Notre Dame has already earned a pair of College Football Playoff berths, and the Irish also made it to the BCS national title game back in 2012. So making the College Football Playoff this season would be nothing new for the Fighting Irish. What is new, in my view, is that this Notre Dame squad is better suited to make a legitimate run than it was in 2020, or even 2018, which is arguably the best team of the Brian Kelly tenure.
In this video we break down why we believe Notre Dame is more dangerous in 2021 than it was in 2020, 2018 and 2012.
Notre Dame has played championship defense in the past (2012, 2017, 2018, 2020), and this season is no different. The Irish defense is playing outstanding football, and the Notre Dame defensive line is truly elite. But the great performance by Marcus Freeman and his defense isn't what is different about this team. The difference in 2021 is the offense.
In the video we explain why the Irish offense is more dangerous heading into the playoff, and we back it up with analysis and data. One data point is that Notre Dame is one of only two teams in all of college football that rank in the Top 10 nationally in scoring offense and scoring defense in games against Power 5 opponents.
The possible opponents Notre Dame would face is also discussed. There is no 2020 Alabama, no 2019 LSU or 2018 Clemson in this year's playoff. Many of the teams are built much like Notre Dame, but the way Notre Dame is playing right now on offense makes them far more dangerous than most.
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