This is my first FanPost, so I thought I’d make it a doozy. Notre Dame is plagued by not being in a conference. Whether we like it or not, Championship weekend matters. And no one cares that the SEC all played FCS schools two weeks earlier. No one cares that the Big 12 hasn’t beaten anyone outside their conference. A 1-loss conference champion is going to get in over 1-loss Notre Dame and so is an undefeated Cincinnati that (grrrr) beat ND on the field. That creates a big problem for the Irish. If things play out the way that I expect:
1. Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC championship.
2. Ohio State beats Michigan and then Wisconsin in the B1G championship.
3. Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma to close the season then Baylor in the Big 12 championship.
4. Cincinnati goes undefeated including beating a now #24 ranked Houston in the AAC championship.
If those things happen, your final CFP Rankings will look just like that list.
2. Ohio State
3. Oklahoma State
For ND to get into the big dance this year, they need more chaos than is likely to occur…or they need something else. They need something better. They need their own 13th data point, so that they’re playing a game that matters at the same time everyone else that matters is. Irish faithful, I give you the "Independent ‘Conference’ Championship Game":
#5 Notre Dame vs. #13 BYU
ND will be ranked 5th after Michigan inevitably loses this weekend. BYU will likely beat USC and remain ranked 13th.
And there it is everyone - a top 15 matchup on Championship Weekend to bolster the resume and silence any naysayers still crowing about a 13th data point. More than that, it gives ND the chance to make a closing argument by beating a top 15 team rather than merely hoping the teams listed above blow theirs’.
What do you think? Savvy Jack could absolutely get this done. In the crazy COVID year that was 2020, Coastal Carolina and BYU scheduled a game on the fly, mid-season that turned out to be one of the games of the season. GameDay showed up. It was a big deal. Now replace Coastal Carolina with Notre Dame. This game would be huge. It would get a ridiculous amount of attention. And it would put Notre Dame back in control of their destiny. Much harder to jump Oklahoma State over ND for beating Baylor if the Irish beat BYU that same weekend. BYU is a much better win than Houston would be for Cincinnati as well if it comes to that. And overall, ND’s schedule is just tougher than theirs. A top 15 win to close out the year would give the committee the justification it needs to put ND in over Cincinnati.
So, that’s it. That’s my pitch. I don’t imagine for one second that it’s actually going to happen, but it should. Maybe it could become an every year thing too - a new Holy War. They won’t always be ranked 13th, but at least we’d always have a game against a quality team on Championship Weekend. So, what do you say, Mr. Swarbrick?