It's a little ways off, but to help American football fans plan for the New Year, here's a bit of early schedule prep: the #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will play the #7 Ohio State Buckeyes (and beat them) in the Fiesta Bowl on January 1. The game starts at 1 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN.
Entries in Notre Dame football (79)
A great game, and it was always going to be a heartbreaker no matter which team lost. Unfortunately, Notre Dame made two absolutely boneheaded plays on Stanford's final drive (a face mask penalty giving away 15 yards on a play that might have ended the game for all practical purposes, followed by leaving their best receiver wide open for a huge gain despite [foolishly] playing the "prevent" defense), and threw away their chances for a national championship. Terrible.
As I was afraid last week, Notre Dame's very lackluster performance against Boston College led to their falling out of the top 4. This week, the final week of the regular season for the now #6 Fighting Irish, is not just a must-win game but one they must win in impressive style. Fortunately, they have a strong opponent, the #9 Cardinal of Stanford. A big win in this road game gives them a chance to make it back into the top 4 and the national championship playoff. Needless to say (as people claim before saying whatever it is anyway), Notre Dame will "achieve the aim", as Mikhail Botvinnik would have said.
The game has just started, and is being televised on FOX.
A real stink bomb of a game. Notre Dame turned the ball over five times, three times in the red zone, and allowed several huge plays to the generally inept Boston College offense. (Allowing a touchdown in the last few seconds also hurt by making the game seem close, which it wasn't.) This near-choke may endanger Notre Dame's chances of making the year-end playoff, but fortunately they received two bits of very good news today. First, #3 Ohio State lost to Michigan State, while #6 Oklahoma State (which had decent chances to leapfrog Notre Dame) lost to Baylor. We'll see when the new rankings comes out on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the season isn't over: Notre Dame has one game left, while most of their rivals have two.
Record so far: 10-1
Next victim: #11 Stanford
They almost merited a dirge, but with the win comes the song:
Notre Dame is currently #4 in the playoff rankings, which means that if the regular season ended now they would get the final spot (i.e., they're in something like Anish Giri's spot with respect to qualifying for next year's Candidates' tournament), but as it's precarious they need to win out and probably win by as large a margin in each game as possible. Since Boston College is a despised foe (in the context of ND's college football rivalries), that will give the Fighting Irish and their fans the chance to combine business with pleasure when they play this evening starting at 7:30. The game will be televised not on the main NBC network, but on their dedicated sports channel.
Another good win for the #4 Fighting Irish, who should remain in the top four and thus seeded for the national championship playoff in January.
Record so far: 9-1
Next victim: Boston College
As usual, it's time for a little celebratory music. Maestro!
After yesterday's horrible events in Paris, the usual joking martial metaphors seem inappropriate. So let's keep things calm here, while still rooting for and proclaiming the usual inevitable Notre Dame win. The game has just started, and is being televised by NBC.
Hey, what do you know? They did it! It wasn't even as close as the final score suggests, so Notre Dame should be in good shape to reach #4 next week, putting themselves in the final spot for the national championship playoffs come January. (There are further weeks, so it's by no means guaranteed. But so far, so good.)
Record so far: 8-1
Next victim: Wake Forest
Time to strike up the band!
The American sage Yogi Berra famously said that it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future, so I'll make a "prediction" about the past instead: #5 Notre Dame "will" defeat Pitt earlier today, say, by a score of 42-30. It might lack something in risk and drama, but it's more than made up for by its accuracy!