Five Thoughts: 2. College Football Playoff Wild Card - Notre Dame

Five Thoughts: 2. College Football Playoff Wild Card - Notre Dame

Week 7

Five Thoughts: 2. College Football Playoff Wild Card - Notre Dame

Five Thoughts: 2. College Football Playoff Wild Card – Notre Dame


The most interesting team in the country over the back half of the season? Notre Dame will be a big deal – one way or another – in the College Football Playoff chase.



5 Thoughts After Week 7

Week 7 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
1. Which One-Loss Teams Are Fine & Which Aren’t?
2. College Football Playoff Wild Card – Notre Dame
3. What If Alabama & Georgia Go 12-0?
4. Five Big Teams Who Might Not Go Bowling
5. Boise State’s Power Move Over San Diego State

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When it comes to the 2017 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, I’m honestly at a loss.

Notre Dame is a sleeper?!

It’s Notre fricking Dame.

It’s as if the sins of the 2016 team can’t be forgiven, or the team was completely written off after losing to Georgia.

Clemson, Oklahoma, Washington, and Oklahoma State are all getting free passes for their respective losses. Notre Dame lost to the second-best team in the country in a 20-19 thriller that could’ve gone either way, but nope. No one’s buying.

How do we know no one’s paying attention? Welcome to the Coaches Poll.

Notre Dame beat Michigan State by 20 in East Lansing, Michigan State beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, and yet the sleepy coaches this week ranked the Wolverines ahead of the Irish – again, whose one loss is to Georgia – and the Spartans.

What’s missing? What do you need to see?

This is one of the most fun home-run-after-home-run offensive teams in America, ranking fifth in the nation in rushing behind Navy, Army, Georgia Tech, and the suddenly-amazing Arizona.

The defense is fine, the special teams are okay, and unlike last year, this group doesn’t make mistakes. Throw in the uncanny ability to put games away coming out of the tunnel, and this thing is for real.

And now, Notre Dame can no longer be ignored.

After two weeks off, the Irish have a fascinating schedule to close things out. It’s too tough to get through unscathed, but if they finish 11-1 with this slate, they’re in the College Football Playoff no matter what.

That’s probably not going to happen, but they’re going to screw up a lot of CFP dreams along the way.

This is a good enough team to beat USC this week. Do that, and the Pac-12 College Football Playoff hopes take a serious body blow.

Even if the Irish lose to the Trojans, they still get Stanford at the end of the season with a chance to do some national-image damage to the Pac-12 if the Cardinal are good enough to take the North.

NC State has a good enough team to get by Clemson on the right day and get to the ACC Championship. A loss in South Bend on October 28th would be a disaster to the league, as would a Miami loss at home to the Irish on November 11th.

Notre Dame gets four of its next five games at home – USC, NC State, Wake Forest, and Navy, with the trip to Miami thrown in there. And then it all ends at Stanford.

One way or another, from here on, Notre Dame is going to be a factor.

And everyone will have to pay attention.

Week 7 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
1. Which One-Loss Teams Are Fine & Which Aren’t?
2. College Football Playoff Wild Card – Notre Dame
3. What If Alabama & Georgia Go 12-0?
4. Five Big Teams Who Might Not Go Bowling
5. Boise State’s Power Move Over San Diego State

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