There was a bit more drama – in a bad way – for Notre Dame this week with the College Football Playoff rankings release. Unlike last week when the Irish were considered a clear #3 heading into the release, this week the big question was how far would the Irish drop following the 41-8 loss to Miami. Turns out, not that far with Notre Dame settling in at #8 ahead of both two loss Ohio State and Penn State.
Despite the lopsided loss to the Hurricanes, Notre Dame stayed in the top 10 with a New Year’s 6 bowl bid in clear view. Miami jumped all the way up to #3, but why the undefeated Hurricanes with a blowout win over previously 3rd ranked Notre Dame aren’t ahead of Clemson is a pretty curious decision. Oklahoma moved into the top 4 for the first time this year following their win over TCU this past weekend.
Undefeated Wisconsin is still outside the top 4 and rounds outs the top 5. Auburn jumped up to #6 with their lopsided win over Georgia who comes in one spot ahead of the Irish at #7.
It appears as though the CFP committee gave Notre Dame enough credit for their lopsided wins over #11 USC, #17 Michigan State, and #19 NC State.
Notre Dame’s season finale opponent, Stanford, snuck back into the top 25 at #22 thanks for their upset of Washington this past weekend. If Stanford and Notre Dame both take care of business this weekend, both teams could be in the top 20.
After a week of absolute chaos in the rankings, this weekend might not provide a whole lot of drama. The only matchup of ranked opponents is #24 Michigan and #5 Wisconsin. If the Badgers get passed the Wolverines, they will only have Minnesota standing between them and an undefeated regular season.
If any other team ahead of Notre Dame loses this weekend, it will take one of the biggest upsets of the season to make it happen. Look at this gauntlet of games of the top 7.
- #1 Alabama vs. Mercer
- #2 Clemson vs. The Citadel
- #3 Miami vs. Virginia
- #4 Oklahoma @ Kansas
- #5 Wisconsin vs. #24 Michigan
- #6 Auburn vs. Louisiana Monroe
- #7 Georgia vs. Kentucky
Not exactly Murderer’s Row huh? Despite that lineup, there will still likely be the inevitable jabs at Notre Dame for playing Navy this weekend.