What This Week’s College Football Playoff Rankings Mean For Notre Dame's Chance Of Getting A Berth

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 9-1 and right in the heart of the race for a College Football Playoff spot. The CFP Rankings were released late Tuesday Night, and we're here to explain what the latest rankings mean for the Fighting Irish. 

What Happened: 

Notre Dame stayed in the No. 4 spot. Ahead of the Irish are Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State. Behind ND are Iowa, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. 

Reasons For Optimism:

Notre Dame doesn't need to worry about Iowa jumping them. Worst case, Iowa beats Ohio State and Notre Dame passes OSU. Notre Dame is already in the fourth spot, so it doesn't need to worry about making up ground right now. The Irish have the "best" loss of the season, losing to Clemson and only just. The committee has shown that it doesn't mind giving credit for "quality" losses and Notre Dame seems to be benefitting from that. 

Reasons For Pessimism: 

The Big 12 is worrisome threat. If Oklahoma State goes undefeated, the committee really can't exclude an undefeated Big 12 champ. The Sooners are also lurking, but Notre Dame might get the nod over them if both teams finish with one loss. That's because the Irish beat up Texas, a team Oklahoma lost to. However, there's no guarantee and OU should have more quality wins. 

Stanford's loss this weekend also hurts Notre Dame. The Cardinal won't be as quality a win if Notre Dame beats them in the final week of the season. That game won't be an easy one either. Temple falling to South Florida hurts as well. 

How Notre Dame Can Get A Berth: 

Since they are in the fourth, in theory that should mean Notre Dame just needs to win out to get a spot. However, that's not how the committee operated last year. There's a real chance Notre Dame will be jumped by the Big 12 Champ. The best case scenario is Notre Dame wins out and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State both lose a game. If that happens, Notre Dame should be safe. 

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Related Topics: College Football Playoff, North Dame Fighting Irish News, 2015 College Football