The experts believe Notre Dame football could be in the mix for the College Football Playoff again in 2019.
When it comes to previews and forecasts, not many publications in the business do it better than Athlon Sports. The good people at Athlon recently published its “Way-Too-Early Top 25” for next season, and the Notre Dame football team is right where you’d expect them to be.
Athlon slots the Irish at No. 11 heading into next season. That’s fair, considering some of the impact losses (Dexter Williams, Sam Mustipher, Jerry Tillery, Te’von Coney, Alize Mack) Notre Dame will be dealing with. Also factored in were questions surrounding the return of Miles Boykin, Julian Love, Julian Okwara and Khalid Kareem and the returns of Ian Book and Alohi Gilman.
In terms of strength of schedule, that too was factored. Road trips to Ann Arbor, Athens and Palo Alto add to the degree of difficulty and subsequently impact any potential final rankings.
The recent Brian Kelly NFL rumors were not factored.
Three of Notre Dame’s 2019 opponents also appeared in Athlon’s rankings. Georgia came in at No. 3, Michigan was at No. 8 and Virginia Tech was No. 21.
Of note, both traditional rivals from the Pac-12 — Southern Cal and Stanford — were absent from the list.
Additionally, Notre Dame was the only team from this year’s College Football Playoff that failed to crack Athlon’s Top 4, as Oklahoma came in at No. 4. Alabama and Clemson occupy the top two slots in that order.
The Irish kick off the 2019 season on the road at Louisville on Sept. 2.
You can view Athlon’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 by clicking HERE.