Get the Irish Out of Here

(Ian Book running for a first down)

Notre Dame is set to play Clemson on December 29th in the Cotton Bowl. Clemson comes in ranked number two in the country while Notre Dame is ranked third. The Fighting Irish are coming into the Cotton Bowl with a 12-0 record showing the country they are a top-four team. However, like every year their record does not prove anything, due to the strength of their schedule.

Notre Dame played eight unranked teams this season. The only teams the Fighting Irish played ranked inside the top 15 were Stanford, Syracuse, and Michigan. At the time, Stanford was ranked seventh but are now no longer ranked. Michigan who is now ranked seventh in the country, however, when the Fighting Irish played the Wolverines in the season opener Michigan was ranked 14th. Syracuse, who were one of the hottest teams in the NCAA at the beginning of the season, slowed down throughout the year in which they ended ranked 20th in the nation.  Only a few of their wins can be considered "blowout wins." Their most significant victory regarding point differential was against Syracuse 36-3 win at Yankee Stadium. The Irish have had a lot of close games against non-ranked teams. Against Ball State, they won by just eight points. When they played Pitt, they won by just five points. Unranked Vanderbilt? They also only won by five. USC, they won by seven rivalry games are usually always close so this is a pass.

(Notre Dame vs Michigan)

The Fighting Irish received one of their hardest tests of the season when they traveled to Evanston to play now the 22nd ranked Northwestern Wildcats.  Notre Dame won that game by 10. The game ended 31-21 in Evanston. However, the Ohio State Buckeyes beat Northwestern by 21 points in the Big 10 championship. Watching the game, Northwestern played a very good game and tested Notre Dame in every aspect of football. The Fighting Irish won the game by making big plays down the stretch. If you think the Fighting Irish belong in the College Football Playoffs you are not paying attention. Georgia or Ohio State should take the place of Notre Dame for there to be any competition for these two games. In my opinion, the first round of the playoffs should be Alabama versus Oklahoma, Clemson versus Ohio State. The reason I did not put Georgia in there is because I do not see the Bulldogs playing another game like they did this past Saturday. The only reason why it was a close game was due to Alabama's quarterback Tua Tagovailoa playing with an ankle injury that only got worse as the game went on. As soon as Jalen Hurts entered into the game, he stole the show and rolled through Georgia's defense.

The Irish get ranked high every year for the same reason because they were good in the '70s and '80s. They are one of the most overrated college football programs in the country and having them in the 2018 College Football Playoffs is a joke. The Clemson Tigers are going to roll past the Irish and embarrass them as Alabama did in 2013 in the BCS Championship beating them 42-14. Also, if you believe Brian Kelly's Fighting Irish can even come close to beating Nick Saban's Crimson Tide, YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND. So, on the 29th make sure you sit back and enjoy Dabo Swinney, and the Clemson Tigers embarrass the hell out of the Fighting Irish.

By Colby Marchio