The Notre Dame Fighting Irish lost 50-47 to the Texas Longhorns in a double overtime thriller. With the loss, Notre Dame’s College Football Playoff desires took a hit, but the program is not out of the race yet.
It is important not overreact to this one loss. Many people will say the Fighting Irish’s title dreams ended with this loss to Texas. This is not true. In reality, the Irish still have a legitimate shot to be one of the four teams in the College Football Playoff.
The Fighting Irish still have resume builders remaining on their schedule, and they still fit the one-loss precedent set by the playoff committee.
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Starting with the schedule, Notre Dame has plenty of tough opponents left on its schedule. Those tough opponents represent opportunities for the Fighting Irish to build their playoff resume.
They play the ranked Michigan State Spartans in two weeks and are matched up against the Stanford Cardinal and the USC Trojans later in the season. Also, Navy, Virginia Tech and Miami could all be ranked by the time Notre Dame faces them.
The Fighting Irish always play one of the toughest schedules in college football every year. This season is no different. For this reason, they can put themselves right back into the CFB playoff picture by winning the rest of their games.
Meanwhile, the playoff committee has shown they will overlook a loss to an Power 5 school. In 2014, Ohio State Buckeyes lost to Virginia Tech in Week 1. The Buckeyes then won the rest of their games that season and made the CFB playoff with one loss. They also won the national title.
Last year, the Oklahoma Sooners lost to Texas midseason. However, it was the Sooners only loss of the regular season, and they got the No. 3 seed in the CFB Playoff.
The selection committee has established a precedent with one-loss teams. If Fighting Irish finish their tough schedule will only one loss, they will be in the playoff discussion at the end of the season.
Also, this Texas loss could look much better later on in the season. The Longhorns could be a nine-win team this year. If that is the case and Notre Dame’s only loss is to Texas, the selection committee would look at the Irish’s resume even more favorably.
Notre Dame’s playoff aspirations took a hit Sunday night, but that loss did not knock them out of the playoff race completely. It just made their potential road to the CFB playoff more difficult.
Ultimately, Notre Dame’s playoff hopes depend on them winning their remaining 11 games, which is no easy task. However, it is clear the Fighting Irish have a good shot at reaching this feat with DeShone Kizer at quarterback.
The Fighting Irish will be back in action soon. They have a short week to prepare for their home game against the Nevada Wolfpack. The two sides will square off Saturday, September 10 at 3:30 pm ET.