Welcome to another Bagpipe Monday here at One Foot Down. Friends, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 2-0 and ranked #8 in the country. Obviously some might say that those facts — although true — do come with a bit of a sour taste after the way they played the Ball State Cardinals.
I never truly look past an opponent, but I am as guilty as anyone that just figured Notre Dame was going to hammer Ball State and we could just move on. That didn’t happen, so my question this week is a bit strange since I’m talking about the game with the Stanford Cardinal instead of this week’s opponent, the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The question, however, has everything to do with Vanderbilt and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. I tend to look at the three or four biggest games of the year, and then examine the games between them. It’s a bit unorganized in my head, but I assure you it makes total sense to me and my barber.
The Stanford game could be the biggest college football game in the country that day. The only other one that is in the same category that day will be when the Ohio State Buckeyes taking on the Penn State Nittany Lions. Both PSU and OSU figure to be undefeated by that day, although the TCU Horned Frogs will get a crack at the Buckeyes inside AT&T Stadium the week before. Stanford still has to play the Oregon Ducks, but all things considered, they too should be undefeated that week when they travel to South Bend.
The bigger question is if the Irish will remain undefeated by that time. As I said, the Irish have a 2-0 Vanderbilt coming to town this week, and then they go on the road for the first time this season when they face Wake Forest.
Will the Irish be 4-0 on September 29th? What have we seen that would suggest that this can happen, and what might their biggest obstacle be on this path?
Will Notre Dame be undefeated when they play Stanford?
This poll is closed
No. 3-1 loss to Vanderbilt
No. 3-1 loss to Wake Forest
No. 2-2 losses to Vanderbilt & Wake Forest
Vanderbilt is more than capable of coming to South Bend and leaving with a win. As an SEC member, they are used to big and brutal crowds with the latter never being an issue at Notre Dame (mostly) so there is no “fear factor” here. Hell, Ball State just came in and gave the Irish all they could handle because they played with no fear and played balls out.
As for Wake Forest... ACL problems aside, Notre Dame isn’t the nation’s best road team (an understatement) so they will already have a bit of an issue moving forward.
Notre Dame vs Stanford has a chance to be the best game in college football that day, and really highlight a game that has become a really good rivalry game. It will also be a chance for Brian Kelly to redeem himself a bit with a 2-6 record against the Cardinal.
It could all be so grand... but can they get there?
Enjoy the pipes!