Notre Dame football was feeling a little left out on Saturday, thanks to ESPN’s promotion of the start of bowl season.
ESPN, who will carry a vast majority of this season’s bowl games, tweeted out a graphic to announce the start of the 2018-19 bowl season. That graphic featured players or coaches from five different teams — Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and UCF. The one program that was not included at all was Notre Dame. That means the Irish were the only College Football Playoff team to be left out of the image.
The official Notre Dame Football Twitter account decided to playfully remind ESPN that they were in the mix for a national title too. The Irish simply dropped a friendly wave emoji in reply to ESPN’s tweet.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) December 15, 2018
Notre Dame was ranked No. 3 in the final College Football Playoff rankings after going undefeated in the regular season. It’s understandable that the Irish may feel a little slighted after getting excluded from the bowl graphic. In the end, it’s not a huge deal, and the Fighting Irish will have a chance to prove themselves on the field once again.
On Saturday, the attention of Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was anywhere but Twitter. He was focused on getting his team ready for a Clemson team that has been dominant down the stretch. During Notre Dame’s media day, Kelly was incredibly complimentary of Clemson’s abundance of weapons on the offensive side of the football.
“I think it’s probably the same thing you guys have seen,” Kelly said. “Starting on offense, the running back, (Travis) Etienne, I think he’s as good a running back we’ve seen since Georgia last year, that kind of talent. The quarterback is really good. Has great arm talent…I think the receiving corps is on par with a USC receiving corps—That’s a pretty dynamic offensive set.”
Notre Dame will certainly have its hands full. Clemson hasn’t had a margin of victory less than 20 points since Sept. 29. Since then, the Tigers have thoroughly mauled every opponent they have playe. Notre Dame has the pieces to halt that trend. The Irish allowed just 331.5 yards per game to opponents, and the Notre Dame offense was very efficient after Ian Book took over at quarterback.
The Irish will try to remind ESPN about their presence in the College Football Playoff Semifinal against Clemson on Dec. 29 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex.