Notre Dame Fighting Irish head to the CFB semi-finals according to analysts

The Notre Dame football team isn't just going to make it to the playoffs, they're going to win a couple of games, according to Athlon.
Kimberly P. Mitchell / USA TODAY NETWORK

It seems like almost everybody believes that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are a playoff team. Damn near every analyst out there has made it clear they think the Golden Domers are good enough to make hte 12-team field. Especially with as weak a schedule as they have outside of Florida State and perhaps USC.

But it seems like most people also believed there was a chance Marcus Freeman’s squad was going to be one and done. Make the playoffs and then fade away. Even with new tools like Riley Leonard at its disposal, there hasn’t been a ton of talk about making the national title game.

Sporting News is here to let you know that its writers have quite a bit more faith in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Senior college football writer Bill Bender has Notre Dame making the College Football Playoff and then winning two games to advance to the semi-finals.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish predicted to go on a roll in the playoffs

In round one, Bender has Notre Dame as the No. 6-seed, where they will square off against Michigan. He has Notre Dame winning that game against the defending champs.

"The Wolverines and Irish have not met since 2019,” he wrote. “Notre Dame will ride a very similar formula to the CFP that Michigan took to a national championship last season, one that includes a nasty defense and turnover-free football. This game would be a throwback to their 1990s instant classics."

In the second round, Bender has the Irish topping his Big 12 champion Utah Utes. 

"The Big 12 is wide open. Utah is the safest pick to win that conference, and Kansas State and Oklahoma State could be in the conversation for a second bid. Unfortunately, this game would not be on campus. The Irish might still be favored here, and the quarterback matchup between veterans Cam Rising and Riley Leonard will be fun."

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish run will end against a team they almost beat a year ago. Bender believes they’ll lose in the semi-finals to 2nd seeded Ohio State.