January 6th 2014 will be the next National Championship game in Pasadena, California. Many people are wondering if Notre Dame will make it back to the big game and maybe show up next time. Even though the Irish had a great regular season and are a year or two ahead of schedule it will take a perfect 2013 to make it to Pasadena. A one loss Notre Dame team will not make it, unless their tough pre-season schedule turns into a tough schedule after the season. A one loss SEC team that wins their conference championship will get into the National Championship no doubt. Look for an Alabama team to be back to the National Championship once again unless the SEC team that can knock them off is undefeated.
Let’s take a look into the 2013 Notre Dame Football schedule.
At Air Force
The four game home stand that includes Michigan State, Oklahoma, Arizona State, and USC looks daunting, but manageable. If the Irish can go in and come out of those games undefeated then their last real test of the season would be at Stanford. Notre Dame will start the season going against Temple and it will be a win for the Irish. Going to Ann Arbor will be a tough game against a Denardless Michigan team, which could turn out better for them after he gifted so many interceptions to opposing teams last year. This game is a toss-up, but Notre Dame prevails and starts 2-0. Purdue is always a tough game and it will come down to the end, but the Irish are too much for the Boilermakers. Michigan State is still trying to find their quarterback to lead them, which will result in a win for Notre Dame. This would make the Irish 4-0 and with Oklahoma coming into South Bend. The Belldozer will be Oklahoma’s weapon and they will use him often, but Notre Dame’s defense holds and are 5-0. Arizona State was a solid team last year and will be good again, but the defense holds and Golson will start to become the impact player for Notre Dame. USC has always had talent, but last season after being ranked number 1 finished with a record of 7-6 and lost their bowl game to Georgia Tech. They will be seeking revenge and this is Kiffins make or break season, if USC can find their quarterback the Irish will be in trouble and will end up losing a tight one. While Air Force and Navy have had some good seasons they will not be able to perform well against the defense of Notre Dame. The Pitt Panthers will play the Irish tough for a second straight year with the same result, Notre Dame by 7 and are 9-1. BYU was a solid team last year, but lost a lot of their starters and will be rebuilding with a new quarterback and Notre Dame wins by 14. At 10-1 Notre Dame will travel to Stanford and the Cardinal will have a very similar record, but they lose 3 linebackers and their defense isn’t as stout in 2013. Notre Dame goes 11-1 in the regular season. If their schedule holds up as one of the best then they will have a shot to play in the National Championship once again (if there are no undefeated teams), but I think they will end up in a BCS bowl for the second straight year. They will still be looking for their first BCS bowl victory.