ESPN commentator Paul Finebaum went on the Stephen A. Smith Show on Wednesday and the duo was talking about College Football and legitimate contenders to win the National Championship.
Notre Dame is currently ranked as the No. 5 team in the country in both the AP Poll Top 25 and the Coaches Poll. The Fighting Irish are very much in contention to win it all and likely control their own destiny if they win out.
“Paul Finebaum, Notre Dame is making noise. Kelly is doing a good job. They’re 6-0. They’re undefeated. They’re ranked fifth in the nation,” said Smith to Finebaum, as they were looking closely at Notre Dame. “I’m looking at their schedule. Michigan to start the season, you know how we feel about Michigan these days, Ball State, I guess, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest. Stanford was a big win, 38-17, and obviously they beat Virginia Tech 45-23 this past weekend. Talk to me about what you’re seeing from Notre Dame because I heard you allude to me earlier, this is a legitimate top 5, top 6 team in the nation. Tell us why.”
Finebaum shared his take on the Fighting Irish and despite calling them “boring,” he’s actually quite high on this team and what’s to come in Notre Dame’s future.
“Well, the move to Book was critical,” said Finebaum. “He’s just a more complete player, he’s a better leader, and he’s been able to move the ball for what’s a pretty boring team to watch, Stephen A. Their schedule, and that’s really where you are right now in college football — it’s all about the schedule, they go to Northwestern, I’m laughing, that’s their second toughest game left. They’ll get out of there. The problem for them is going to be the last Saturday of the football season, they’re at Southern Cal. It’s going to be pressurized. Southern Cal is not a really great team, but that’s a tough spot. I’m reminded of last year when Notre Dame, undefeated, rolled into Miami and just got their teeth knocked out and that concerns me a little bit. This looks like a better team. Right now, I would probably take a flyer on them to make the playoffs.”
There are six remaining games on Notre Dame’s 2018 football schedule. The Fighting Irish host the Pittsburgh Panthers this weekend, take on the Navy Midshipmen out west in San Diego on Oct. 27, head to Northwestern to face the Wildcats on Nov. 3, host the Florida State Seminoles on Nov. 10, take on the Syracuse Orange in Yankee Stadium on Nov. 17, then wrap things out in Los Angeles against the USC Trojans on Nov. 24.
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