According to Gary Barta, Brian Kelly’s departure from Notre Dame could affect Fighting Irish’s CFP ratings

The latest College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday, and Notre Dame (11-1) just missed out on a spot in the top four, coming in at sixth.

Following the announcement of the rankings on ESPN, College Football Playoff Council President Gary Barta joined the show to discuss the latest top 25. One topic of conversation was Brian Kelly’s departure from Notre Dame to move to LSU. He will coach Notre Dame if it makes it to the knockout stages, so how will his absence affect the Fighting Irish rankings?

THAN: Will Brian Kelly Coach If Notre Dame Attends College Football Knockout Qualifiers?

The selection committee’s protocol for missing players and coaches did not apply to this week’s rankings, as Notre Dame will not be competing this weekend. As a result, Fighting Irish’s #6 ranking was not determined by the Kelly news. However, Barta has said it could have an impact on Notre Dame’s rankings going forward, especially as the knockout stages draw closer.

“This week it does not apply. … After championship games are over, in your view, our protocol includes the possibility for the committee to review a player or coach who is not present,” said Barta, via

THAN: Why did Brian Kelly leave Notre Dame?

Due to the protocol Barta mentioned, it will most likely benefit Notre Dame to hire and/or announce a head coach by the end of the week, or at least before next Tuesday’s committee meeting. Even so, an interim coach may not help the Notre Dame case.

Notre Dame, an independent team, is the only team in the top six that will not compete for the convention championship this weekend. Because of this, Fighting Ireland has a chance to climb up the playoff rankings, but needs help from No. 1 Georgia (12-0) in beating the third-placed team, 11-1 Alabama. Loss of either Michigan or 5 Oklahoma would also benefit the Fighting Irish.

THAN: Is there a viable path for Notre Dame to the College Football Qualifiers? correct

For now, Notre Dame has to worry about appointing a new head coach.

THAN: Who are the top four teams in the fifth CFP poll in 2021?

Barta also mentioned how the committee will have to decide if Kelly’s absence has any factor in next week’s Notre Dame ratings review. It probably won’t be a factor, but more than likely it will.

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