Notre Dame Ranks 5th In The Initial College Football Playoff Rankings


Notre Dame’s path to the College Football Playoff just got a little easier

The College Football Playoff Committee unveiled the first set of College Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday evening. Many predicted that the Irish would be somewhere in the Top 10. But, no one predicted that Notre Dame would land at 5th in the initial poll. 

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Northwestern, Temple, UCLA, Toledo and Houston started the night for those tuning into ESPN as they were ranked 21-25 respectively.

Notre Dame’s former Quarterback Everett Golson’s new team the Florida State Seminoles were ranked 16th, followed by Michigan, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Mississippi State.

Stanford, Notre Dame’s most notable future opponent, fell at 11th. Behind the Cardinal were Utah, Memphis, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Undefeated Memphis is the top non-Power 5 team in the country.

Baylor, Michigan State, TCU, Iowa and Florida rank 6-10 respectively.

Clemson, Notre Dame’s lone loss of the season, is the top ranked team in the initial rankings. LSU, Ohio State, and Alabama rounded out the rest of the “Playoff Spots”.

Of course, if the season ended today, the Irish would be sitting on the outside looking in. However, LSU and Alabama play this weekend. For Irish fans, root for the Tigers. Two losses essentially knocks the Tide out of the playoff conversation. A close Alabama victory would fuel speculation of two SEC teams in the Final Four.

Three Notre Dame opponents were ranked in the initial Top 25: Temple (22), Stanford (11), and Clemson (1).

Brian Kelly’s message to his team on Wednesday will undoubtedly be “focus on the next game.” The Irish are essentially in the driver’s seat. If the Irish win out, they will most likely make the 2nd annual College Football Playoff.

However, it is important to note that Ohio State jumped TCU and Baylor on the final weekend of football last year. It is possible for the same thing to happen to the Irish this year.