Notre Dame’s slim chances at reaching the College Football Playoff for the third time in four years are now exceedingly tenuous after the selection committee has released its first rankings, and the Irish (7-1) appeared at No. 10 in Tuesday night’s initial top 15.
Ahead of Notre Dame are four unbeaten Power Five teams (Georgia at No. 1, Michigan State at No. 4, Oklahoma at No. 8 and Wake Forest at No. 9), unbeaten Cincinnati with its win against the Irish in early October at No. 6 and a quartet of one-loss teams with more impressive wins than anything Notre Dame can claim or will be able to claim.
Aside from the Bearcats, the only Irish opponent, past or present, in the top 25 is Wisconsin (5-3) at No. 21, further limiting Notre Dame’s chances at moving up the rankings via impressive wins. The only tenable path into the top four for the Irish will come via others losing and losing often.
A #NotreDame-Cincinnati rematch in the Fiesta Bowl is now very much on the table and would not be fair to anybody whatsoever, namely the Bearcats.
— Douglas Farmer (@D_Farmer) November 2, 2021
No. 1: Georgia
No. 2: Alabama
No. 3: Michigan State
No. 4: Oregon
No. 5: Ohio State
No. 6: Cincinnati
No. 7: MIchigan
No. 8: Oklahoma
No. 9: Wake Forest
No. 10: Notre Dame
Notre Dame hosts Navy on Saturday at 3:30 ET on NBC. Note: That is 3:30 ET, an hour later than most afternoon home games.
Percent likelihood to win out the regular season, per FEI (undefeated teams, and one-loss P5s):
29% Notre Dame
27% Ohio St
21% Oklahoma St
20% Wake Forest
5% Michigan St
— Brian Fremeau (@bcfremeau) November 2, 2021