The college football bowl season is more than “your team” and the college football playoffs. It’s one last chance to raise your fist in glory as a rival or a hated program goes down in flames. With so much roster upheaval all across the country prior to the bowls, it’s hard to really take anything away from most of the results — but everything still counts.
For the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, I believe it was a really good bowl season for the program in a variety of ways.
The most important part of bowl season is to WIN the bowl game. The Irish did everything they had to do to accomplish this goal, and walked out of Jacksonville with a 45-38 Gator Bowl win over the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Seven of Notre Dame’s 2022 opponents played in a bowl game this year. Of those seven, only two actually won the game — and only one of those two was a team that Notre Dame beat in 2022.
- BYU Cougars 24, SMY Mustangs 23 — New Mexico Bowl
- Marshall Thundering Herd 28, UConn Huskies 14 — Myrtle Beach Bowl
- Oregon Ducks 28, North Carolina Tar Heels 27 — Holiday Bowl
- Minnesota Gophers 28, Syracuse Orange 20 — Pinstripe Bowl
- Tennessee Volunteers 31, Clemson Tigers 14 — Orange Bowl
- Georgia Bulldogs 42, Ohio State Buckeyes 41 — Peach Bowl
- Tulane Green Wave 46, USC Trojans 45 — Rose Bowl
THE REAL REASON WE’RE HAPPY
Other than Notre Dame’s win, the real reason Irish fans had a good bowl season is mostly because of who lost.
The Oklahoma Sooners lost the Cheez-It Bowl to the Florida State Seminoles. Not only is this just a nice thing to see after a dumb recruiting season, but seeing a 6-7 record by OU for the 2022 season just feels warm and cozy.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles won its first bowl game since 1987 — and I insert this here for a variety of reasons — just deal with it.
Transfer Portal quarterback hopeful Sam Hartman put on a clinic in the Gasparilla Bowl against the Missouri Tigers.
But mostly it was that Notre Dame won and Ohio State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Clemson, and USC did not. That one sentence is all we really need.