Fact or Fiction: Irish will make playoff with ACC schedule
National recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney tackle three topics daily and determine whether they believe the statements or not.
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1. Notre Dame will make the playoff with an ACC schedule.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Honestly, playing an ACC schedule will be harder for the Fighting Irish. The ACC is considered a cupcake league, but there are some dangerous teams on the schedule aside from Clemson. I could see Notre Dame losing to Louisville, Pitt or North Carolina and ending the season with two losses. We know they need to be perfect to make the playoff most likely and with this schedule, I don’t see that happening.
Gorney’s take: FACT. Notre Dame has all the pieces to make a run to the College Football Playoff – whether it’s with an ACC-only schedule or anything else. The Irish have a veteran quarterback, one of the best offensive lines in the country, defensive playmakers at all three levels and they have excellent coaching as well. Of course, Clemson is the fly in the ointment, but last season Notre Dame hung tough with a really talented Georgia squad. Will it definitely happen? No. But Notre Dame has a real shot.
2. The Pac-12 players will strike this season.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. The movement is afoot in the Pac-12 and the message is clear. Meet our demands or we sit out. But let’s be honest, the players aren’t going to sit out the season. Will some talks occur and some concessions made? Perhaps, although this is quite short notice to get anything substantial done. In the end, some will opt out and the majority will stay and play unless the entire college football season gets shut down. I can’t see a way where players can afford to shut down their college football careers to make this movement happen.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. The letter by Pac-12 athletes was interesting and could spark change in the future as the stark reality comes to light that college athletes are completely at the hands of college decision-makers and they have nobody bargaining on their behalf.
With that being said, some of their demands are outlandish and not even feasible at this time and would take extensive discussions to even start considering. Others, like Covid-19 testing and advancement on name, image and likeness, are understandable and being moved through the slow, grinding process of the NCAA. I doubt many players sit out and a season is fully expected, but this is an important first step to at least get the conversation going on some of these topics.
3. Kassidy Woods is correct in his reasoning.
Farrell’s take: FICTION. Woods is a receiver for Washington State who has decided to opt out for the 2020 season because he has an autoimmune trait. And that’s fine. With COVID-19, it’s completely understandable, but Woods also wanted to practice with the team as well and was told he can’t. And that makes sense.
Woods shouldn’t be around large groups of people who may or may not have COVID-19 if he’s possibly immune suppressed. Yes there will be testing, but if he doesn’t trust the testing process to keep him safe, he needs to stay away. T
here has been talk that Washington State head coach Nick Rolavich told Woods he better not be part of the Pac-12 unity movement and that’s a different issue altogether. But if he’s worried about playing, he should be worried about practicing as well and all players who opt out for the season should not be a part of the team this year for the safety reasons they state.
Gorney’s take: FICTION. This is a very complicated and convoluted situation right now so I’m erring on the side of caution here while both sides explain themselves. If Woods is uncomfortable playing because he has sickle cell trait, that is completely understandable. But then it should also be understandable that he cannot hang around the locker room or be around his teammates, especially in indoor settings.
However, if it’s true that Woods was eliminated from a team group chat, then that is a serious concern that should be addressed. And if Washington State coach Nick Rolovich was disallowing inclusion in the Pac-12 unity group or discouraging Woods from involving himself in it, then that needs to be addressed as well.
There are some gray areas that need to be hammered out through further discussion, but I don’t agree with Woods that he was “cut” from the team, although being eliminated from a team group text is questionable.