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Irish jump to No. 4 in CFB Playoff rankings


of the Pittsburgh Panthers of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the game at Heinz Field on November 7, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Jared Wickerham

If the regular season ended today, Notre Dame would be in the College Football Playoff. The Irish ranked No. 4 in the second released rankings, trailing Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State respectively.

Notre Dame’s strength of schedule continues to be an asset. Temple is ranked at 21st. Navy checks in at No. 20, both programs only loss coming to the Irish.

“If they win out, how is anybody going to get by Notre Dame?” Kirk Herbstreit said during the ESPN broadcast. “With Stanford sitting there at the end of the year, this is not necessarily great news for the Big 12.”

Notre Dame sits ahead of undefeated Iowa and Baylor, with the Hawkeyes making a huge leap to No. 5 after another less than impressive win over Indiana. Baylor has three straight ranked opponents coming up with Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU before finishing the year with Texas. All part of the many cards yet to be played.

Committee chairman Jeff Long pointed to Notre Dame’s position at four being fairly safe, saying that the committee spent more time discussing No. 5 through No. 8 and less on the top four. That could obviously change in the weeks to come.

Notre Dame plays Wake Forest this weekend before heading to Boston to take on Boston College in Fenway Park. They finish the season with one of the season’s biggest games, a Top 10 matchup with Stanford in Palo Alto.