Notre Dame football is 15th in the initial College Football Playoff Rankings. The committee got this one right in the first rankings.
The College Football Playoff Committee released its first rankings of the 2023 season, and Notre Dame Football was ranked 15th. The only two-loss team ranked higher than the Irish is the LSU Tigers. If you are looking for angst and consternation, you aren’t going to find it here.
Notre Dame Football has made the College Football Playoff National Semifinal twice, in 2018 and 2020. Both times, they lost to the eventual National Champion (Alabama in 2018 and Clemson in 2020).
Notre Dame Football’s two losses came in a heartbreaker to #1 Ohio State 17-14 in September and Louisville 33-20 three weeks ago. Notre Dame isn’t going to get ranked ahead of any one-loss team. Maybe there’s an argument to rank the Irish ahead of the Tigers. Notre Dame has one bad loss to Louisville — who then lost to Pitt.
Notre Dame obliterated Pitt last weekend. LSU has terrible losses to #4 Florida State and #12 Missouri. Then again, it’s one spot. There is room for the Irish to move up over the next few weeks. Mississippi plays Texas A&M and #2 Georgia in two of its last four games. Mississippi State has struggled, but the Egg Bowl is still the Egg Bowl.
Penn State still has Michigan, and Missouri plays Georgia and Tennessee in back-to-back weeks. LSU, the team right ahead of the Irish, plays Alabama this weekend.
Notre Dame football needs to finish the job.
The mathematics for the Irish are simple: win the rest of your games, and you’re going to a New Year’s Six Bowl game. Head coach Marcus Freeman has been preaching improvement and evolution to his team and staff this season. We’ve seen them come back from tough losses; now it’s time to seal the deal.
Notre Dame Football will likely be double-digit favorites in its last three games, and they need to play like it. Every team ahead of them has a considerably tougher schedule to finish the season. Take care of business and play in January. That should be Notre Dame Football’s mantra for the rest of the season.