Monday, October 13, 2014

Game Will Mean More to Notre Dame in Terms of Making Playoffs

Now I will talk about the game of the year. I am the type of person who refuses to put up a Christmas tree until the day after Thanksgiving. Along those same lines, I have been annoyed the past few weeks hearing all the talk about our game with Florida State. I deal with one game at a time. I refused to talk about Florida State until the final tick of the North Carolina game.

Now it is time to hype the crap out of it. For Notre Dame, this is in all sense a playoff game. I know it is only the half way point of the season, but whether or not the Irish ultimately make the playoffs will be greatly influenced by what happens in this game.

There are three scenarios that can happen after this game for the chances of Notre Dame making the playoffs.

Scenario #1-Irish Win

Notre Dame wins and they control their own destiny. A victory would certainly put the Irish in the top 4 and as long as they keep winning, they make the Final Four.

Scenario #2-Irish lose a close one

Looking at the schedule before the season, I thought that if there is one game Notre Dame can lose and still make the playoffs this is the one. They will still have two PAC 12 road trips to Arizona State and USC. Both are among the best in the conference. They also play Northwestern at home who is suddenly making some noise in the Big Ten. Louisville is their last ACC game and they are no slouch either. So there is still plenty of opportunity to impress the committee even with a loss.

But here is the thing. They have to at least be close to Florida State. By close, I mean within single digits. We will also have to get help and hope many of the Power five champs have multiple losses.

That is obviously a much less comfortable path.

Scenario #3-Irish get beat handedly

Bottom line is that if Notre Dame loses by two touchdowns or more, they are done. What they do the rest of the season will mean nothing in terms of making the playoffs.

Conversely, Florida State will not be impacted at all by this game in terms of them making the playoffs. Of course, they will come ready because everybody wants to beat Notre Dame. But still, it will have no impact on the selection process.

They are the reigning national champs. If they lose this game, they fall maybe to #5 or #6. That will not matter because SEC and Big 12 teams will knock each other out. The Seminoles will win the ACC and have a victory over Florida. Being that they already have a non-conference win over Oklahoma State, there is no way they get denied regardless of what the outcome of this game is.

This is huge game for both programs, but make no mistake of it. It is much bigger for the Irish in terms of making the playoffs.

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