Being independent, Notre Dame football can schedule whoever they like. But easy or difficult, the playoff committee will take into count the strength of the Fighting Irish schedule.
Coming off of a difficult 2016 season, Notre Dame football looks to bounce back in 2017. Success, at least from Notre Dame’s standards, will be no easy task. This season will bring 11 contestants who went bowling last season. The only exception being Michigan State, who beat the Irish last season.
2017 brings some similar names from the past along with lasting rivalries making for some interesting games. Notre Dame vs Georgia will account for some of the highest paid seats of the season and should pull in some of the biggest television ratings for the year. The rivalry will live on between ND and USC with and October matchup in South Bend.
The combined 2016 records of the Irish opponents in 2017 is a daunting 91-63, with many of those teams having improved from last season. Seven of those teams are likely to be preseason top 25 picks in most polls.
It will be an interesting 2017 with so many storylines and uncertainty building up to the new season. Here are some of the toughest games and most intriguing matchups for the Irish.