Stewart Mandel recently published his bowl predictions over at The Athletic, and placed the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Cotton Bowl (a non-playoff NY6 game). This isn’t a big shocker because I think a lot of people have the Irish placed here as an at-large team. What is a little surprising is the opponent in that game.
Many have the UCF Knights as Notre Dame’s opponent — which would be an interesting match-up considering the news that Brandon Wimbush has been named the starter down in Orlando for the 2019 season.
Stewart, however, threw out a program that absolutely should be in that conversation as the AAC champ and best Group of 5 school — the Cincinnati Bearcats. After a brief moment of reflection, I tweeted this out:
I was met with some resistance by a few. While I agree that playing an AAC school in a bowl game is not optimal in terms of goals (college football playoff and national championship), a win in this matchup would mean the Irish probably end the season with an 11-2 or 12-1 record. It also means the Irish finally break their long losing streak in New Years 6 games that stretches back to their Cotton Bowl win over the Texas A&M Aggies after the 1993 season.
I am TOTALLY fine with all of that.
No, beating Cincy doesn’t have anywhere near the same weight as beating the Ohio State Buckeyes or the Texas Lornhorns or whoever — but it’s exceptionally better than losing one against, well, anyone.
It’s not ideal, and I get that, but another double-digit win season with a NY6 trophy is still a good season. I’ll take it.
What do you think? Vote in the poll and then be sure to fire back in the comments below with your thought on this scenario.
Notre Dame beating Cincy in the Cotton
This poll is closed
I’ll take it
Nope — not good enough