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Where would Notre Dame be if we had the old BCS or new 12 team playoff?

Still far away from a title, but different

Navy v Notre Dame Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

I think the college football playoff committee got it right. As a fan of Notre Dame, I would love to make an argument for the Irish to be in over the Georgia Bulldogs — but I would look like an idiot. Sure, there are some details that fall in favor of Notre Dame, but I watch a lot of college football, and I can say that I don’t believe Notre Dame is a better team.

Moving on...

The Irish are set to play the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl, and despite missing out on the playoff — it’s pretty damn exciting. The Marcus Freeman era has begun, and there is a ton of hope in South Bend for what the future holds. Still... it is an interesting thought exercise to think about what could have been for Notre Dame. Rather than lament the Cincinnati loss or the conference championship weekend that didn’t work out, let’s take a quick look at an old system and the likely (maybe) new system on the way.


No matter how you want to spin it, the Irish wouldn’t have gained anything more from the BCS system. That wasn’t the case a few weeks ago, but with the dust settled, Notre Dame would still be #5 in the BCS and headed to an at large New Year’s 6 bowl game.


The more interesting alternative is the proposed 12 team playoff that may or may not happen by 2025. Under this format, the top four seeds would be the highest ranked conference champions, and they would get a bye in the first round. The 5-8 seeds would play their first round game at home.

First round:

9 Oklahoma State Cowboys @ 8 Ole Miss Rebels
12 Pittsburgh Panthers @ 5 Georgia Bulldogs
11 Utah Utes @ 6 Notre Dame
10 Michigan State Spartans @ 7 Ohio State Buckeyes


1 Alabama Crimson Tide VS 8/9
2 Michigan Wolverines VS 7/10
3 Cincinnati Bearcats VS 6/11
4 Baylor Bears VS 5/12

So in this scenario, Notre Dame gets a hot Utah team at home — who would not be nearly as affected by December South Bend weather as many fans gushed about when this proposal first came forward in June. If the Irish were to win this fantasy game, they would then face Cincy in a rematch but at one of the New Years 6 locations.