The College Football Playoff committee released their first rankings for 2017 on Tuesday and the Irish find themselves sitting pretty at #3! The Irish come in as the highest ranked one loss team in the country with that lone loss coming to the CFP’s #1 ranked team the Georgia Bulldogs. Georgia jumped Alabama who is currently #1 in both the AP and the joke of a Coaches Poll.
The top 4 of the first rankings is rounded out by Clemson at #4 with Oklahoma coming in at #5 and Ohio State, fresh off of their upset of Penn State, ranked 6th currently. Penn State meanwhile is just behind the Buckeyes at #7.
With these seedings, Notre Dame would face Alabama in the first round of the playoffs if the playoffs were to start today.
Notre Dame’s resume includes wins against three teams currently ranked in the CFP Top 25 – USC #17, NC State #20, and Michigan State #24. Reminder, Notre Dame didn’t just beat these teams either – they blew them out. The Irish took down the Trojans by 25, Wolfpack by 21, and Spartans by 20.
The Irish will have a chance to pad their resume with games against #10 Miami and #21 Stanford. The Hurricanes came in ranked just 10th despite being undefeated because they have been squeaking out wins each week. On a related note, fellow unbeaten Wisconsin came in at #9 because of their embarrassing out of conference scheduling and a weak Big 10 schedule thus far. The Badgers could reach the Big 10 Championship without facing a ranked team all season.
These rankings were obviously the absolute best scenario that Notre Dame could have hoped for. The CFP Committee showed that they are watching games and have rewarded Notre Dame for winning week in and week out in dominating fashion.
These rankings are sure to spark a lot of debate with the Irish ranked 3rd. ESPN’s Jesse Palmer was quick to note that he wouldn’t even have Notre Dame in his top 4 right now. Well, good thing the bachelor himself has no say in the CFP rankings. Still, this puts Notre Dame in great position with two games left against potentially ranked opponents that they will be favored against each week.
We’ll have more later on what these rankings mean and how it now looks like Notre Dame officially controls their own destiny on the way to the College Football Playoffs.
IMO, Kelly and Long were the reasons we lost the UGA game..
I actually think ND wins out to finish 11-1 and falls from #3 to #6 like TCU in 2014. I think the lack of a 13th game is going to kill the Irish. Clemson, Oklahoma, and Ohio State will all finish 11-1 then get one more chance to prove it with a conference championship game while ND sits home idle.
My prediction is
1. Alabama (13-0)
2. Clemson (12-1)
3. Georgia (12-1)
4. Oklahoma (12-1)
5. Ohio State (12-1)
6. Notre Dame (11-1)
I really hope I’m wrong.
don’t know how anyone could say anything good about osu defense they gave up 69 pts to penn st and Oklahoma in 2 games!! BOTH HOME GAMES!! Even Indiana scored 26 against them!!!
National rankings for tOSU defense:
10th against the rush
2nd tackles for loss
9th red zone defense
I think Notre Dame has a good chance of making the playoffs. Can they beat an Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State , Georgia, Oklahoma in the playoffs if they get there. My gut right now says no, but they could give all those teams one heck of a battle. The reason I say no is because Alabama, ohio state Clemson an Georgia have the front 7 on defense to slow down Notre Dames running game and Winbush right now cant pass well enough to balance the offense. Now if he improves a lot between now and January 1 then maybe Notre dame would have a shot.
I do believe that can run the ball against those teams. I do remember when Notre Dame played Georgia earlier in the season they didn’t have much success running the ball against the dogs but is it just me or does notre dame not even look like the same team they were then? Josh Adams has just exploded since then, averaging almost 8.5 yards a carry and about 6.5 yards after first contact is just amazing and he has done it against some really good defenses, NC State for example. They had the 6 ranked defense against the run and Adams still put up over 200 yards even without playing almost any of the 4th quarter. Plus their offensive line has to be the best in the nation especially that left side with mcglinchey and nelson. I’d have to be very confident to say look out clemson, georgia, alabama, oklahoma…. here come the irish!
Also Kevin Stepherson adds an element we did not have before.
Their offensive line is much, much better and also agree about Stepherson. BTW, Adams averaging 9 per carry or 9.1 (Pete).
Georgia is not the same team either. I agree with Pete. Passing game must get better and if it doesnt they may not even get to the playoffs
Josh , you hit nail on the head–Irish are not the same team that faced Georgia earlier in the season. They just keep getting better to the point where they can beat the Big Boys. Here is an article from Eric Hansen of South Bend Tribune. “All four teams ranked by College Football Playoff Committee–Georgia , Alabama , Notre Dame , Clemson–are in the top 25 in rushing offense and in top 20 rushing defense nationally. None of them has a prolific passing offense with Clemson the highest-ranking amoung the 4 in passing yardage per game ranked 66th. Also , all but Alabama are playing with first year starters at QB.
Good, put that news on the chalkboard. Something to play for. It’s harder to stay on top, than get to the top.