Notre Dame (10-1) secured a fifth-straight double digit win season after pounding Georgia Tech (3-8) by a 55-0 score this weekend. The Fighting Irish are a Stanford (3-8) win away from locking in a New Year's Six Bowl berth and are a couple more upsets away from jumping into the College Football Playoff.
Until those upsets happen the Irish are starting to have their postseason options narrowed down to the Peach Bowl and the Fiesta Bowl, and in this week's projections the Irish opponent has started to narrow ... with one exception.
Mark Schlabach (ESPN), Jerry Palm (CBS Sports) and Athlon Sports all projected Notre Dame to the Peach Bowl, where they would be matched up against the Pitt Panthers (9-2). Pitt clinched a Coastal Division title this past weekend with a victory over Virginia and will face either Wake Forest (if they beat Boston College) or Clemson (if Wake Forest loses to BC) in the title game.
Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have a long history against each other, with the Irish holding a 50-21-1 advantage in the rivalry. The Irish are 6-1 against Pittsburgh during the Brian Kelly tenure, including winning the last three games of the matchup.
Notre Dame blasted Pittsburgh by a 45-3 score last October, which was the most recent meeting. Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have never faced each other in the postseason.
Kyle Bonagura (ESPN) is the only analyst to project the Irish somewhere else. Bonagura has Notre Dame headed to the Fiesta Bowl where it would face the Oregon Ducks (9-2), who are coming off a loss to Utah this past weekend, which knocked them out of the College Football Playoff race.
Notre Dame and Oregon have not faced each other since 1982, a game that ended in a 13-13 tie. The only other matchup was .
Bleacher Report is the only major outlet I found that is willing to project Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff. Most outlets aren't looking ahead to the Alabama vs. Georgia matchup, or they are and they are working with the assumption that either Alabama beats Georgia or a two-loss Alabama team gets in.
BR has Notre Dame as the No. 4 seed, where the Irish will be matched up against No. 1 Georgia in the Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs are 3-0 all-time against Notre Dame, with the first ever meeting between the two schools coming in the 1981 Sugar Bowl, a game Georgia won 17-10. Notre Dame and Georgia have faced each other twice in the last five seasons, with Georgia winning 20-19 in South Bend back in 2017 and besting the Irish 23-17 in Athens in 2019.
BR has No. 2 Ohio State slated to face No. 3 Cincinnati in the other semi-final game.
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