Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2015

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 5 of 115

IN THE TRENCHES ANDREW OWENS I n y e a r o n e of the newly minted Col- l e g e F o o t b a l l P l a y o f f , t h e 12-person selec- tion committee made a resound- ing statement that 13 is better than 12. T h e B i g 12, which for months trum- peted its empty and wrong mes- sage of "One Tr u e C h a m - pion," was the lone power five conference shut out of the inau- gural College Football Playoff. With TCU and Baylor each at 11-1 — the Bears beat the Horned Frogs 61-58 earlier in the season — and without the benefit of a conference championship game like Alabama, Or- egon, Florida State and Ohio State had, both squads were handed the consola- tion prize of a non-playoff New Year's Six bowl. For years, the NCAA has required conferences to have 12 teams in order to host a conference championship game. The Big 12 held one for years until Colo- rado, Nebraska, Texas A&M and M i s s o u r i d e - parted and were replaced by West Vi rg i n i a a n d TCU. Even with 10 teams, how- ever, the NCAA could approve a waiver allowing the Big 12 to add a championship game to follow the lead of the other four major conferences. U n t i l t h e n , the Big 12 is left with ques- tions and finger pointing to fig- ure out how to give itself the b e s t p o s s i b l e chance of reach- ing the playoff annually. In many ways, Notre Dame is in the same boat. The Irish remain an indepen- dent with a partial agreement with the ACC that calls for five games per sea- son between the sides as well as Notre Dame's participation in the conference's bowl lineup. As far as the College Football Playoff is concerned, however, Notre Dame is an independent with 12 games. Could the lack of a 13th someday bite the Irish Playoff Questions Loom For Irish Irish head coach Brian Kelly placed all options back on the table when discussing future scheduling after seeing this year's College Football Playoff field. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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