#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs #12 Syracuse Orange Preview and Prediction

If the journey to a college football playoff berth was an airplane in flight, then the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have now entered the airspace of the final destination. If the Fighting Irish can win these final two games, then they will land in the CFP.

To preview this week’s clash versus Syracuse in Yankee Stadium, we switched up the format. We invited a Syracuse alum and sports media professional, WBBM Newsradio anchor/reporter Dave Kerner, to an email conversation about Cuse football and how they match-up against the Irish in this one.
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Notre Dame Obliterates Florida St. Days After “Game of the Century” 25th Anniversary

notre dame florida state

This past Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of arguably the most meaningful game in Notre Dame Stadium history, and it was against the very same opponents that the currently #3 Fighting Irish faced that evening: the Florida State Seminoles.

In terms of modern college football, it was probably the most impactful regular season contest you’ll ever see: #1 9-0 Florida State lost to  9-0 Notre Dame, 31-24, in what was billed “The Game of the Century.” It was one of those rare contests that actually lived up to the hype too; that’s how memorable is was. Tonight’s affair between Florida State and Notre Dame in South Bend? Eh, not so much.

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Notre Dame Football: Who is the Biggest Remaining Obstacle to a CFP Berth?

brian kelly notre dame

Your 2018 Notre Dame football team is currently 9-0, having just bested the Northwestern Wildcats 31-21 in Evanston. Notre Dame entered the game ranked third in the AP and coaches’ polls, and fourth in the College Football Playoff rankings- the only poll that truly matters these days.

If ND is unable to stay perfect in their final three games- will their playoff chances demise with them? What if we see more losses from the top teams down the stretch? Does that mean that more than one single loss team will get into the final four?

What we do know for certain is that two losses, by any combination, will kibosh any team’s playoff chances. So where do the biggest challenges lie down the stretch for the Fighting Irish?

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#3 Notre Dame Football Game Preview: Week 10 vs Florida State Seminoles

You can’t ask for a more college football blue blood match-up than this. The Notre Dame football program will have their 2018 Senior Day under the lights when they welcome the Florida State Seminoles to South Bend. FSU are in serious danger of seeing their current streak of 41 consecutive winning seasons come to an end. That number of 41 is good for 2nd in FBS history, trailing only the 42 straight accomplished by, wait for it, Notre Dame 1889-1932.

FSU’s 36 straight bowl game appearance streak is in serious jeopardy too. Should this streak, which began with the 1982 Gator Bowl, come to an end, it will still be the #1 streak ever in this regard. Nebraska went to 35 bowls from 1969-2003. The next highest current active streak is Virginia Tech at 25.

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Tommy Rees Exclusive: Notre Dame QB Coach Prepares for De Facto Homecoming Game

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Northwestern’s Ryan Field should be rocking Saturday night when undefeated and #3 Notre Dame come calling for the first time since 1976. It will be extra special for Tommy Rees, Notre Dame quarterbacks coach and one of the most accomplished passers in school history. Rees is a Lake Forest native who grew up a bit of a Northwestern fan.

He attended a lot of Wildcats games in his youth, and Northwestern was a factor in his recruiting process before he decided on Notre Dame. Once Northwestern committed to Trevor Siemian, Rees looked elsewhere. He ended up leaving South Bend among the top five in 21 different single-game, single-season or career passing categories, including the highest career pass completion percentage in school history.

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#3 Notre Dame Football Game Preview, Prediction: Week 9 at Northwestern Wildcats

As Notre Dame football continues to push towards the college football playoff, Saturday night’s trip to Northwestern might be a sneaky tough hurdle to clear. The Wildcats are substantial underdogs, but they always get up for Notre Dame; always. That’s partially because the Wildcats honestly believe that their program could or should be on par with ND.

The two institutions are very similar and both programs stress academics much more than your typical college football program. Both NU and ND have been known to part ways with players who don’t make the grade.

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Notre Dame Football: QB, RB Switch Makes Them CFB Playoff Contenders

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It’s hard to decide which Notre Dame football player has had a more of a positive impact on the 2018 season- quarterback Ian Book or running back Dexter Williams. Both of these offensive skill position players have added a new dimension to the offense and that has in turn changed the outlook for the season entirely.

In the first three games of the season, they were simply just surviving-and-advancing. They were winning, but not in convincing fashion. In the last three, with Book under center, they’re averaging 46.3 points per game and passing the College Football playoff eye test. You got to like their CFP odds now.  [Read more…]

Notre Dame Football Needs Better Offensive Cohesion to be a Real Playoff Contender

brandon wimbush

It’s entirely possible that this current Notre Dame football team can replicate what they accomplished in 2012- winning with defense, just enough offense, luck, smoke and mirrors. Through three games the #8 Fighting Irish are undefeated, but unimpressive in two of those three victories.

They may be able to keep going along this season with the current status quo, and get to the college football playoff, but that’s far from likely as the schedule will get tougher in October. In order for the Irish to rise to the occasion and become as formidable an opponent as those appearing on their schedule down the line, they need to solve their offensive issues.

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Notre Dame Increases Playoff Odds with Another Survive and Advance Victory

In mid-October 2015, then Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer described the mantra of that Fighting Irish team. After beating Navy to go to 5-1, he said his team was “sort of in March Madness mode.” 

That team would go on to win five in a row, before dropping their last two and falling out of college football playoff contention. The current team survived-and-advanced today by beating Vanderbilt 22-17, squeaking by a team that took them down to the final minute. Survive-and-advance is how you reach the playoff, and every week that Notre Dame does, their odds get better.

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#8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Vanderbilt Commodores Game Preview, Prediction

The #8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish host the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday looking to sail on through to a stretch of the schedule that will become significantly tougher. They beat MAC foe Ball State 24-16 last week but it wasn’t easy, easy like Sunday morning. Now they go up against the Commodores’ brick house of a defensive line, led by Dare and Dayo Odeyingbo.

And with that, we’ve officially hit saturation point in references to Lionel Ritchie’s old R&B group when discussing the Vanderbilt Commodores.

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ESPN College Gameday: How it Went From Transcendent to Unwatchable

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Republishing from 9-16-17

To pinpoint what’s so wrong with ESPN College Gameday in 2017, there are a couple different places from which you can start. You can begin with ESPN’s horrible bungling of the Jemele Hill and Robert Lee situations, and go from there. The same principle, that of “let’s try to never hurt anyone’s feelings ever, no matter what the cost, because hurt feelings means upset sponsors” applies across the board.

ESPN should have never apologized for what Jemele Hill said about Donald Trump.

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#12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs #14 Michigan Wolverines Game Preview, Prediction

For both the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Michigan Wolverines, there is no dipping your toe into the cold water of the 2018 college football season pool and then slowly getting your whole body used to the temperature difference. Both of these traditional upper Midwestern powers have to dive right in and deal with the shock.

Under the lights in South Bend Saturday night, it’s one of the weekend’s most highly anticipated match-ups, if not THE biggest game of kickoff weekend.

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