When the College Football Rankings came out this week from the Associated Press and USA Today, Alabama was the clear favorite as the number one team in the nation. However, even though the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish was ranked second, you could make the case or argument for them to be number one.
Yes, the Crimson Tide are undefeated with a record of six wins and zero losses. However, the Fighting Irish are also undefeated and have played two more games at eight wins and zero losses.
One could make the argument that the Crimson Tide play in the much tougher conference, as the SEC has traditionally been more difficult than the ACC (the conference Notre Dame is playing in this year due to coronavirus). However, the victory that the Fighting Irish had over the powerful bunch from Clemson should stand for something significant.
Heading into their game against the Fighting Irish on November 7, Clemson was the number one ranked team in the United States. At that point of the season, the Tigers had outscored their opponents 154-56. But it was the Fighting Irish that came through with an impressive 47-40 double overtime victory that put them into the top spot of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Crimson Tide have outscored their opponents 283-132 in six games, including an impressive shutout on Halloween, where they blanked Mississippi State 41-0. There is no doubt that Texas A&M is formidable. The fifth-ranked team in the country lost 52-24 to Alabama on October 3 for their only loss of the season. But the 5-1 Aggies are not even close when it comes to the recent resume of the fourth-ranked Tigers.
Notre Dame meanwhile has outscored their eight opponents 301-151. Like Alabama, they have also recorded a shutout this year, as they beat South Florida 52-0 on September 19. Even though the Fighting Irish have given up 19 more points than the Crimson Tide, Notre Dame has only given up 18.9 points per game. Alabama is averaging 22 points per game allowed.
This past weekend, the Fighting Irish improved to 8-0 with a 45-31 win over Boston College. Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book completed 20 of 27 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns, along with 10 rushes for 85 yards and another touchdown. All three of Book’s touchdown passes went to Ben Skowronek. As the season progresses, Book has put himself into the Heisman conversation.