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By now, you likely have learned that Notre Dame moved up to number six in the College Football Playoff rankings. You are probably very excited that the path has opened for The Irish to have a shot at the championship.
And you probably have even worked it all out in your mind. Notre Dame beats Stanford, Ohio State defeats Michigan, Georgia shuts down Alabama and Notre Dame is into the playoff. With the way the offense and defense are coming together, who knows what could happen? Add in the possible return of the best safety in America, Kyle Hamilton, and things start to look pretty good.
But the real reason to be excited comes from a look at the big picture. Look at the whole poll, and guess what you see? An Alabama loss to Georgia would leave them with two losses. And their defense is not overall as impressive as it has been in recent years. Then look at Clemson. They are in the bottom of the poll, improving but hardly the monster they have been either.
That’s where the real excitement starts. Regardless of how things work out for Notre Dame this season, the beasts have come back to the pack. And with two outstanding recruiting classes shaping up, it will be The Irish who will be reloading. Imagine that a significant number of players who still have eligibility return. And consider what happens if a couple of quality additions come from the transfer portal.
When Lou Holtz rolled into South Bend, it all got started with top-ranked recruiting classes. Sure, Holtz only got credited with one championship, but he was robbed of two others. The talent got so good on the offensive side of the ball that excellent athletes started shuffling over to the defense. And that is what is starting to happen now.
Everything goes in cycles. The years of Clemson and Alabama dominance are over. It’s time for a new dynasty. If the College Football Playoff expands to eight or twelve teams, that also works in Notre Dame’s favor. It would give The Irish a legitimate shot at the championship on a consistent basis.
So when you look at the rankings, look at the big picture. The time has come for Irish eyes to smile again.