The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team currently stands at 7-0 and rank number 3 in the Country. An impressive feat for sure. However, with only the top four teams making it to the College Football playoff, the Irish will almost certainly have to go undefeated and win their remaining five games in order to qualify. Strength of schedule and quality of wins is also heavily taken into consideration during the decision making process of which teams make it.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) October 21, 2018
Yes it is true Notre Dame’s strength of schedule is somewhat of a concern and something that could possibly keep them out of the playoff. As it stands right now, the Irish only have two ranked teams throughout their whole schedule. Although some of the teams were previously ranked. These two currently ranked teams are number 5 Michigan and number 24 Stanford. Their narrow 24-17 victory over the Wolverines back on September 1st now looks like an extremely crucial and high quality win to have on their resume.
With this being said, the Irish cannot afford to worry about their schedule strength, which is something that is out of their control. What they do need to focus on is taking it game by game and winning out the rest of the season. It seems at this point that they most likely control their own destiny. They face off in a game on Saturday night against a pesky Navy team who will likely be a tougher opponent than people expect. On the road, the Irish will be put to the test.
The turning point in Notre Dame’s season can be pin pointed to the Quarterback switch from Senior Brandon Wimbush to Junior Ian Book. After struggling in consecutive games against two lowly teams in Ball State and Vanderbilt, Wimbush was replaced in favor for Ian book who would start their fourth game against Wake Forest. Book has not looked back ever since seizing the starting job. He has already become the first Notre Dame Quarterback in their history to complete over 70% of their passes in four straight games. They will surely need him to continue his consistent and high level of play if they want to go anywhere this season.
The last time that the Irish made it to the National Championship game was back in 2013 against the powerhouse that is the Alabama Crimson Tide. It was definitely not an enjoyable game to watch for myself and other Irish fans as they lost the game in blowout fashion by a score of 42-14. This year they have their sights solely set on making their way back into the playoff.
There will be a lot of different factors that will decide whether or not the Irish get into the playoff. Five games still remain on the schedule and anything can happen from here on out. The pressure is on to come out with a win in all these games. One mistake and loss could very well cost them their chances at making the playoff.
As for the people crying about their weak schedule I tell you this, they may not have the most difficult schedule however they are currently undefeated and did beat the current #5 team in Michigan. They also have no control over who they play and if they go out and win their remaining games that is still a very impressive season that should get them into the playoff.
It is clear that if this team is truly a contender they should beat every team on their remaining schedule. That doesn’t mean they 100% will though because nothing is ever a given in sports, especially college football. As we watch the season unfold we will see what the Irish’s fate will become.
The only closing remarks I have are……GO IRISH!!!