Notre Dame football believes this is the year it’ll earn another College Football Playoff berth. But ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit isn’t so sure.
There’s three clear national championship contenders at this point: Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State. The rest of the field is chaotic. The Fighting Irish are hoping they can make it easy on the playoff committee when the time comes.
Notre Dame football is off to a 4-0 start to the 2020 season with wins over Duke, USF, Florida State and Louisville. It’s not exactly the strongest strength of schedule up to this point, but wins are wins.
Herbstreit isn’t convinced Notre Dame is a quality playoff contender just yet, though. How teams win is an important factor to the playoff committee. The Fighting Irish beat the Louisville Cardinals by just five points this past weekend.
“I think nobody is really sold on Notre Dame yet because of who they’ve played,” Herbstreit said on ‘The CFB Podcast with Herbie and Pollack,’ via 247Sports. “They started with Duke and they had USF and they were postponed against Wake. The Florida State game, they won 42-26 but it didn’t feel like everybody walked away from that game thinking ‘wow.’ … The Louisville game, 12-7, I think that left even more questions about where Notre Dame is.
Luckily, the third-ranked Fighting Irish will have a chance to prove themselves when they play the No. 1 Clemson Tigers on Nov. 7.
“But I don’t think you’re going to have an opportunity to earn respect on a national level until they play Clemson,” Herbstreit continued on the podcast. “That’s the game, Nov. 7.”
Were Notre Dame football to lose to the Tigers in blowout fashion on Nov. 7, they can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye. But if the Fighting Irish at least keep it competitive, they might remain in the playoff hunt.