The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been projected to make the NCAA College Football Playoffs according to one expert. After a 10-3 season and strong year from the entire team, could the projection become a reality?
Notre Dame won 10 games last season as they had faced adversity from nearly the start. Starting quarterback Malik Zaire was injured during the team’s second game against Virginia — which would effectively end his season.
Backup DeShone Kizer stepped in and went 9-3 as the new signal-caller of the team. The Irish would eventually lose to the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Tostito’s Fiesta Bowl.
Now, the future still remains bright for Notre Dame heading into the 2016 season. While they may have lost some key pieces to the NFL, there are still many skilled players including both Zaire and Kizer, who can help take the Irish over the hump and into the playoffs a few months from now.
CBS Sports Bowl expert Jerry Palm gave his predictions for this year’s college football playoffs, having No. 4 Notre Dame playing No. 1 Oklahoma in the Feista Bowl.
Palm also has No. 2 Clemson playing No. 3 Alabama in the Peach Bowl. If these predictions do in fact hold up to be true, we could see a rematch of the 2012 BCS National Championship game between Alabama and Notre Dame.
Speaking of the rematch, the last time the Irish and Crimson Tide faced off was the 2012 title game. Alabama would go on to win 42-14 against Notre Dame in blowout fashion.
With Zaire returning, it will be interesting to see how head coach Brian Kelly utilizes his two versatile quarterbacks this upcoming season.
Notre Dames kicks off their 2016 season against the Texas Longhorns Saturday, Sep. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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