Notre Dame made the College Football Playoff this season with a 12-0 regular season record. The Fighting Irish don’t play a 13th game, because they are an independent.
NCAA rules stipulate that programs can play 12 regular season games, plus a conference championship. Notre Dame’s independent status limits them to 12 games, and has caused some controversy.
Fans of other programs claim it is unfair that the Irish could qualify for the playoff playing one less game. Notre Dame, meanwhile, isn’t opposed to adding a 13th game to its schedule, according to a new ESPN report.
Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick told the Worldwide Leader he would “love” to schedule a 13th game, but isn’t sure if there will be enough universal support to change the NCAA regulations.
“What interest does everyone else have in supporting that legislation?” he said. “Are you writing it so that it says if you are an independent ineligible for a conference championship you can play a 13th game? Is it discretionary that anyone not in a conference championship can play a 13th game? So it’s hard to get the legislative support for that.
“They do it in the context that almost all of their schools have conference championships, so you’re essentially saying with the conference championship, the number of games is 13. That creates a differential in the number of contests I would love not to have to deal with.”
Notre Dame’s 12-0 mark earned them the No. 3 seed in this year’s College Football Playoff. They lost to Clemson 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl.
Prior to this season, Notre Dame also made the BCS National Championship Game in 2012 after going 12-0.
They were defeated by Alabama in that game 42-14.