Notre Dame football has an interesting test Saturday night in Evanston. While Northwestern looks for a major upset, Notre Dame has its eyes on the College Football Playoff.
At the beginning of the season, it would have been hard to believe the Notre Dame football team would be in this position, on pace for the College Football Playoff berth. It also would have been hard to believe that Northwestern would be making a run toward the Big Ten Championship. While one of these was more likely than the other, it shows how unexpected college football really can be.
Notre Dame is coming off of a solid, yet expected victory over Navy, while Northwestern beat Wisconsin to continue their four-game win streak.
The Wildcats may not be ranked in the polls, but they have done enough to be in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten West division.
As Northwestern steps away from conference play in November, they are bringing a “nothing to lose” mentality into their matchup with Notre Dame, which is ranked 4th in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. With their recent success, the Wildcats have plenty of motivation and will carry that into this game in hopes of derailing Notre Dames playoff hopes.
While this isn’t the greatest time for Northwestern to step away from their conference, it may be the best time for their upset bid to beat the Irish.
Many highlighted this weekend before the season as the dreaded trap game. While Notre Dame looks like the best they have in recent history heading into November, they are dealing with a few key injuries.
Justin Yoon is recovering from a groin injury and Drue Tranquill went down last week with a high ankle sprain. Their status is unknown but it is great news to the Irish that neither will be out for long. The loss of those two would prove to be hard to recover from during the last part of the season.
There has been no reason to believe that Notre Dame shouldn’t win their last four games of the season, which would lead to an undefeated record and a spot in the playoff. But, anything can happen in college football.
Here are three bold predictions for Notre Dame at Northwestern.