Notre Dame football: What could impact its spot in the College Football Playoff rankings

Notre Dame football

In just a few short weeks, Notre Dame football will find out if its secured a spot in the College Football Playoffs. As of now, many things seem very uncertain in college football. To start, Notre Dame and Clemson have to match up again in the ACC Championship. Could a potential loss to the Tigers ruin the Irish’s road to the championship? That question is hard to answer at the moment. Although Notre Dame’s undefeated record puts it in a better position than Clemson, the Irish still have to perform at a high level to keep the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee on them.

The impact of the Big Ten

Ohio State’s ranking in the College Football Playoffs seems wrong for many reasons. In August, the Big Ten pulled the plug on football, while the SEC and ACC stood behind their decision to keep playing. When the Big Ten came back in late October, they developed a few policies that would ensure fairness across the league. The first policy eliminated any team with at least three canceled games from being able to compete in the Big Ten championship. The other policy was there was a five game minimum in which a team had to play in order to be eligible for the Big Ten championship.

So, looking at those original rules and comparing them to current conditions, Ohio State should not qualify for the Big Ten Championship, let alone the National Championship. Three games have been canceled for the Buckeyes, which leaves them at only playing five games. Lucky for Buckeye fans, the league just voted to eliminate the six-game eligibility requirement for the title game. This means Ohio State will take on Northwestern on December 19, the same day as the ACC Championship.

Last minute change

This last minute rule change in the Big Ten gives Ohio State another advantage of staying in the rankings. If Ohio State beats Northwestern, I would believe it would give the committee an inclination to take the Buckeyes into higher consideration. If Notre Dame loses to Clemson, the Irish might have more to worry about. It seems as if Ohio State is not going anywhere, which could greatly impact Notre Dame if it fails to perform well against Clemson.

Irish’s stronger resume

Texas A&M, as well as Florida, seem to be moving closer and closer to gaining a spot in the rankings. If Florida were to beat Alabama in the SEC Championship, there would be no doubt Kyle Trask and the Gators would be heading for a chance at the National Championship. This alone could influence the Irish’s position if they lose to Clemson.

Let it not be forgotten Notre Dame is the only team other than Alabama that is undefeated. The Irish also defeated No. 2 Clemson in the regular season in double overtime, as well as defeating North Carolina’s top ranked offense. Compared to Ohio State’s close game against Indiana, as well as giving up almost 30 points to Rutgers, it seems as if there should be no close comparison at the moment to these two teams. Granted, Ohio State has always been a well-rounded team and quarterback Justin Fields carries the team well, but at the end of the day, Notre Dame’s resume this season simply is more impressive than the Buckeyes. Let’s just hope the College Football Playoff committee thinks the same as I do.

Photo by Wei Lin | The Observer