Last season, the Fighting Irish found ways to lose close games. It can be said that they also played down to their competition, with seven losses of eight points or fewer. The 2017 Notre Dame squad are a different animal than last year’s club. Can the Irish remain focused and win their seventh game of the season, six straight, this weekend against the WolfPack of North Carolina State, coming off a huge win over rival USC? 2018 College Football Championship Game Odds (October 23, 2017).
The Irish routed the Temple Owls in their season opener. They followed that victory with their only loss of the season, against the Georgia Bulldogs. Notre Dame then traveled to Boston College and Michigan State in the next two games winning both road events. They have won their last three games, against Miami of Ohio, at North Carolina and this past Saturday’s big game versus the USC Trojans.
The real test of whom the 2017 Irish are won’t come in Week #11 at Miami against the Hurricanes. It won’t be the season finale against the Stanford Cardinals, either. The truth of whom Brian Kelly‘s club is comes this weekend against the Wolfpack.
There wouldn’t be a question about whether the Irish were deserving of a slot in the College Football Playoff bracket had they found a way to win their Week #2 affair in Athens versus the Bulldogs. That they lost by a mere one point doesn’t change the fact there is a blemish to their overall season record. The Irish need to find a way to win out the rest of 2017. Finally, it is especially relevant to note that the aforementioned task is daunting considering their remaining schedule.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish remaining schedule
- North Carolina State
- Wake Forest
- @ Miami
Much of whether the Irish can be a part of the January College Football Championship picture as a two loss team depends on the rest of the Power 5 contenders results over the final five-plus weeks of the regular season. However, it is possible that the Irish can be a part of the Final Four if they win out and close the season 11-1 overall, with their only loss coming at Georgia.
Westgate of Las Vegas has updated their Odds to Win 2018 College Football Championship Game: