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The Triple Option: Is Notre Dame football the second best team in the ACC?

4 things you need to know today

Boston College v Notre Dame Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It’s August 5, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish still don’t have dates and times for over 90% of their schedule. We also don’t know about the scholarship crunch, and all of the jersey numbers the freshmen will be assigned.

I’m just saying... there are some very basic things we don’t know — but hopefully we will over the next week and a half.

Here’s the Triple Option:


Immediately after it was announced that Notre Dame was joining the ACC in football for the 2020 season, there was a mad scramble by writers and other media members to make new ACC predictions. Shockingly, many of the first predictions had the Irish finishing no better than third. Somehow, 7 win teams from 2019 were super scary for the Irish. It reminded me of the Camping World Bowl projections (like the Iowa State Cyclones were going to be a tough out).

I suppose we can just mark that all down to media members trying to be quirky — certainly not all of them though. The Irish are clearly the second best team in the ACC heading into the year behind only the Clemson Tigers. Even those writers who didn’t have the Irish finishing at least 2nd in the ACC in 2020 still have them inside their national Top 10. It’s like they made up a hot take just to have a hot take — surprise, surprise.

One indicator that takes out the hot takes is ESPN’s FPI. Say what you will about ESPN and its employees, but the FPI is stat and computer based — and has been a decent indicator for a few years now.

The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule.

The indicator now clearly shows Clemson as the favorites to win the conference with the Irish in second place. Take it for what it is.


Notre Dame does have ONE game that is scheduled and ready to go with a date and location. On Tuesday it was announced that the Irish are still going to play the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on September 26 — and the game is still going to be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Truist Field doesn’t want any more of that Ian Book smoke.


The UConn Huskies — now a proud Independent in football — just cancelled their 2020 season.


After a web of Brian Kelly conspiracies were tossed about, the NCAA finally granted immediate eligibility to former Notre Dame quarterback Phil Jurkovec for the 2020 season. The Irish, of course, play the Boston College Eagles in 2020 now and I look forward greatly to Brendan Clark coming into the game in the 3rd quarter to clean up the Eagle massacre after Book shows why Phil transferred in the first place.

This is all good news.