On Tuesday, the College Football Playoff committee released its latest set of rankings, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dropped six spots after its loss to the USC Trojans, from #15 to #21.
The top four is a pretty brutal sight for Irish fans as the Michigan Wolverines and USC Trojans are in the playoff as of right now. While Michigan can probably lose in the Big Ten Championship game to the Purdue Boilermakers and still make the playoff, Southern Cal is likely out if they lose to the Utah Utes (again) in the PAC 12 Championship game. If the TCU Horned Frogs lose to the Kansas State Wildcats in the Big 12 Championship game, they too are likely out of the playoff.
So... the opportunity for one or both of Ohio State and the Alabama Crimson Tide to backdoor into the playoff is right there and could very well happen.
As far as Notre Dame is concerned, me shouting about the chances of the Irish playing in a New Years Six game if they finished 9-3 seems right on point — even Pete Sampson is backing down from that hill he died on for about a month.
Notre Dame is No. 21 in the new CFP rankings. I was skeptical the Irish would have made the New Year’s Six with a win at USC, but it would have been very close.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 30, 2022
Irish might have got as high as No. 8 this week based on other results.
With the chances of Notre Dame playing the #19 South Carolina Gamecocks in the Gator Bowl becoming more and more a reality, these rankings really are unimportant to Notre Dame’s finish this year — which will be decided with the final AP Poll.
Still... you look at these rankings and its hard to not imagine what could have been for Notre Dame this year. Three of Notre Dame’s opponents are ranked inside the top 10 which is more than any other school.