That's not what pisses everyone off about ND. This is:
When the playoff’s management committee meets, Swarbrick is the only athletic director in the room. According to insiders, his voice carries weight.
“Founder’s equity,” Swarbrick says – and he’s correct.
The current College Football Playoff is the offspring of the Bowl Championship Series, which was the offspring of the Bowl Alliance. When it was formed back in the mid-1990s, not including Notre Dame in the discussion was a nonstarter. Roy Kramer, who as the SEC’s commissioner helped spearhead the Alliance and then the BCS, says Notre Dame’s unique stature in the college football landscape – yeah, Knute Rockne and “wake up the echoes,” and all of that – made it imperative to have the Irish involved.
“It was a significant step for Notre Dame to agree to become part of the (Bowl) Alliance,” says Kramer, who notes that among other things, Notre Dame’s value was tangible in terms of creating value for potential TV partners.
That's a quote from a USAToday article about this very topic. Everyone knows it's bullshit. And I personally believe it's the SEC, ACC, and ND trolling the rest of college football. Had ND played in a conference championship they would have never went undefeated and would not have made the playoff. Last night's result and every major bowl result since the 90's, pretty much confirm this on an annual basis. They are completely undeserving of this elevated status.