While Notre Dame didn’t exactly play Alabama in Week 5, the Fighting Irish’s 52-17 win over Miami (OH) caught the eye of coaches and media members alike.
Notre Dame is currently ranked No. 22 in the Coaches’ Poll and No. 21 in the AP Poll. In one set of less formal rankings, the weekly power rankings by CBS Sports analyst Dennis Dodd, the Irish are also ranked Np. 21.
Dodd’s comments about the Irish are perhaps more interesting than his ranking.
“The first instinct is to shame the Irish for playing a MAC team. But Miami’s Chuck Martin is Notre Dame’s former offensive coordinator, and the seven remaining games look absolutely winnable,” Dodd writes. “That means a major bowl, if not a CFP berth, are possible.”
That’s right, with Notre Dame’s two-point loss to Georgia looking better and better as the Bulldogs steamroll their way through the SEC East, the College Football Playoff still isn’t out of the question if Notre Dame wins out.
The main reason for the love Notre Dame has received from media members has been the improved offense displayed by the Irish since their loss to Georgia. A week after scoring 38 points against a Power 5 foe in Michigan State, Notre Dame erupted for 45 first-half points against Miami (Ohio). Brandon Wimbush, who faced criticism over his accuracy early in the season, accounted for 4 total touchdowns without a turnover. Running back Josh Adams added to his absurd rushing numbers.
The toughest remaining test for Notre Dame appears to be USC, which lost Friday to Washington State. The Trojans will visit South Bend on Oct. 21.
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