Since the playoff was started, Alabama has not played a true road game against a non-conference opponent. Notre Dame plays one of the hardest schedules year in and out. Some of it has to do with rivalries from over the years like Michigan and USC while others are just Notre Dame going to play the best teams in the country.
While Alabama consistently plays FCS teams until SEC play, Notre Dame has traveled to some of the most hostile stadiums around the U.S. In the last few seasons, Notre Dame has traveled to Michigan, Texas, USC, Virginia Tech, Florida State and will be going to Georgia next season.
It is easy to look at other teams and wish for the same success but Notre Dame schedules a ludicrous schedule every year. Now with a few ACC games worked in, they have played in a hurricane in Clemson or taken Jameis Winston to the final seconds down in Florida State. They could go the Iowa or Alabama route and schedule pushovers for a majority of the season. But Notre Dame is a national brand and typically only plays weak teams through years long traditions.
Alabama is one of the best college football dynasties of all time, no doubt about it. With that said, when you sleep walk to the playoff every year it can be frustrating When Notre Dame is grinding through a season. People can talk about Alabama playing in the SEC but to counter, Notre Dame is tied with Alabama and Ohio State for wins over AP top 25 opponents since 2017. The SEC argument was great, in 2010. There is three or four legitimate teams playing in the SEC this season but don’t tell ESPN that.
Notre Dame gets trashed and Brian Kelly gets dragged for his record at Notre Dame compared to some of the greats. Sometimes Kelly deserves the criticism but it should be worth mentioning that no year comes easy. Even with being Independent, Notre Dame plays anywhere and everywhere. No matter what people say, Notre Dame is undefeated and holds a win over Michigan. They have vastly improved on offense with Ian Book and the defense is one of the best in the country. Let people talk, an undefeated team is a lock for the playoff.
While I am on my Alabama rant I’ll leave you with more fact. Notre Dame has as many players with 20+ QB pressures as the entire SEC.
Let us know how you think the CFP rankings will shake out in the coming weeks. Follow us on Twitter @casualfball and Facebook @casualirishtalk for all things Irish.