 released its ranking of the Top 25 coaches in college football today, and Marcus Freeman was nowhere to be seen. Freeman's not among the 25 best head coaches in the country? Really?

Lincoln Riley is, though, despite needing to retool his staff after an embarrassing 2023 season—a season that saw the Notre Dame football team dismantle his USC Trojans. So is Matt Rhule. Who completed a 5-7 campaign in 2023 that included going from 5-3 to missing a bowl game thanks to four straight 3-point losses.

There's also Mike Gundy, who hasn't had Oklahoma State relevant or involved in National Title talks in a very long time. Former Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is there, too. He's second on the list. For reasons.

Marcus Freeman: Snubbed from Top 25 rankings for Notre Dame football

Steve Sarkisian is 5th. One good season at Texas rockets you up the rankings, according to On3. James Franklin is 13th, despite accomplishing very little at Penn State. 

That's the ranking that might stick in the craw the most. At the very least, Penn State's level of success is comparable to what Marcus Freeman has done at Notre Dame. And yet, Franklin is 13th, and Freeman is unranked.

In reality, whoever put this list (you can see the complete tally above) forgot Marcus Freeman. He's got a big chance to change that. If the 2024 season goes as Notre Dame football fans hope, he'd better be on this list next year.