Stephen A. Smith went nuclear on Notre Dame in a rant that left Mad Dog speechless

There are people who like Notre Dame, and then there are people like Stephen A. Smith who don't.

Marcus Freeman, Sam Hartman, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Marcus Freeman, Sam Hartman, Notre Dame Fighting Irish / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Unless you were born would a golden dome atop your head, you have probably gone through a Notre Dame hater phase in your life. I didn't get what the Irish were all about when I was in high school, throughout college and into my early adulthood. I later came to respect the rich tradition they have up in South Bend, but more importantly, how great of a head coach Brian Kelly was during his run there.

Notre Dame is a private Catholic school tucked away in rural Indiana in a state with very few blue-chip players. The rigorous academic standards make winning at a prolifically high level there during the modern era of college football even more difficult. However, it is always great when somebody decides to knock those Fighting Irish down a peg. Stephen A. Smith was that guy today.

"You talk about you have no sympathy for Notre Dame. Why are they even relevant?"

The reason Notre Dame is back in the national spotlight in the latter part of February is because of their place in the recently expanded College Football Playoff. While the Irish made it in twice in the previous four-team format, no team is given a greater benefit of the doubt by the new setup than Notre Dame. You can call it the luck of the Irish, but their national independent status is an issue.

For a team that has not won a national title since Smith was in high school, he just doesn't get it, man.

As long as Notre Dame goes 10-2 every year with a decent schedule, the Irish will make the playoff.

Stephen A. Smith is apoplectic over why anyone cares about Notre Dame

Because they have that sweet TV deal with NBC, there was not much of an incentive to join a Power Five conference even last year. While they forced their way into the ACC during COVID shamelessly, they wanted to play, and I get that. However, no team is better situated in the new playoff format than Notre Dame. This is because they will not have to play in a conference championship game ... ever!

Because of their brand recognition, they can shedule pretty much anyone they want. People are going to want to play the Irish to not only beat them, but be featured on NBC when they have to play up in South Bend. With their unique scheduling advantage, going 10-2 to 12-0 in a given season is fairly feasible. They may not ever get a top-four seed in this new format, but they honestly don't care.

This is because Notre Dame will be well-rested heading into their first-round game, probably at home most years, almost certainly underseeded. A 12-0 Notre Dame would never be higher than the No. 5 seed in this format because the Irish don't play in a conference. In reality, a 12-0 Notre Dame team would probably be at least a top-three team in college football. Up next, the lowly No. 12 seed, baby!

The way the playoff is set up masquerades as anti-Notre Dame, but in fact, it is quite the contrary. In time, NBC will get to broadcast a playoff game from inside Notre Dame Stadium to further explain to the masses just how great the Irish really are. All the while, the third and fourth best teams in the Big Ten and SEC will have to claw, scratch and fight there way though the playoff as underseeded squads.

Watch the college football world explode if a 9-3 Notre Dame team were to ever be the No. 11 seed.

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