The early signing period has changed a lot in college football, but perhaps nothing has been more impacted by the recruiting calendar changes than the coaching carousel. Silly season starts, in many instances, before a team’s season is over.

With the “early” signing period being the trendy date for most programs to get as close to finished with their class as possible, its place right smack in the middle of December causes problems for teams who want to move off of coaches. You need to fire and hire a guy with enough time left for the incoming coach to build a class. But you have to do it before the postseason.

And that could mean someone else is getting their coach poached before their season is over. The chair of the College Football Playoff selection committee, Gary Barta, said Tuesday night that could impact a team with CFP aspirations.

Enter Notre Dame.

The Irish are 11-1 on the year and sitting idle for conference championship weekend, but they’re No. 6 in the latest CFP rankings. Should chaos unfold ahead of them, the Irish probably feel they’ve done enough to warrant consideration for one of the top 4 spots. But matters were complicated when coach Brian Kelly left Tuesday morning for LSU. Jack Swarbrick, the program’s AD, said they’re in no rush to name an interim.

“We only evaluate games that have occurred. And if a coach or a player wasn’t available for that, during the game that we’re evaluating, then we bring that into the discussion,” Barta said when asked if coaching changes enter into their evaluation process at all. “The committee does have in our protocol the ability to consider any players that won’t be available or any coaches that won’t be available and then factor that in along with our other protocol, our other criteria.

“When the championships are done and if anybody is in our conversations that has a player (or coach) that won’t be available, and the committee deems that it’s likely it will affect the outcome—that’s the words in the protocol—then that can be discussed and can be considered. And each of the 13 members can weigh that the way they want to weigh it, compared to head-to-head competition and common opponents and all the other things we evaluate.”

Interesting final week ahead.