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2023 Bowl Projections: Where Are The Irish Going Bowling?

Written by Cade Harper | Writer | Twitter/X: @CadeHarperIT

Photo by Rivals


Less than a week ago, the Irish had high hopes for a New Year's Six bowl game that looked incredibly promising at the time. Turns out, it was too good to be true coming off of the tough loss at Clemson this last weekend. Bowl projections across the country have been shaken up a whole lot now. There's been constant chaos it seems, multiple top teams tumbling in the rankings, undefeated's no longer undefeated, and a ton of crushed hopes and dreams. Notre Dame somehow managed to be all of those this season. So the questions have been arising on where Notre Dame stands on the latest bowl projections from America's top analyst's. Where is Notre Dame on track to play in the bowl season come the end of this year? There may be some other teams in here that catch the eye of a lot of fans who also wouldn't mind one bit lining up against.

Photo by Christian Peteresen/Getty Images


In Marcus Freeman's first ever game as an NCAA head coach, he matched up against Mike Gundy and the #9 Oklahoma State Cowboys. Now for some, it looked like the New Year's Six curse was ending as the Irish led the Cowboys 28-14 at halftime. Come to find out, the final score was 37-35, Cowboys would come back to win with 23 second half points. It was a truly heartbreaking loss for us all but in Freeman's first game, it gave them a confidence boost as it was a very close game. Now in the 2023 season, Notre Dame sits at 7-3, the Cowboys at 7-2, naturally both out of reach of a New Year's Six, at least we think, except Jerry Palm from CBS Sports has other plans. Palm has the Irish and the Cowboys projected to play in the Pop Tart Bowl scheduled to play December 28th, 2023 in Orlando, FL. I personally love this rematch although the stakes are heavily minimized, but what a way to earn some revenge for Coach Freeman by avenging his first ever loss as a head coach. The Cowboys are putting together an impressive year quietly with top wins over Kansas State, Kansas, and knocking off top 10 ranked Oklahoma in the final Bedlam Rivalry game.




Photo by USA Today


Going back in time a bit here all the way to the 2005 regular season. When Brady Quinn had arguably one his best college football seasons at Notre Dame, the Irish finished with a 9-2 season, and lost to #4 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl later on that year. One of those teams from the 2005 regular season just so happens to be one of our projections to play in a bowl game. "College Football News" has the Irish projected to line up against the Tennessee Volunteers. The last time these two matched up, Irish took the win 41-21. So far this season, the Vols find themselves sitting at 7-2 with not really any key win just yet. However, they have dropped extremely tough, winnable games to 5-4 Florida and 8-1 Alabama. I like this matchup as well, A lot more than I thought I would. The Irish would be taking on a very underrated man under center in Joe Milton with multiple talented weapons lining up on the outside. I would love this game solely because of the Notre Dame secondary versus the Vol wideouts. Not to mention bringing back an old foe with some series history would be good for both programs. A very exciting matchup indeed if all does fall through.




Photo by The Indy Star


Finally, the one everyone has been hearing everywhere and waiting for, the one that will probably achieve higher ratings than multiple New Year's Six bowl games. Brian Kelly and his LSU Tigers. There are quite a few analyst's who believe this could be who the Irish play against in their bowl game. We obviously don't need a life lesson on the history of this school and Brian Kelly, and if you do need one, google is one click away, but this game would bring so much money and attention to the television it is not even funny. I cannot stress how bad multiple fans of these teams, along with fans who simply enjoy the drama of the sport, want this to happen. Believe me, if we could schedule LSU in a regular season home-home series, I think we would in a heartbeat. The Tigers so far this season have been one of the most disappointing teams in college football, along with Notre Dame, without a doubt. High hopes for a College Football Playoff, winning the SEC West, Heisman candidate under the center, and it all just absolutely bursts into a flames. LSU is currently ranked 14th in the AP Poll and standing with a 6-3 record following their loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa this past weekend after being the favorite to win the SEC West. Multiple analysts such as Mark Schlabach from ON3, Brad Crawford of CBS Sports, 247 Sports, and Athlon Sports have Notre Dame and LSU set to play each other in the Reliaquest Bowl, otherwise known as the Outback Bowl. Kyle Bonagura, also from ON3, has the Irish playing the tigers, except this match will be played in the Gator Bowl, where Notre Dame is currently the former champion of after beating South Carolina just a season ago in the same game. LSU - Notre Dame have a quite frequent bowl history, being the 2014 Music City Bowl and the 2017 Citrus Bowl, Notre Dame would win both of those games, also with Brian Kelly as the coach. Between Freeman and Kelly, the coaches have a combined record of 13-6 and could potentially create what could be the most watched bowl game this year outside of the New Year's Six games for obvious reasons. I'd say this is the one that most fans would want and a portion of just football fans in general. Only time will tell come bowling season.




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