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Following a weekend in which Oregon and Michigan State essentially eliminated themselves from the College Football Playoff discussion, fifth-ranked Notre Dame is stating their case for any potential openings. The Irish cite their “résumé” and “staying power” as reasons why they should go from candidate to contender.
“We have one of the best tight ends, if not the best tight end, in the country. An effective running game. Defense that hasn’t given up a touchdown in three games,” head coach Brian Kelly said Saturday. “When you’re really looking for teams with that kind of résumé, of staying power, of control of a game, and that’s really what you’re looking at.”
Notre Dame 55
Georgia Tech 0
Irish win styles points and a whole lot of everything else. As dominant as a Brian Kelly team has ever been over a Power 5 opponent.
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 20, 2021
Kelly’s comments followed an impressive 55-0 win over Georgia Tech, which pushed Notre Dame’s record to 10-1. The win gave Kelly and the Irish at least ten wins in five consecutive seasons, something that’s never been done in the history of the program.
ND probably could’ve eased up on the Yellow Jackets, but Kelly’s aiming to make an impression on those voting for the Playoff.
“For those that are interested in style points — and you don’t like me for this, but I’m not — but I covered that one too,” Kelly said. “I’ve got to be popular today.”
Notre Dame started the fall with four consecutive victories before falling to Cincinnati for their only loss of the season. Since that early October loss to the Bearcats, the Irish have rolled off six straight wins. Kelly sees that as a sign of growth.
“We’ve seen that we have grown as a football team. So I’m watching this football team out there that looks nothing like it did back when we played Toledo (a three-point win). That’s growth,” added Kelly. “That’s coaching. That’s players understanding how they needed to grow as well.”
On Tuesday evening, we’ll find out whether the College Football Playoff Committee feels the same way.
The Irish can add to their résumé with a win over Stanford in their regular season finale Saturday night. Whether they land a post-season spot in the Playoff is anyone’s guess.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF