Notre Dame’s ugly loss to Clemson potentially opened the door for a few teams in the College Football Playoff race. One prominent college football writer has an idea regarding which team should take the Fighting Irish’s place.
Stewart Mandel of The Athletic would not still have Notre Dame in the field after its 34-10 loss to the Tigers. Mandel has Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and…Cincinnati. This is assuming both the Crimson Tide and the Bearcats win on Saturday night.
Mandel also teases the idea of Coastal Carolina, but that isn’t really possible. The Chanticleers are currently No. 12 in the playoff rankings and had their game against Louisiana cancelled this week.
For the record, a non-Power 5 team has never played in the College Football Playoff, so if Mandel is right, this would be a first.
My final four would be:
1 Alabama (if it wins tonight)
3 Ohio State
4 Cincinnati (if it wins) or Coastal
And don’t give me “G5 team would get destroyed by Bama/Clemson” Bc so did ND and A&M.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 20, 2020
Assuming Alabama wins, it really comes down to Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Cincinnati and Oklahoma for the No. 4 spot. You can argue for/against any of them.
Notre Dame has the best win, but lost its last game in ugly fashion. Texas A&M and Oklahoma finished the season strong. Cincinnati is undefeated but doesn’t play a Power 5 schedule.
We’ll find out the real answer tomorrow afternoon. Our best guess? Notre Dame winds up No. 4.