Each week in this space, we examine two things: Notre Dame’s strength of schedule (from USA Today‘s Sagarin rankings), and who Irish opponents are facing. For those of who want to scout future opponents, I’ll give you my recommendation for who to watch when you’re not watching Notre Dame Football.
Who To Watch
Pittsburgh (7-5) vs Clemson (12-0), Sat 8:00 PM ET on Fox
There are some formalities remaining, but let’s start some postseason football, y’all. Pittsburgh likes to play spoiler, and they held Notre Dame to a closer-than-comfortable final earlier this season, but they take on the Clemson Tigers this weekend for the ACC crown. A high-scoring affair favors Dabo Swinney’s squad, as Pitt prefers to keep things more of a defensive slog, where their scheme and coaching prowess can overcome elite offensive playmaking ability.
Should the expected results hold, Irish fans watching this game will see Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence and tailback Travis Etienne against a Panther defense that is….well, it’s not as good as Clemson’s squad. The Tigers are statistically solid across the board, and this one shouldn’t be close.
Also this Week
- Virginia Tech (5-6) vs Marshall (Sat 12:00 PM ET, ACC Network)
- Stanford (7-4) at California (Sat 3:00 PM ET, ACC Network)
- Northwestern (8-4) vs Ohio State (Sat 8:00 PM ET, Fox)
Last week, ND opponents went 6-6. On the year, opponents have a combined record of 75-67 (52.8%) with an average schedule strength of 41.
|15||Florida State||5-7||↑ 10|
|23||Southern Cal||5-7||↑ 6|
|44||Notre Dame||12-0||↑ 5|
|53||Wake Forest||6-6||↓ 13|
|58||Virginia Tech||5-6||↓ 10|
|90||Ball State||4-8||↑ 5|