Notre Dame football went from having an outside shot of making the playoffs to an outside shot of making a New Year’s bowl, thanks to one loss.
Notre Dame football was seemingly near the top of the college football world this time last week. They had just come back and defeated the Duke Bluedevils on the road. That meant a win over a Top 25 team and a chance to get to the playoffs if they just kept winning.
It seemed like a win over the Louisville Cardinals would only strengthen their argument that a close loss to Ohio State shouldn’t have them out of the running. Then they laid a stinker on Saturday night.
Things have changed.
According to new bowl projects by Action Sports Network, the Notre Dame football program is on thin ice. They might need to win out in order to make a New Year’s Day Six bowl game. And winning out would mean beating an undefeated USC team in the process.
“So much for what I wrote last week about Notre Dame having a decent shot at landing a New Year’s Six bowl,” Brett McMurphy wrote this week. “The Irish’s loss at Louisville means Notre Dame (5-2) will have to win out to have a chance at either the Cotton, Fiesta or Peach Bowls.”
Notre Dame football needs some help
The Reliaquest Bowl is technically a New Year’s Day bowl game. It’s just not one of the biggies. It’s not a New Year’s 6. It’s not the kind of bowl game that Notre Dame football fans usually get all that excited about.
Not when the Irish started the season looking like playoff contenders. There’s a reason people have lost faith in Marcus Freeman.
The Notre Dame football schedule is tough enough that if the Irish do win out, they can certainly make a case for a NY6 bowl. They’d have to beat USC and Clemson while also handling business against some powder puffs like Pitt and Stanford.
Having to play their win into one of the biggies isn’t where Notre Dame football wanted to find itself just past the halfway mark of the season.