The Notre Dame football team fell in the latest ESPN 2022 college football poll, while rival USC leaps from No. 12 overall to No. 4.
The 2022 Notre Dame football team starts their season on the road, taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a must-see matchup in Week 1. For the Irish, that game is going to make or break their season, as a win makes them legitimate CFP contenders, and a loss would make their road to the playoff very difficult.
Notre Dame football won 11 games last season, and nearly punched their ticket to the CFP, before losing to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl. Now, with a brand new head coach in Marcus Freeman, the expectations are that the Irish will take the next step forward, and that step begins against one of the better quarterbacks in the country in CJ Stroud.
Looking nationally, the Notre Dame football team should be one of the last teams standing in 2022, and that is shown by a recent poll. In a recent way-too-early ranking from ESPN, one done after spring practice, the Irish fell from No. 6 to No. 7, while rival USC made a huge jump into the top-5.
Notre Dame football good enough to beat USC in 2022
USC is making a big jump due to new head coach Lincoln Riley, and some of the key players he has brought in with him this offseason. They have the talent to be an elite team in 2022, but a lot of the same players return from a team that Notre Dame beat pretty soundly this past season.
All told, that game at the end of the season could decide whether or not it is USC or Notre Dame that punches their ticket to the CFP.
The Notre Dame football team is loaded at the running back position in 2022, begging the question of what they plan to do with Audric Estime.
Sure, some big question marks are heading into this season, but the truth is, the Irish have enough talent to beat every team on their schedule. The Week 1 matchup against Ohio State is going to be a barometer of how good this team could be because a win there changes everything in terms of the rankings.