3 Reasons Why Notre Dame Is Still In The College Football Playoff Hunt

The No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish survived an upset bid at the hands of No. 21 Temple, holding on to a 24-20 win. The victory will keep the Irish in the Top 10 of the national polls and keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive. That's right; despite a loss to Clemson, the Fighting Irish are still playing for a CFP berth. Here are three reasons why Notre Dame is still alive in the College Football Playoff hunt.   

3. DeShone Kizer 

Many thought Notre Dame was doomed when Malik Zaire went down, but that hasn't been the case. DeShone Kizer has stepped up in an incredible way, playing just as well as Zaire was expected to. Their stat lines are very similar, and Kizer was THE reason Notre Dame beat Temple. He threw two INTs, but also recorded 299 yards and a TD. Oh, he also added 143 yards and two scores on the ground. Kizer accounted for all but 25 of Notre Dame's yards. If Kizer keeps playing this well, and he should, Notre Dame has a great chance to run the table. 

2. Winnable Next Three Games

Notre Dame's next three games are at 6-2 Pittsburgh and home against 3-6 Wake and 3-6 Boston College. Notre Dame will be favored in all of those games and should win them all. Pittsburgh could be a bit of challenge, but the Panthers are coming off a loss to North Carolina and their best win is against Virginia Tech. When Notre Dame wins those three games, it will set itself up for the biggest game of its season. 

1. Elimination Game Against Stanford 

Notre Dame's final game of the season is against Stanford. Assuming both teams win out, which they should, this game becomes an elimination game. Stanford would still need to win the Pac-12, but a win for Notre Dame would end their season in the best way possible. Plus, a win over Stanford would be a huge resume booster. The College Football Playoff committee likely wouldn't be able to reject a one-loss Notre Dame team, especially if Clemson continues to win. Thanks to a schedule that sets up well for a late-season run and the play of Kizer, the Irish are in a great position to make the College Football Playoff. 

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Related Topics: College Football Playoff, Deshone Kizer, Notre Dame FIghting Irish News