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The Anti-Preview: #6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish VS Stanford Cardinal

Clearing out the forest

Brendan McAlinden

For 14 years I have provided the most irrelevant game preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish — but I’ve also provided the most relevant fan preview for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (don’t @ me).


Regardless of your feelings about Jack Swarbrick, his vision of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team being “in the conversation” for the college football playoff most years continues to be a reality. At 10-1 and ranked #6 in the college football playoff rankings, Notre Dame has a legitimate shot at their 3rd playoff appearance in 4 years. Yes, the Irish need some help — but a lot of the help is built in to the final two weeks of the college football season. The final part for the Irish to do, is to go out to California and win its last game of the regular season.

Stanford Cardinal

Stanford is struggling — more so than at anytime during and right before the David Shaw era. The Cardinal are 3-8 on the year, but have lost 6 straight games including a 41-11 throttling by their main rival, the Cal Bears. Quarterback Tanner McKee will play on Saturday, but has battled injuries all year long. With the way the Cardinal offensive line has blocked (which is badly) it wouldn’t be surprising if the aggressive Irish hit him out of the game at some point.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Cal at Stanford Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This is a bad Stanford team, and there really isn’t much more to say about them.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Notre Dame is a 20.5 point favorite over the Cardinal with an over/under of 53.5. The lines suggest a 38-17 type of game, but in my opinion... that seems like a much better game than what we should probably expect — or worse depending on your point of view.

What should you be drinking?

There was a moment when I thought I was going to take this in a holidays direction, but making a trip to the farm feels like something else.

Country Thyme

  • 1 sprig Thyme
  • 10 blueberries
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/4 oz agave nectar
  • Garnish: Thyme (stupid tree)

Place the thyme sprig in the palm of your hand and slap it to release its oils. Twist it and place in the bottom of a 10-ounce highball or Old Fashioned glass. Fill with ice and set aside.In a shaker, muddle the blueberries and lemon. Add the vodka, the agave nectar and ice, and shake vigorously for 10 to 20 seconds. Strain into the prepared glass. Slap a sprig of thyme in your hand and use as garnish.

What should you be eating?

If you’re like me, you’re probably over traditional Thanksgiving food at this point (until you start craving it again early next week). The heaviness of all the food over the past couple of days needs a better balance now that the weekend is here. Also... you probably have a lot of blueberries and thyme on your hands if you’re drinking properly. This is perfect.

Balsamic Blueberry Glazed Salmon

What should you be wearing?

Remember kids, this shirt and hoodie isn’t only about making the playoffs — it’s about the fight for it all. You can also save 20% by using the code BOOM20 at checkout.


  • $22
  • $28
  • 20% off

Leave it all on the field to reach the ultimate goal.

Gold print on a super-comfortable heather navy tee.

Premium, lightweight blended crewneck (60% cotton/40% polyester). Durable, yet ultra-soft.

Unisex sizing with a snug fit. Men should size up; women should size down.

Screened in the USA.

The Trophy

Notre Dame and Stanford play for the Legends Trophy

It was presented for the first time in 1989 by the Notre Dame Club of the San Francisco Bay Area. The Legends Trophy, is a combination of Irish Crystal and California Redwood. It’s a beautiful trophy, and one that represents both schools well.

3 reasons to hate Stanford

  1. Stanford Stadium is a cow pasture. It’s absolutely terrible and proof that Silicon Valley is moving us toward a Matrix like reality.
  2. Whiny ass David Shaw. Don’t feel bad for him with all the losing this year... soak it all up.
  3. Forever Tommy Vardell (AKA Fake Touchdown Tommy).

At the end of the night...

Going to Palo Alto used to be a real worry. It was just in 2019 that Brian Kelly got his first win on the Farm, so what I’m about to say will seem a little out of bounds — but it ain’t. Kelly and the Irish know full well that they need to give the best possible showing against a 3-8 team that they can give. It will be the last gameplay seen of Notre Dame as they try to make the playoffs. Forget what I said on the podcast, Notre Dame will go all out to destroy this Stanford team. Notre Dame 52, Stanford 6

California’s North Coast Wilderness of Mendocino Photo by George Rose/Getty Images