Notre Dame football has been a fixture in the College Football Playoff rankings, coming in this week at number three. But are the Irish appropriately ranked?
While the College Football Playoff Top 4 rankings have held firm for quite a while, it’s time to talk about Notre Dame jumping Clemson.
Other than being ranked higher initially in the AP Polls, in case the playoff rankings followed suit, there is no logical reason that Clemson should be ranked ahead of the Irish. No matter what way you look at it, Notre Dame should be No. 2, no question about it. Don’t believe me? Let me prove it.
Let’s talk resumè. Currently, both Clemson and Notre Dame stand undefeated at 11-0. However, Notre Dame’s wins as compared to Clemson’s are MUCH more impressive. To be honest, it’s not even close.
Looking at the most recent rankings, ND has wins over 4 current ranked teams. Notre Dame has beaten #4 Michigan, #19 Syracuse, #20 Northwestern, and #24 Pittsburgh. Clemson only has 2 wins against current ranked teams.
Not to mention the Irish boast huge wins against (at the time) #7 Stanford and at #24 Virginia Tech. Count ‘em up, that’s 6 wins over ranked teams in 11 games played.
I realize it’s not entirely Clemson’s fault that the ACC is dreadful this year; they can’t help that. However, it could always schedule strong out-of-conference games to avoid situations like this, but they did not. I do give Clemson credit for scheduling Texas A&M, but the other 2 out-of-conference games are WEAK. Clemson scheduled perennial college football powerhouses Furman and Georgia Southern. Real contenders.
So, with a schedule like Clemson’s you’d think it would have at least one big win that is holding it up at No.2 in the rankings, right? Wrong. Clemson’s best win is at home against Syracuse, where it hardly escaped with a 4-point win, 27-23.
Interestingly enough, Notre Dame also played Syracuse and destroyed them 36-3 away from home. Clemson had a very tough time with Syracuse and nearly lost while the Irish dominated the Orange from start to finish in a game that’s scoreline does not truly reflect what occurred. Had a few things Notre Dame’s way in that game, it could’ve been a 50-60 point win.
And before I move on, I don’t want to hear the excuses that Clemson had to rely on a backup QB in that game. Notre Dame relied on their own backup quarterback AND running back against Michigan and still got the win in what is undoubtedly the best win in college football this season.
Odds are that the committee will not flip-flop Clemson and Notre Dame. It would make sense to swap them, but overall it does not change a whole lot. I believe the only true advantage the No.2 team would have over No.3 would be jersey color, which doesn’t effect either team considering each’s color scheme.
However, it would be nice for the committee to make a change and recognize the way Notre Dame has been playing week-in and week-out. The Irish are the No. 2 team in the country.