Coming into week four of college football we once again saw excitement and vigor in the eyes of every Notre Dame fan. A win against the number three Georgia Bulldogs could pull the number seven Fighting Irish back into the playoff conversation. Unfortunately for the adoring public that has faithfully followed this historic team that was not the case. Instead, after clearly winning the first half they allowed Jake Fromm to pick apart the defense with Brady like poise.
But here’s the secret, Notre Dame was eliminated from playoff contention long before the crippling loss to Georgia Saturday night.
Flashback to the 2018 Cotton Bowl. After going undefeated in the regular season and beating a number seven Stanford team as well as a surging number twelve Syracuse group, the playoff committee gave them a shot. And how did they repay the committee? By getting obliterated by the future champions, Clemson 30-3. The Fighting Irish gained just over half as many yards as the Tigers and looked downright out of place.
Saturday night started as one of the most promising games Notre Dame had ever had against a top team. They took charge in the first half and most importantly confounded Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm. Their performance in the secondary kept Fromm from trying any passes downfield. With the addition of some picturesque tackling he was held to less than 60 yards in the air despite only one incompletion. The second half showed an entirely different team. Fromm and Georgia’s offense is far too smart and savvy to not adjust and the Irish defense provided little to no changes. In addition to this the Notre Dame defense looked absolutely gassed. This allowed Fromm to perform with surgeon-like precision and pick apart the secondary. Then as the defenders began to wear down, their tackling turned into stormtroopers firing at the rebel alliance, resulting in even more yards. Not the kind of performance you’d expect to see from a top four team.
Aside from the pathetic defensive attempts, the Fighting Irish looked completely unfit to be in the moment. Notre Dame was obviously phased by the noise booming from outside the hedges. It resulted in 12 flags getting thrown against them, a high under Brian Kelly. But the clearest case of this was their senior quarterback Ian Book. Like many opportunities before Book could not step up and assert himself when it counted like the quarterbacks of the other top four teams such as Tua Tagoviloa, Trevor Lawrence, Jalen Hurts and of course Fromm. Book threw two interceptions in the second half which were influential in the Bulldog comeback. This means that after Saturday’s game, seven of Book’s 13 career interceptions have come against ranked teams. NOT top dog material.
The truth is, Notre Dame can’t be taken seriously as a championship contender given the teams current make up, and so they have already been written off by the College Football committee. I don’t need anything more than the simple wins and losses to show that to you. In the current century, Notre Dame is in the bottom five in winning percentage against top five teams at 1-18. If they are unable to beat the nation’s elite teams, then how can any right minded voter put them in their top four? If anything, a Notre Dame victory would have just robbed us of a great Georgia team making the playoffs.
GET A CONFERENCE! (Ra-cha-chachacha) GET A CONFERENCE (Ra-cha-chachacha) GET A CONFERENCE (Ra-cha-chachacha)…