Ohio State and Notre Dame are set to open the 2022 season inside the Horseshoe. It will also be the regular-season debut for first-year Irish head coach Marcus Freeman.

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Freeman is well-accustomed to Ohio State after playing for the Buckeyes and getting his coaching start in Columbus as a GA for Jim Tressel. Which makes Freeman’s recent comments about the education at Ohio State all the more confusing.

In an interview with Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Freeman claimed the players Notre Dame is looking to bring in value the academic degree that the Irish provide. He also said players can’t “cheat” academics at Notre Dame before referencing Ohio State in his comparison.

“I’m not saying from top to bottom, but the majority of our kids, they — I want to say this the right way — are pushed to learn and their study habits are formulated every day. You can’t cheat academics at Notre Dame.”

To make his point, Freeman brought up the two most significant football stops in this career before coming to Notre Dame in 2021. At Ohio State, Freeman played defensive back for Tressel, eventually becoming a fifth-round NFL Draft choice of the Chicago Bears. At Cincinnati, he earned a reputation as one of the nation’s best defensive coordinators.

“You don’t go to class [at places like that]?” Freeman said rhetorically. “OK, take some online classes, show up for your appointments. At Notre Dame, you’re forced every day to go to class.”

It is definitely an interesting angle to take entering his first year as a head coach, especially against his alma mater and his season-opening opponent.