In a normal season, a game vs. Florida State would be more of a concern than the one a week later against Syracuse. Of course, this is not a normal year in the ACC, but that might help Notre Dame football’s College Football Playoff hopes.
The Fighting Irish are currently No. 3 in the playoff rankings. With no conference championship to add a valuable data point at year’s end, Notre Dame probably needs to run the table to earn a spot.
This weekend, ND hosts Florida State, usually an ACC power, but a team in deep turmoil over the last two seasons. The Seminoles are just 4-5 on the season, and in deep trouble of missing a bowl.
Notre Dame is a 16-point favorite at home. Even with starting quarterback Ian Book out, that may be low.
ESPN’s Football Power index has Notre Dame football as a major favorite over Florida State.
The analytics model gives the Fighting Irish a 90.9-percent chance to win the game.
On one hand, Florida State remains very talented, which makes this nearly 91-percent number jarring.
On the other, the ‘Noles haven’t looked good all year, and Notre Dame has a top defense, and has won plenty of games with Brandon Wimbush at quarterback, even if the offense is not at full capacity with him in.
This is the final home game in South Bend for the Fighting Irish this season. Next week, it plays a Shamrock Series game at Yankee Stadium against the No. 13 Syracuse Orange, and finishes with a game at USC.
The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.