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How Notre Dame Would Fare vs. the Rest of the BCS Top 5

Randy ChambersAnalyst IOctober 29, 2016

How Notre Dame Would Fare vs. the Rest of the BCS Top 5

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    With the nail biting victory over Pittsburgh and the Oregon victory over USC, Notre Dame has fallen to No. 4 in the latest BCS rankings, but remains a Top 5 team.

    The Irish have passed every test this season, as the team improved to a 9-0 record and it looks like a BCS bowl is a certainty with only three regular season games left. The offense has improved its play over the last couple of weeks and the defense remains awesome, as only two rushing touchdowns have been allowed all season long.

    But with a BCS bowl likely taking place in the next couple of months, Notre Dame will likely match up with one of the top teams in the polls for the big game.

    How would the Irish fare if they had to play another Top 5 program?

    Well, let's find out.

5. Georgia

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    Why Opponent Could Win

    Georgia is one of the better teams in the SEC when everything begins to click for the Bulldogs.

    The offense is as balanced as any other you will find with Aaron Murray leading the way at quarterback and a freshmen running back tandem that has helped produce the fifth-best rushing attack in the conference. Defensively, the Bulldogs have shown the ability to rush the passer, and Jarvis Jones would be a handful for the Irish to handle.

     

    Why Notre Dame Could Win

    Georgia has been a very inconsistent team this year, as it was destroyed by South Carolina, barely beat Kentucky and needed every one of those six turnovers to knock off Florida.

    The Bulldogs also haven't been good against ranked teams in the past, as they are 3-9 since the 2010 season. And while the defense is a physical bunch, Georgia has allowed four teams to rush for more than 190 yards against it.

     

    Prediction If Teams Were to Meet

    It really depends on which Georgia team decides to get off the bus. If it was the one that showed up against Kentucky, Notre Dame is running away with a victory.

    The Bulldogs have shown the ability to be a Top 5 team, but their reputation and hot and cold type of play really scares me. I would give the Irish the slight advantage in this game, as they have been the more consistent team this season.

     

    Probability Irish Win: 60%

3. Oregon

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    Why Opponent Could Win

    Have you seen the Ducks' offense?

    Oregon is leading the country averaging 54 points per game and is fourth in the country with 561 total yards per game. Keep in mind that is with the starters not receiving much playing time in the second half, as the game is usually out of hand before halftime.

    I know Notre Dame's defense is great, but it hasn't seen an offensive juggernaut quite like this.

     

    Why Notre Dame Could Win

    While Oregon has a lot of speed on the offensive side of the ball, Notre Dame can match it with the athleticism of their front seven.

    Players like Manti Te'o and Stephon Tuitt should do a good job of clogging up the running lanes and making it difficult to break off those long touchdowns. Very few teams have the athletic defense that can go toe-to-toe with the Ducks, but Notre Dame has shown that this unit is serious business.

     

    Prediction If Teams Were to Meet

    This game could really go either way. While Notre Dame does have the defense to slow down the Ducks high-flying attack, the Irish don't have a quarter of the offense to match the scoring machine if it gets going.

    This game will all come down to whether or not the defense of Notre Dame will be able to hold up or not.


    Probability Irish Win: 50%

2. Kansas State

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    Why Opponent Could Win

    Kansas State is a team that does not beat itself, as it avoids penalties and turnovers.

    The team is also led by some quarterback named Collin Klein who happens to be a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy and is responsible for 30 total touchdowns this season. The defense also deserves credit, as Oklahoma and West Virginia were held to under 20 points.

     

    Why Notre Dame Could Win

    With Kansas State, the offense starts and ends with Klein. If Notre Dame can prevent the senior from taking off and making plays with his legs, there is a good chance the Irish will win this ballgame.

    They did a terrific job in bottling up a more athletic quarterback in Denard Robinson, so containing the Kansas State leader is not an unrealistic possibility.

     

    Prediction If Teams Were to Meet

    I believe the Irish would win this game. Notre Dame has done a fabulous job of shutting down the opposing team’s offensive superstar all season long, and this matchup would likely be no different.

    This game would turn into a defensive slug fest, with the winner winning an ugly battle, which is something the Irish have become great at doing.

     


    Probability Irish Win: 65%

1. Alabama

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    Why Opponent Could Win

    It's Alabama. It has won two of the last three national championships and looks like the best team in the country at the moment.

    If you need more reasons, the Crimson Tide are second in the country in total defense, have forced 23 turnovers in nine games and have arguably the most balanced offense in the SEC.

     

    Why Notre Dame Could Win

    The defense could score four touchdowns and keep Notre Dame in the game, as the offense would have very little success against a ridiculous Alabama defense. Seriously, that's all I got and that is what it would take for the Irish to pull off the upset if these teams were to square off.

     

    Prediction If Teams Were to Meet

    Obviously, I would think Alabama ends up winning this game if these two teams were to meet in the BCS National Championship.

    The Crimson Tide are too great defensively for the Irish to keep up on the offensive side of the ball. Alabama is just in another league at the moment, as the team has been in this position before, is physical in the trenches and has a balanced offensive attack that is capable of moving the ball consistently.  


    Probability Irish Win: 25%

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