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Taking A Look At Notre Dame’s 2019 Football Schedule

Drue Tranquill, Daelin Hayes and other Notre Dame football defenders make a gang tackle against Vanderbilt.

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 15: Khari Blasingame #23 of the Vanderbilt Commodores is stopped by Notre Dame Fighting Irish defenders including Khalid Kareem #53, Daelin Hayes #9 and Drue Tranquill #23 at Notre Dame Stadium on September 15, 2018 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Notre Dame football proved that it has a path to the College Football Playoff in 2018. While the semifinal against Clemson left a lot to be desired, it was still the best year Notre Dame has had in a while.

The Fighting Irish may have actually benefited from catching teams at the right time, and from some of its classic opponents like Stanford and USC being down.

This year's slate may not be so friendly, assuming development from some of those programs. ND also has a CFP-caliber opponent early in the year, with a trip to Georgia.

Let’s take an early look at Notre Dame football’s 2019 schedule:

ND opens on the road at Louisville on a Monday night, before a very early Week 2 bye. That leads to a mixed bag of a stretch, with some prominent opponents like Georgia and USC, mixed in with games like New Mexico and Bowling Green.

Sept. 2: at Louisville
Sept. 14: vs. New Mexico
Sept. 21: at Georgia
Sept. 28: vs. Virginia
Oct. 5: vs. Bowling Green
Oct. 12: vs. USC
Oct. 26: at Michigan
Nov. 2: vs. Virginia Tech
Nov. 9: at Duke
Nov. 16: vs. Navy
Nov. 23: vs. Boston College
Nov. 30: at Stanford

The trip to Michigan will be the big test in the middle part of the season here. Last year, ND opened with a signature win against the Wolverines. The rest of this schedule's difficulty may be largely based on how teams like USC, Virginia Tech, and Stanford rebound from disappointing 2018 seasons.