Notre Dame CFP scenarios: Can Fighting Irish make playoff with Cincinnati loss?

With Baylor’s upset win over No. 5 Oklahoma State within the Big 12 title recreation, No. 6 Notre Dame’s faculty soccer playoff hopes took an enormous step ahead.

The Fighting Irish now sit at No. 6, whereas No. 4 Cincinnati faces No. 21 Houston hoping to win the American Athletic Conference and solidify its place within the playoff committee’s eyes whereas Notre Dame waits and watches from dwelling. That’s removed from a assured win for the Bearcats, nevertheless.

So, can Notre Dame nonetheless make the CFP? Sporting News takes a glance.


Can Notre Dame make the CFP with a Cincinnati loss?

Notre Dame got here into the weekend ranked sixth within the rankings. That meant that the Fighting Irish would wish some assist from the groups forward of them to maneuver up since they won’t be taking part in a recreation.

The Fighting Irish already received one want with No. 5 Oklahoma State dropping to No. 9 Baylor, eliminating one of many groups forward of them within the CFP chase.

What then occurs if Cincinnati loses? For all intents and functions, that will remove the Bearcats from the dialog. A Group of Five workforce has already by no means made the playoff, and the committee might need much less forgiveness for a Cincinnati workforce with a loss and no convention championship. 

That then leaves an open spot for Notre Dame that at this level, appears prone to be the Fighting Irish’s to lose. They’re forward of No. 7 Ohio State, which additionally doesn’t play on Saturday. If any of the highest three groups win, they’re in. No. 1 Georgia nearly definitely reaches the playoff even when it loses to No. 3 Alabama. And even when the Bulldogs beat the Crimson Tide and the committee elects to place two-loss, non convention champion Alabama into the playoff, that will nonetheless go away an open spot for a fourth workforce.


CFP Scenarios: Can Alabama make the playoff with a loss to Georgia?

So which groups can be obtainable to fill that emptiness? There’s not a ton of choices exterior of Notre Dame. No. 10 Oregon was drummed by No. 17 Utah within the Pac-12 Championship, placing any probability of the Pac-12 reaching the CFP out of the image. Baylor might make the leap up 5 spots, however that is nonetheless an extended approach to climb.

Could the committee rethink two-loss Ohio State over one-loss Notre Dame? Chairman Gary Barta had beforehand stated that when the final set of rankings got here out, they didn’t contemplate coach or participant availabilities when placing out the rankings, and that they might when deciding the 4 groups to succeed in the CFP. On Monday, a day earlier than the rankings had been launched, it was revealed that Brian Kelly can be leaving South Bend, Indiana, for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the LSU emptiness.

MORE: Is America hoping Notre Dame will get an opportunity to stay it to Brian Kelly in CFP?


However, ESPN’s Heather Dinich reported that the committee is now not contemplating the teaching change as an element since Marcus Freeman took over and retained many of the workers.

Committee chair Gary Barta informed me earlier right this moment that the teaching state of affairs at ND has turn into a nonfactor within the analysis of the Irish. They talked about it final evening, and the continuity there w/ Freeman and retaining workers makes it moot in dialogue.

— Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) December 4, 2021

Could the committee leap the Buckeyes over the Fighting Irish? It appears extremely unlikely, particularly given Barta’s newest place on Notre Dame’s teaching state of affairs.

Ultimately, if Cincinnati loses, there shall be a surge of confidence in South Bend that their workforce may very well be destined for his or her second straight CFP journey. 

Can Notre Dame make the CFP with a Cincinnati win?

This state of affairs appears way more unlikely for the Fighting Irish.

If Cincinnati wins, their head-to-head benefit towards the Bearcats, to not point out Cincinnati’s two ranked wins to Notre Dame’s zero imply that the Fighting Irish will definitely not leap over Cincinnati.

To get in, Notre Dame would wish to see Michigan lose to No. 13 Iowa and Alabama to lose to Georgia, possible in a blowout. Again, Georgia has all however clinched a spot within the CFP whatever the end result within the SEC Championship Game. Iowa is simply too far-off from a playoff image to be thought-about for a spot, even when it wins the Big Ten.

MORE: What channel is Cincinnati vs. Houston on right this moment?

In that state of affairs, the one two assured a spot are Georgia and Cincinnati, organising a debate between two-loss, Big 12 champion Baylor, two-loss Alabama, one-loss Notre Dame, two-loss Michigan and two-loss Ohio State. Notre Dame would appear to be an honest wager to take one of many two remaining spots, however that is nonetheless removed from a assure.

A Cincinnati win does not utterly remove Notre Dame’s playoff possibilities, however it will imply quite a bit must go proper for the Fighting Irish to have an opportunity.

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