The Notre Dame football team has a tough schedule in 2021, but their bye week is going to come at the perfect time, which is huge for their CFP hopes.
For all the talk that the 2021 Notre Dame football schedule would be an easy one, the recent AP Poll has shown that will certainly not be the case. The Irish play a ton of top-25 teams and renew rivalry games this year, this after the COVID-19 pandemic stopped them from playing the likes of Stanford and USC in 2020.
Looking at the 2021 schedule this is a gauntlet that does not relent, as they go face Florida State on the road, then have a few easier matchups, before a battle inside Soldier Field. The Cincinnati Bearcats await after the Wisconsin game, and then a trip to Blacksburg to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies.
Luckily for the Irish, their bye week comes at a perfect time, as after the Hokies game, they will get a chance to regroup before welcoming two of the best quarterbacks in the country to town. In consecutive weeks, Notre Dame will battle it out against Kedon Slovis and Sam Howell, two likely first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, and they could use all the extra prep they can get against those two signal-callers.
Notre Dame football faces a tough second-half schedule
The games against USC and UNC will kick off a tough second-half schedule for the Irish, and it will really go a long way in them making it to the College Football Playoff. If they get to a point where they are undefeated after those two games, they will have beaten four likely top-25 teams and will be in a position to make another return to the postseason.
Navy will be next up for the Irish, completing a three-game homestand, as they will close out their 2021 schedule with two road games in the last three. The final game? A trip out west to take on Stanford, a game that should be full of excitement and passion.
Notre Dame football is going to have a lot of things that will define their 2021 season, so here are ten of the most important things to look out for.
For the Irish, getting their bye week after their sixth game is the best-case scenario, especially with the way the schedule is laid out. Brian Kelly and his staff have the talent to make a run in 2021 to another CFP, but navigating this schedule is not only going to be tough but will take some luck along the way.