With the final College Football Playoff rankings released on Sunday, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will be the third seed in the playoff.
I know you all remember the 2013 BCS National Championship game. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 42-14 in the most lopsided national title game in the last hundred years.
Fast forward five years – It is 2018 and the Irish are the third seed in the (now official) college football playoff. With Alabama on the other side of the bracket, could we see a rematch of the 2014 title game?
Notre Dame, as the third seed, is the designated away team as the Irish take on the second ranked Clemson Tigers in the Cotton Bowl playoff semifinal. Both the Irish and the Tigers are undefeated, but Clemson has one more win, as the Tigers won the ACC Championship game in dominating fashion. Obviously Notre Dame did not have a chance to play in a conference championship as they are independent.
The Cotton Bowl match up will be the toughest test of the season for the Irish, as Clemson has been dominant all season long. However, if the Notre Dame defense can find away to stop Clemson’s lethal running attack and shut down freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, they have a special chance at redemption.
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Right after the Cotton Bowl, Alabama plays the Oklahoma Sooners in the second CFP semifinal game in the Orange Bowl. If Alabama can slow down Kyler Murray and the Sooners’ potent offense, then the Irish will have a date with the Crimson Tide for a rematch of the 2013 title game.
If Notre Dame wants a shot at them, they need to beat Clemson. In order to even do that, the Irish need to play a perfect game to even get their shot at Bama.
Alabama is obviously far and away the best team in college football this season. However, unlike the 2014 game, I believe the Irish have the tools to take down the Crimson Tide. For now, we will have to wait almost an entire month before the Cotton Bowl.