Why Notre Dame's Brian Kelly wouldn't support Power 5 sked

Why Notre Dame's Brian Kelly wouldn't support Power 5 sked
August 7, 2014, 12:30 pm
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As expected, the NCAA approved on Thursday reforms that give the 65 teams from the Power Five conferences -- ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC -- autonomy to create their own set of rules.

Notre Dame's alliance with the ACC includes the Irish in that cash-stocked group, which likely will lead to stipends for athletes that go beyond what could've been previously provided.

Of course, Thursday's move has generated speculation that, eventually, the 65 Power Five schools will break off and form their own division. For now, that seems unlikely. But ESPN's Brett McMurphy polled all 65 power conference coaches about their willingness to play only Power Five teams, and a majority of them were in favor.

Not in favor, though, is Notre Dame's Brian Kelly:

Even though Notre Dame has never played an FCS team and plays almost exclusively Power Five opponents already, Irish coach Brian Kelly said he would be against it if it meant no longer playing Navy.

Kelly said removing Navy from Notre Dame's schedule would be "a deal-breaker." Even with teams playing tougher schedules, Kelly said he doesn't favor teams with losing records playing in bowls.

When athletic director Jack Swarbrick unveiled Notre Dame's future scheduling outline in December, one of the three permanent rivalries he said the program aimed to keep was the Navy game. This year's Notre Dame-Navy game will mark the 88th consecutive year the two schools have played, the longest continuous intersectional rivalry game in college football.

[MORE: Is Navy an 'easy' game for Notre Dame?]

The Navy game one tradition Notre Dame won't mess with. Of course, McMurphy's scenario is nothing more than a hypothetical, and 22 other coaches sided with Kelly in being against playing nothing but Power Five opponents.

The Naval Academy took notice of Kelly's comments, too, and expressed appreciation for them on Twitter Thursday: