Notre Dame has arguably the most impressive resume out of any one-loss college football team in the nation.
That’s been made clear the last two weeks, as the Irish have remained No. 3 in the second College Football Playoff rankings of the season after their 48-37 win over Wake Forest last weekend.
What makes it so credible, you may ask? Just take a look at the schedule: between No. 11 USC (49-14), No. 12 Michigan State (38-18), and No. 23 NC State (35-14), Notre Dame has three wins against opponents who currently rank in the CFP top 25 and four that are in Jeff Sagarin’s top 30. Coming in at No. 4 is Clemson, which boasts a similar story, but the Tigers lost to 4-5 Syracuse compared to the Irish’s one-point loss to No. 1 Georgia back in Week 2.
That’s the difference, and it’s a big one.
Notre Dame has beaten five teams with a winning record in 2017 (a combined winning percentage of .674) by an average margin of 23.2 points — over three touchdowns per game. If the Irish can finish out the regular season unscathed it would only bolster its already stout resume with upcoming opponents such as No. 7 Miami, Navy, and Stanford still remaining.
If Georgia can stay atop the standings and beat Alabama in the SEC title game, Michigan State continues to exceed expectations, USC wins the Pac-12, and Miami bounces back by winning the ACC, there’s nothing that would prevent Notre Dame from securing a playoff spot — despite what Oklahoma, TCU, Wisconsin, Washington, or Auburn might do over the next few weeks.
Even without a conference championship game to play, the odds are ever in Notre Dame’s favor. Just keep winning — which it is predicted to do — and the rest will fall into place.
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