The Notre Dame football team has a tall order in front of them in Week 1, but what would a victory over Ohio State mean for the Irish?
In Week 1 of the college football season, the Notre Dame football team will head to Ohio to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. By the time the initial top-25 rankings come out, the Buckeyes are likely to be a top-5 team, with the Irish probably landing around No. 6 or 7.
That would make this by far the biggest game on the Week 1 slate, and playing in primetime, everyone will get their first look at two teams that should be in the College Football Playoff conversation when all is said and done. Notre Dame and Ohio State are both projected to dominate the college football landscape in 2022, especially with so many potential first-round picks on each of their rosters.
For head coach Marcus Freeman, the game is a homecoming, as he played his college ball for the Buckeyes, and began his coaching career there. What a sweet victory it would be for his first win as a collegiate head coach to come against the program he grew up in.
When it comes to the Notre Dame football team as a whole, what would a win mean?
Notre Dame football would be top-3 with a win
Starting the year out as a potential No. 5, 6, or 7 seed, a win against a potential top-3 team in Ohio State would certainly land the Irish in the top-3 themselves. That would give them an inside track to the College Football Playoff, assuming they can make a run in a gauntlet of a regular-season schedule that includes Clemson and USC.
A win would also give the Irish a bit of a cushion when it comes to making the CFP, as they could potentially take a loss against the Tigers or the Trojans, and still be included in the Final Four. Overall, it is a monster game for the head coach, and the program, and one that could have repercussions for years.
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Whichever team wins this game will have a straighter path to the College Football Playoff, but a loss would not mean they are necessarily eliminated. College football seasons tend to go off the rails no matter what program it is, so while a win in Week 1 would give the Irish a strong victory on their resume, a loss won’t be a death nail.