At 7-0, Notre Dame football has a clear path to the College Football Playoff – right?
Well, it’s still early even though we’re over halfway through the season. This seems like a great opportunity for the Irish — better than what it was last season at this time. Not only because Notre Dame has made it this far undefeated, but this feels like one of the most complete and talented teams we’ve seen in recent Irish history.
What also gives Notre Dame a good shot at the playoff is their remaining schedule. Favored in every game from here on out, Notre Dame realistically is in control of its own destiny.
It seems to have been two different seasons already while only seven games in. The first three games wouldn’t give you too much confidence outside of the season-opening victory over Michigan. The next three games gave Notre Dame fans all the confidence in the world that this team was worthy.
Dominant wins over Wake Forest, Stanford and Virginia Tech put on display a championship defense and an improved offense. Last week Pitt showed Notre Dame exactly what they didn’t want to see –- that they’re not in the clear just yet.
Notre Dame is better than Pitt in every aspect. There really wasn’t a reason for such a close game. Yet, it was and the Irish who had to find a way to win — a lesson that will be of value in future games.
There are distractions everywhere. While everyone is talking about playoff chances, Notre Dame has only one more home game — Senior day versus Florida State. Outside of that, there are two neutral site games, the noise of everyone expecting a dominating performance in every game and the season finale at USC.
The schedule is demanding. That won’t be used as an excuse, but rather something that will equip them for a potential playoff appearance. We don’t know what the future will have in store, but we can make predictions. Here are three bold ones for the rest of the second half of the season.