Complete utter chaos would have to ensue for the Fighting Irish to get back into serious playoff contention. But as long as Notre Dame beats Stanford next week, the Irish likely are headed to a New Year’s Six bowl.
On Sunday, CBS Sports predicted in its most recent bowl projections that Notre Dame will face Penn State in the Cotton Bowl. This season, the Cotton Bowl will be on Friday, Dec. 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The Irish last went to a New Year’s Six bowl two years ago, but they were crushed by Ohio State 44-8 in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2016. The last time Notre Dame won a major bowl was, coincidentally, the last time the Irish were in the Cotton Bowl at the end of the 1992 season. Lou Holtz led the Irish to a 28-3 victory against Texas A&M in that Cotton Bowl.
Under Brian Kelly, Notre Dame is 3-3 in bowl games. The Irish weren’t in postseason play last season after they finished 4-8. That was the first time the Irish missed out on a bowl appearance since Charlie Weis’ final season in 2009.
The Irish are 5-2 all time in the Cotton Bowl. If Notre Dame meets Penn State in a bowl game, it will be the first meeting between the schools since 2007.