Up to No. 3 in the AP poll and following a bye week, only five games stand between Notre Dame football and the College Football Playoffs.
Notre Dame football may not have another ranked opponent on its schedule, but the task ahead is daunting.
Four of the last five games are on the road. Two are neutral sites and two will include trips to the West Coast. There’s no way around it, Notre Dame’s road to the College Football Playoff is far from a smooth one.
Following a bye week, the Irish moved up a spot in the AP poll — thanks to Purdue’s stomping of Ohio State. That’s another indication of why the remainder of Notre Dame’s opponents shouldn’t be overlooked. Let’s not forget how the week prior, four of the top eight teams fell.
Notre Dame’s first opponent of this last stretch of games is Navy — the team that you never really look forward to playing. It’s smash-mouth football and a headache trying to deal with the triple option.
The 2-5 Midshipmen are in the midst of a down season and their road ahead may be one of the toughest for any team. After this neutral site game against the No. 3 team in the country, they face 6-1 Cincinnati and then No. 10 UCF.
It’s not a light task. While Navy’s chances of turning this season around seem far from possible, they have nothing to lose. A win that would derail Notre Dame’s playoff hopes is what will motivate the rest of the Irish opponents.
It seems like a cop-out reason for any potential upcoming loss this season, but it’s the truth. Everyone will be gunning for the Irish.
On paper, not a single opponent looks like they should give Notre Dame any trouble. Those of us that have watched the Irish closely, however, know all too well how late October and November have gone in recent years.
Notre Dame will take it one game at a time and so will we. First up; three bold predictions for Notre Dame versus Navy.