Notre Dame will play its regular-season finale against Stanford on Saturday at Stanford Stadium.
For the Fighting Irish (10-1, No. 6 College Football Playoff), the objective is simple: win and pray. Notre Dame has an outside chance of making the CFP for the third time in the past four years but will need some help. No. 1 Georgia (at Georgia Tech) and No. 3 Alabama (at Auburn) are both on the road before a collision course in the SEC Championship Game next week, while No. 2 Ohio State visits No. 5 Michigan this week. The Irish will want the Buckeyes to come out on top in convincing fashion to see Michigan slide back in the rankings. Georgia and Alabama are each unlikely to be upset, but college football is a strange game.
If the Irish win at Stanford (3-8), Notre Dame will at least likely secure a spot in a New Year's Six Bowl. Not bad for a team that looked like it was in a rebuilding and/or transition year heading into the fall. Notre Dame is a heavy favorite against Stanford, losers of six in a row. The Cardinal have upset wins at then-No. 14 USC and at home against then-No. 3 Oregon this year, but have struggled lately with a 30-point home loss to Cal.
The Irish are still without All-American safety Kyle Hamilton, a projected top-10 pick in next year's NFL Draft. After Notre Dame's first game without Hamilton (44-34 win against North Carolina), the Irish have only allowed nine points the past three games. The defensive line has played a large role in that success, led by Isaiah Foskey, who is tied for ninth in the country with 10 sacks this season.
Notre Dame is 20-13-0 in the all-time series against Stanford, including winning the past two meetings 45-24 on the road in 2019 and 38-17 at home in 2018. The Irish's recent success came after the Cardinal had won three straight in the series, with two home victories and one in South Bend.
Spread: -20.5 ND
How to Watch
What: No. 6 Notre Dame at Stanford
When: 7 PM CT, Saturday
Where: Stanford Stadium; Stanford, CA