Notre Dame is IN! Irish Make 2020 CFP as 4th Seed

Despite yesterday’s blowout loss at the hands of Clemson, Notre Dame is in the College Football Playoffs for the second time in three years. The Irish feel from the 2nd seed to the 4th seed and will take on top ranked Alabama in a rematch of the 2012 BCS National Championship.

The one thing that could have kept the Irish out o the playoffs was a blowout yesterday. That happened with a 34-3 loss in the ACC Championship Game, but it was not enough for the selection committee to overlook the rest of the strength of Notre Dame’s resume including a win over Clemson earlier this year.

Notre Dame got in over Texas A&M and Cincinnati who both had resumes worthy of consideration as well. Ohio State, despite playing so many fewer games than the rest of the teams in consideration, makes the playoffs after just six games including a lack luster effort yesterday against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship. Notre Dame played five more games than the Buckeyes, and A&M played three more games than them.

Notre Dame’s overall resume which included 10 wins in 11 tries including wins over Clemson and North Carolina. Notre Dame’s “strength of record” was ranked 2nd in the country. Texas A&M’s lone loss was just as unimpressive as Notre Dame’s as well – the Aggies lost by four touchdowns to Alabama earlier this year. They did have an impressive win over Florida, but Notre Dame’s two quality wins gave them the edge in the end.

The first round of the Playoffs is January 1. As the 4th seed, Notre Dame will face Alabama in Jerry Wolrd in AT&T Stadium. This game was supposed to be played in the Rose Bowl, but the game was moved to Dallas last night because of the COVID-19 situation in California.

Notre Dame has a lot to prove after looking like the “same old Notre Dame” yesterday in their least impressive performance since last year’s no-show in Ann Arbor. Look for the Irish to open as heavy, heavy underdogs – a 20+ point spread is not out of the question.

While yesterday’s effort has Notre Dame, its alum, and its fanbase disappointed, the Irish have made it to the Playoffs for the second time in three years. That in and of itself is an accomplishment. Still, the Irish have to look better against the Tide than they did yesterday afternoon in Charlotte if for nothing else but the sanity of Notre Dame fans.

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20 Comments

  1. So ND will end this year getting pasted by 2 of the 6 or 8 teams that would handily beat them on any given day.
    Shame on this farce.

    1. Brony David,
      You and Burghy are going to be consoling each other after your Buckeyes get pasted by Clemson. But hey you two make a wonderful couple. Made for each other. If you actually knew football, you’d stay on your own team’s forum, but you’d also know that other than Bama and Clemson, no team among the top ranked 8 or 10 teams is that better than the others. Clemson proved ND isn’t infallible, (mostly due to coaching). But ND could hang with either A&M or Florida easily. Did you remember that A&M got pasted by Bama? No, you were watching another My Little Pony movie at the time. How’s your collection of dolls by the way? Is there an Ohio State Buckeye My Little Pony?
      Florida lost 3 games. One to a 5-5 LSU squad. Your Ohio State only played in the Big 10 Championship because the Big ten has no integrity. Cincy deserved a higher ranking and potentially a shot in the CFP.
      I’d put A&M in the CFP over Ohio State for sure. Even ahead of Notre Dame. Clemson would spank them just like Bama did. Get real Brony David. And please stay away from little boys.

  2. Notre Dame’s deficiencies this year were on full display last night: no elite WRs and suspect secondary. The latter has been a well documented series of recruiting misses. But the WR story is more bad luck than anything, with Austin and Lenzy sidelined with injuries. No one was getting open. Offensive line actually gave Book plenty of time, but he wouldn’t pull the trigger because his priority is to not turn it over. Priorities will have to change against Bama. Lenzy must get back into the mix in a big way. Formula for victory is a 4+ turnover margin and a defensive/special teams score. Have stranger things happened?

    1. Notre Dame’s game plan against Clemson in game 2 was lame and predictable. Plus they did not protect their signals from Brent Venables $2 million signal stealing operation (see Pat Forde article in Sports Illustrated). Their receivers can be elite if they prep them properly. With all the speed of Avery Davis and Braden Lenzy, there should be a downfield threat often. McKinley and Skowronek are tough pass catchers, as are the tight ends. Little details need to be prepped to make the pass game work. With the speed of the both running backs, there needs to be more counter plays that are not the slow developing run read option. Finally, protect the play signals.
      The defense can play with anyone. One bad quarter against Clemson and an offense that was anemic in that game left the defense on the field, but if you look at the game again, that defense was mostly solid. The way college football goes, many teams can get torched if the game situation puts one unit or another in a hole.

      So Notre Dame could very well get torched again if the coaches don’t have their act together. Clark Lea needs to stay committed until the end. But on the other hand, this team had all the elements to compete and potentially go all the way.

      Get by Bama and Clemson will be there. Ohio State isn’t as good as at least 2 or three other SEC teams. The Big Ten is as good as the AAC this year. Cincy deserves more of a shot. So Clemson is in the final against the Bama/ND winner. Game 3 favors the better coaching effort. That’s it.

      1. SFR, Merry Christmas. Keep a little optimism this year. It’ll be the last for having non professional collegiate athletes so it’s the last year for at least some notion of how collegiate athletics were in a better time.

