There, I did you a favor by keeping “way too early” out of the headline but the following is certainly a much too early look and prediction at how Notre Dame football will fare in Marcus Freeman’s debut season as head coach.
It’s a tough year for those who say Notre Dame doesn’t play anyone as Ohio State, Clemson, and USC all could very possibly be top 10 teams while a neutral site game against BYU and a trip to North Carolina don’t figure to be gimmes.
So how will Notre Dame fare in 2022?
Here is a much too early look at Notre Dame’s 2022 football season by going game-by-game.
Sept. 3 - at Ohio State Prediction: Ohio State 37, Notre Dame 21 Record: 0-1
Sept. 10 vs. Marshall Prediction: Notre Dame 41, Marshall 17 Record: 1-1
Sept. 17 vs. California Prediction: Notre Dame 38, Cal 13 Record: 2-1
Sept. 24 - at North Carolina Prediction: Notre Dame 31, North Carolina 20 Record: 3-1
Oct. 1 - Bye Week After beating North Carolina, Notre Dame moves to 3-1 a third of the way into the season and Marcus Freeman moves to 3-2 as a head coach all-time. Will he ever be right at .500 or below as a head coach again? A difficult trip out west awaits next.
Oct. 8 - vs. BYU (Allegiant Stadium - Las Vegas) Prediction: Notre Dame 27, BYU 24 Record: 4-1
Oct. 15 - vs. Stanford Prediction: Notre Dame 44, Stanford 13 Record: 5-1
Oct. 22 - vs. UNLV Prediction: Notre Dame 48, UNLV 3 Record: 6-1
Oct. 29 - at Syracuse Prediction: Notre Dame 38, Syracuse 17 Record: 7-1
Nov. 5 - vs. Clemson Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Clemson 30 Record: 8-1
Nov. 12 - vs. Navy (MT&T Stadium - Baltimore) Prediction: Notre Dame 41, Navy 10 Record: 9-1
Nov. 19 - vs. Boston College Prediction: Notre Dame 31, Boston College 27 Record: 10-1
Nov. 26 - at USC Prediction: USC 38, Notre Dame 37 Record: 10-2
Postseason: USC spoiled Notre Dame’s College Football Playoff chances after the Irish fell the final week of their regular season. Unfortunately for the previously 11-1 Trojans, a Pac 12 championship loss to 10-2 Oregon keeps them from the CFP as well.
Ohio State, who beat Notre Dame in week one, goes unbeaten and makes the CFP as the No. 1 seed.
Alabama and Georgia again both get to the SEC Championship and both get to the playoff after going 12-1 in the regular season.
Clemson, who Notre Dame beat earlier in the year, runs the table the rest of the year and returns to the CFP.
Oregon goes to the Rose Bowl which bumps 11-2 USC to the Orange Bowl where they get another date with Notre Dame.
This time the shootout goes the way of the Fighting Irish as Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame benefit from a missed block in the back on a punt return that sets up a last-second Irish victory.
Prediction: 34-31 win vs. USC in Orange Bowl 2022 Final Record: 11-2
The one team Notre Dame can’t lose to in 2022