What grade does Marcus Freeman get 6 games into 2022?

When Notre Dame hired Marcus Freeman to replace Brian Kelly there was an instant burst of energy fired through the program as well as the fan base that hadn’t been felt in quite some time.  

Despite all that excitement, Freeman has had his struggles on the job.

Notre Dame is just 3-3 halfway through this 2022 season which saw them ranked fifth nationally to start.  

Sure, that was beyond Freeman’s control as this team had more flaws than we probably wanted to admit in August and wasn’t a realistic College Football Playoff contender,

but 3-3 with losses to Marshall and Stanford, both of which haven’t beaten any other FBS opponents besides Notre Dame, wasn’t supposed to be in the cards either.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg went through and graded each of the new head coachings hires this week as we’re at the halfway point of the 2022 season.  

Click ahead to see how he graded and evaluated Freeman’s first year to date.

Rittenberg wrote the following about Freeman for ESPN this week.  

Check the next page to see how he graded all the other new coaching hires. Marcus Freeman, Notre Dame, D+

How does Freeman up his grade? I’m not sure if Rittenberg will reexamine all of the grades at the end of the year but plenty of college football analysts out there will.  How does Freeman go from his “D+”, which I honestly feel may be a bit generous, to something a good amount better?

Here are the ways for Freeman to get this grade back to the C+ or B- range before the calendar flips to 2023:

1. Suffer no more massive upsets.  UNLV, Navy, and Boston College should all be fairly easy victories.  Beat all three and become bowl eligible at the bare minimum.

2. Close in recruiting.  Notre Dame has one of the best recruiting classes in the land for 2023 (2nd at Rivals, 3rd at both 247Sports and On3).  However, being there in mid-October does you no good if you don’t finish.  

Five-star defensive lineman Keon Keeley has already left the class and there are fears that others join him.  Can Freeman close out the recruiting process with Notre Dame’s top commits and finish at worst in the top five?

3. Beat someone you’re not supposed to.  Go to Syracuse and knock off the unbeaten (or one-loss depending on what happens vs. Clemson) Orange.  Ruin Clemson’s potentially perfect season.  

End any hope of USC going to the CFP in Lincoln Riley’s first season.  

Winning any of the three would be a solid step in rebuilding the first-year grade.

Those are just three ways to right this grade and get it back to respectable for 2022.   you, choosing an RV will be a little easier.

Despite the woeful start to the season, Freeman has a chance to enhance this significantly and leave the Notre Dame faithful feeling a lot better heading into the off-season.

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