Irish enter College Football Playoff rankings at No. 3
Notre Dame sits at No. 4 in the current AP Poll heading into the bye week. And how that bye week came at such a great time. The Irish made it over half the season undefeated, hanging on by a thread.
The last outing resulting in Notre Dame’s 19-14 victory over Pitt –a close and low scoring game — was not what the Irish faithful were expecting. Not being able to surpass 24-points or clearing more than a one-score victory in the first three games left us wondering how long it would take until the ultimate first loss of the season.
Then it clicked.
From the quarterback change to Ian Book, the offensive line holding its weight, wide receivers reaching their potential and the defense being as dominant as always; it was a new team.
The next three games included dominant wins over two ranked teams while Notre Dame averaged over 46 PPG.
Notre Dame raised up to legitimate College Football Playoff contenders. Then Pitt came in and did what Pitt does — take the Irish to the brink of a loss. As the trend continued, Notre Dame squeaked by with a scratch noticeable enough to question how justifiable Notre Dame’s chances are.
What we’ve noticed from the CFP committee in their first few years is that they are looking for teams that have proven themselves against worthy opponents. Strength of schedule is huge, especially when the Irish lack a conference championship game.
When you look at the SOS of the remaining unbeaten teams, Notre Dame is in control.
With a better SOS than Ohio State, Alabama and Clemson, Notre Dame will enter the CFP rankings better than their current AP Poll ranking of No. 4.
Of course, other factors go into placing teams. That’s why Notre Dame will not come in as No. 1. It’s hard to say that anyone is close to playing as well as Alabama is right now.
If the Irish can survive Navy after the bye week — another instance of the perfect timing — they will enter the College Football Playoff rankings at No. 3 on October 30th.