Notre Dame finished 8th in the College Football Playoff rankings, holding that spot from last week. Following a loss in the Big Ten Championship the Iowa Hawkeyes only slipped one spot from 4th to 5th place. That small drop means Iowa will head to the Rose Bowl and Ohio State--who fell from 6th to 7th after being jumped by Stanford--is going to the Fiesta Bowl to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
NOTRE DAME VS. OHIO STATE
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
Date: Friday, January 1, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Series: 2-3-0 Ohio State
If you wanted the toughest post-season opponent, you've got it. Ten years after the last meeting in the Fiesta Bowl, the Fighting Irish will line up against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the same bowl game.
The defending National Champions started 10-0 this season but ended 2015 against two ranked opponents splitting those games and losing out on winning the Big Ten East division. After reeling from an embarrassing home loss to Michigan State the Buckeyes turned around and hammered rival Michigan 42-13.
There will be many discussed storylines and #narrative around this game but for me the top one is Notre Dame getting its first chance against Urban Meyer.
The 51-year old head coach of the Buckeyes was an assistant at Notre Dame for 5 seasons before taking his first head coaching job at Bowling Green in 2001. Since then, Meyer has won 85% of his games with 5 conference championships and 3 National Titles. As many great coaches are want to do, he's been nearly lights out in the post-season winning 9 games and losing only 2 contests.
Notre Dame will look to add a 3rd post-season loss for Meyer in 26 days.