Paul Finebaum went on First Take today and showed that he is already in midseason form. Notre Dame plays Louisville tonight to start their season after a disappointing showing in the CFB Playoff against the eventual National Champion Clemson Tigers. Asked whether Notre Dame would return to the CFB Playoff this year, Finebaum couldn’t even make it through the transition before he had to jump in and say no.
In fact, saying no wasn’t emphatic enough. Finebaum picked out two loses on Notre Dame’s schedule and went on to say that the Fighting Irish should be banned from the Playoff after their performance against Clemson. (Video on ESPN)
“I think they can be 10-2, but they are not going to the playoffs and frankly, they should never be allowed back to the playoffs after their embarrassing loss last year to Clemson. They should be given a five year probation.”
Many were quick to point out that Notre Dame actually “fared” better against the champs than Alabama did. Clemson beat ‘Bama, 44-16 and beat Notre Dame 30-3. While 28 is certainly a larger number than 27, 16 is also larger than 3. Alabama was within two scores at the half and actually scored two touchdowns in a quarter. Alabama had nearly 200 more yards against Clemson than Notre Dame did and the Crimson Tide won the time of possession battle.
Sure, none of that matters because of the actual score, but if these are the nits we’re picking, maybe nobody should be allowed to play Clemson. The Tigers are the new dynasty and over the last four seasons only generational teams like ’15 Alabama, ’16 Pitt, ’17 Alabama, and ’17 Syracuse have been able to beat them. So there is no real point in letting some run-of-the-mill highly-ranked team have a shot at them ever again.
Ban Notre Dame? No.
Ban everyone? Yes.