There’s no need to worry, Notre Dame fans.
Recency bias may come into play with Oklahoma and Ohio State, but it doesn’t sound like it’ll have an effect on unbeaten and third-ranked Notre Dame heading into Sunday’s final College Football Playoff reveal.
CFB Playoff chair Rob Mullens appeared Saturday on College GameDay and was asked how he and other members of the selection committee would assess the Irish, who aren’t playing during conference championship weekend and won’t benefit from a league championship — like a few others in contention.
“We’ve seen their resume,” Mullens said. “They’ve got 12 games and when the commissioner set out and created this (selection committee) protocol, there was a path for independents and the committee understands that. We reviewed the protocol last night. We’ve seen their full body of work so when it comes down to discuss, those 12 games will be against maybe somebody who has 13 games.”
Notre Dame is in solid standing in the committee’s latest rankings as the Irish await their fate. Brian Kelly was asked about his team’s Playoff resume’ after Saturday’s 24-17 win at USC.
“I think the way we’ve played consistently to win all our games against four Top 25 teams … (we deserve it),” Kelly said. “To win every week and the schedule that we play … we’re like an on broadway show — we open up in a city near you. L.A., New York, San Diego … travel affects some people, but it doesn’t affect this group. If you give us rest and allow us to play in a neutral site, I think we’ll play even better.”
ESPN’s Playoff Predictor isn’t convinced Notre Dame is a final four lock.
“Our college football algorithm cutely thinks that if the playoff selection committee really values conference championships, it would consider putting in both a 12-1 tOSU and 12-1 Oklahoma ahead of 12-0 Notre Dame. I really doubt that happens in real-life, though,” FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver tweeted on Sunday.
Assuming Clemson beats Pitt as a 27.5-point favorite, Notre Dame is a near lock if Oklahoma or Ohio State loses, according to the algorithm. If top-ranked Alabama loses to Georgia and the Sooners and Buckeyes both win, Notre Dame’s shot at reaching the final four stands at 60 percent — compared to Ohio State (66 percent) and Oklahoma (61 percent).