Notre Dame Bowl Projection Becoming Clear, The Opponent Is Not

Bryan Driskell

Over the last two weeks the Notre Dame football team needed help to get itself into a New Year’s Six Bowl game, but most of what was needed did not come to fruition.

That means Notre Dame’s bowl destination has become much clearer over the last week, with ESPN, Sporting News and CBS Sports all projecting the Fighting Irish to play in the Camping World Bowl.

While the destination has become more clear, the potential opponent has become murkier. One thing is for sure, and that is if Notre Dame does play in the Camping World Bowl it will face a Big 12 opponent. Which Big 12 opponent the Irish would face remains to be seen.

Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach at ESPN both project Notre Dame to face Oklahoma State (8-4). Bill Bender at Sporting News projects the Irish to face Kansas State (8-4), while Jerry Palm of CBS Sports projects Notre Dame to play Texas (7-5).

The reason for the confusion is the four-way tie that currently exists for the number three spot in the Big 12. Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Iowa State all finished 5-4 in conference play. The Cowboys and Wildcats finished with an 8-4 overall record while the Longhorns and Cyclones finished 7-5.

None of the four teams are ranked in either the AP or Coaches Polls. Oklahoma State dropped out of the polls after its 34-16 home loss to Oklahoma. Kansas State beat Iowa State at home by a 27-17 score, and Texas also ended the season with a win, beating Texas Tech 49-24 on Friday.

Notre Dame has never faced Oklahoma State, Kansas State or Iowa State in football. The Irish own a 9-3 all-time record against Texas after splitting a home-and-home in 2015-16. Notre Dame trounced Texas (38-3) at home to kick off the 2015 season, but the Longhorns got payback a year later, beating the Irish (50-47) in overtime.

Notre Dame and Texas have played each other in a bowl game three times, with all three coming in the Cotton Bowl. Texas beat the Irish in the 1970 Cotton Bowl (21-17), but Notre Dame won in 1971 (24-11) and whipped the Longhorns in the 1978 Cotton Bowl (38-10).

The Camping World Bowl is played on Dec. 28 in Orlando, Fla. It was once known as the Champs Sports Bowl - among other former names - which was the name for the bowl when Notre Dame lost to Florida State (18-14) back in 2011.

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Comments (14)
No. 1-8
Ndstaatser
Ndstaatser

Well let’s hope for Texas

Fitz1105
Fitz1105

I don’t know much about the bowls but why are we having to get paired with teams that had much inferior seasons to ours? I don’t want to hear anymore crap about how ND gets inflated based on being ND

Chief1
Chief1

What about the peach bowl or gator bowl, could ND decline this to play a better opponent?

ZonaIrish
ZonaIrish

I rather play Kansas st oe okie st

lyonhawk
lyonhawk

The tie in the standings is irrelevant. After the CFP and NY6, Big 12 slots are filled by choice in order. Alamo Bowl gets the first selection of any bowl eligible team followed by the Camping World. Big 12 champ figures to be in CFP or Sugar. If they make the CFP, the runner up will end up in the Sugar. Then the Alamo gets to pick, then Camping World.

I would say it's Ok St or Texas. Ok St is probably the best on field matchup and if they can't get that, they may just go for big fan bases and choose Texas for the name brands.

rocket118
rocket118

Hoping for Texas as there's history there at least. The other programs bring less to this game IMO.

CoachT4
CoachT4

I've said it since the beginning of the year ... we either make the playoffs or NY6 or the season is an utter failure. This season is a failure if we end up in the Camping Bowl against any of these teams.

You can make a case for us smoking all three and losing to all three teams.

dennis1946
dennis1946

Regardless who ND plays Kelly will have the Irish ready for the big game.


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