With the 2018 regular season in the books, it’s never too early to look ahead to the 2019 Notre Dame football slate.
Heading into 2018, most of us looked at the Notre Dame football schedule and saw two or three losses.
That’s why they play the games.
Stanford wasn’t who we thought they were. Blacksburg wasn’t the gauntlet we thought it would be. Southern Cal was young and the Michigan game was a coin-flip.
The 2019 Notre Dame football slate has the appearance of being just as tough as we though the 2018 season would be.
Let’s take a look at what look to be the five toughest games on the 2019 schedule.
5. Nov. 2 vs. Virginia Tech
The Hokies were young and banged up when the Irish made their way to Blacksburg for what ended up being a sound win for Notre Dame after a scary first half. This one will be at home, but the Hokies will be a more mature squad with revenge on their minds. Additionally, this takes place right after what will be a mentally and physically exhausting battle with Michigan.
4. Oct. 12 vs. Southern Cal
USC won’t be down for long. Like Virginia Tech, the Trojans were very young. Unlike the Hokies, Southern Cal gave the Irish all they could handle in a game Notre Dame had to win. The addition of Kliff Kingsbury as offensive coordinator will change the approach for Clark Lea and the Notre Dame defense. You can bet that the Irish secondary will be tested in this one.
3. Nov. 30 at Stanford
Brian Kelly is 0-4 at Stanford. 2018 was an uncharacteristically down season for the Cardinal, but you can bet that Stanford will be a player on the national scene again sooner rather than later. David Shaw is too good of a coach running too good of a program. With this game being the last one of the season, there will likely be plenty on the line for both teams.
2. Oct. 26 at Michigan
The Big House will be rocking when Notre Dame comes to down. As long as Harbaugh is still there, this Michigan team will be loaded with talent and solid on both sides of the ball. And again, revenge will play a factor here.
1. Sep. 21 at Georgia
Forget who is coming back for either team — it’s doesn’t matter. Georgia recruits as well as anyone in the country and simply reloads. They have the potential to be the best team that Kirby Smart has had since he took over in Athens — and that’s scary. On top of that, the list of places that are tougher to play in than between the hedges at Sanford Stadium is a short one.