Notre Dame's path to a possible New Year's Six bowl berth grew dimmer as the Irish remained at No. 16 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.
Despite three straight victories by at least 31 points, which included a 52-20 victory over then No. 23 Navy two weeks ago, the Irish have not impressed the committee enough to gain any momentum in the rankings.
That means Notre Dame must climb at least six teams in order to get into the Orange or Cotton Bowl, and based on remaining schedules there would need to be a couple of major upsets this weekend for that to happen.
Notre Dame has played four teams in the latest CFP rankings. The Irish lost to No. 4 Georgia (23-17) and No. 13 Michigan (45-14), but defeated No. 22 USC (30-27) and No. 24 Virginia Tech (21-20).
On Saturday there are three contests between opponents ranked ahead of Notre Dame. No. 1 Ohio State (11-0) travels to No. 13 Michigan (9-2), No. 5 Alabama (10-1) travels to No. 15 Auburn (8-3) and No. 8 Minnesota (10-1) hosts No. 12 Wisconsin (9-2).
No. 2 LSU (11-0) hosts Texas A&M (7-4). The following week the Tigers will play Georgia (10-1) in the SEC title game. The Bulldogs travel to Georgia Tech (3-8) this weekend.
No. 3 Clemson (11-0) travels to South Carolina (4-7). No. 6 Utah (10-1) hosts Colorado (5-6), No. 7 Oklahoma takes on No. 21 Oklahoma State (8-3) in Stillwater in the annual Bedlam game. No. 9 Baylor (10-1) travels to Kansas (3-8). No. 10 Penn State (9-2) hosts Rutgers (2-9). No. 11 Florida (9-2) hosts Florida State. No. 14 Oregon (9-2), fresh off a loss to Arizona State, takes on Oregon State (5-6).
Notre Dame travels to Stanford (4-7) this weekend. If things stay the way they currently are the Irish would play in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28 against a Big 12 opponent. Last season, Syracuse defeated West Virginia by a 34-18 score in the game.