  3. The only hope is that they hoped to be in and schemed
    Conservatively. The offense signaled from the sideline yesterday which gave the Venebles multimillion dollar sign steeling operation, (see Forde article in Sports Illustrated), opportunity to know the plays. They did not do that in the earlier win against Clemson.
    Note that Clemson’s offense didn’t do much better except that the defense was desperate yesterday given the offenses hopelessness.
    So they better be able to bring it against Alabama and of that somehow turns out a miracle, then a game 3 against Clemson only turns out in NDs favor if the coaches prepare.
    Notre Dame talentwise belongs.
    Notre Dame coachingwise is questionable. Clark lea better stay committed till the end. Tommy Reese better get creative. Kelly better make sure the team is prepped both physically and mentally.

    Other than Bama and Clemson you could put 6 teams in the other two slots

  4. It’s hard to say this, but, the Irish do not belong in this group. I have no doubt that a similar or worse outcome like yesterday, will occur against the Tide. A NY’s 6 bowl against a team matched more to the Irish’s level of competition would be preferable. A second consecutive blow out is going to make a long off season. I am just trying to be an objective realist. I unfortunately do not feel an over sense of joy.

      1. If you knew football, you’d realize how idiotic that sounds. Your Buckeyes are going to eat it from Clemson pretty handily as you watch from your Mom’s basement. But then My Little Pony will be on for you. You and and your boy friend. What a sorry piece of trash you are. Really, All trolls are sorry pieces of trash. Go show your man boy love for some Buckeye players. This is a Notre Dame forum for Notre Dame fans not Brony trolls. You really are a sorry piece of crap.

  5. Great news.. we are in, bad news this is going be be another year where this going to hurt for the next 10 years again. People still bring up the last time they played and got blown out. This year will be worst. Alabama has one the best Offenses in the country. 3 legitimate Heisman candidates in 3 different positions. This has been a strange year but a New Year Six Bowl game against USC would have been more what we could handle. It would have given both teams to play for and still keep the rivalry going.

  6. I’m not sure the talent gap is that much different between Notredame and Alabama. They just have a few more explosive receivers. I think Kelly needs to dump Del Alexander and get a big time receivers coach. He either can recruit but not develop these receivers or he just isn’t hitting on enough game breakers. Let’s be honest McKinley and Skoronski would be the 4th or 5th best receiver on Alabama,Ohio State,Clemson. Austin, Lenzy, Keys Jordan Johnson all have done very little up to this point. You can talk about injuries, traits suspensions how great they look in practice all you want but when healthy have done very little. Kelly needs to spend this off season really examining his offense scheme structure, play calling personnel philosophy. Scoring 10 points in the big games isn’t going to win.

    1. Really Pete!! You’re not sure the talent gap is that much different between ND and Alabama? You’re joking right? Todays game is geared towards scoring a lot of points. Great Defenses no longer beat good offenses and especially not great ones like we are going to see in Alabama. Alabama’s skill position players clearly trump what Notre Dame puts out there on the field. What you’re going to see is an Alabama team that is bigger, faster, and stronger than Notre Dame. They will score early and often and by mid third quarter it will turn ugly for Notre Dame. Another area where Alabama is superior is in coaching. This isn’t even close. Saban gets his teams prepared for big games. Kelly not so much. Ill will be shocked if Notre Dame keeps Alabama under 45 points.

      1. I agree, Jeff. Their skilled receivers are far superior to Notredames. Not sure their oline is better than Notredame if Notredame had Patterson. Pro Football and all these analysts rate Notredames ,Alabama and Ohio State 1,2 and 3 offensive lines in college football. Also a big problem I see is Notredame seems to recruit big time receivers that never play up to their potential, Lenzy, Austin, Jordan Johnson 5 star. Also, I agree I think their oline coach , receiver coach coordinator are superior . I think Lance Taylor and McNulty are really good but not so much the rest. I like the defensive staff. Kelly came to Notredame with a great offensive reputation but I have never seen it. Imo Charlie Weis recruited better skill athletes than Kelly. Clausen, Eifert Riddick Cierra Wood ,Golden Tate, Michael Floyd etc.

  7. I will say I’m surprised. ND did everything they could yesterday to show they didn’t belong in the playoffs. I suppose based on the rest of the season that ND was simply the best of the rest. They got lucky the other teams out there looked worse on paper.
    But does ND really have a shot at Alabama? Even Frank seems to be indicating he’s hoping the Irish at least put up a fight and don’t get steamrolled. I don’t think any but the most delusional Irish fans really thinks ND has a shot at taking down Alabama. After yesterday I’m not even sure we have what it takes to make Saban and company sweat even just a bit. On occasion during the regular season Alabama might be caught napping and lose a game. But when it counts most, like championship games, they are all business. They only lose these types of games when the other team just has better players.
    Doesn’t mean I won’t be rooting for the Irish of course. I’d love yesterday to be an anomaly. But year after year when it’s all on the line ND goes out and lays an egg.

    1. I believe that Alabama is no match for Clemson. Lawrence is just too good. Notre Dame will play better against the Tide and will upset them if given a few breaks. A rematch with Clemson will happen and miracles do occur. They got steamrolled because they didn’t make the plays they needed to in the first half. They still would not have won the game but if they execute and Clemson doesn’t play their A game anything can happen.

  8. This will be an embarrassment of epic proportions. Alabama will steamroll the Irish. It should be Clemson vs Alabama in a two team winner take all.

    1. This is a sad joke, Jeff.

      I’ll be happy by losing by only a coupe of TDs. That’s what ND football has been reduced to since even before the end of Holtz’s tenure.

      Long gone are the days when Ara would beat the Bear and ND fans were confident they could beat anybody. BK is no Ara. He’s a notch above a MAC-level coach. Plain and simple.

      It will take either half of Bama’s team and coaches getting COVID or divine intervention for ND to beat the Crimson Tide.

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