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Ohio State: A Chance For A Monumental Shift In Notre Dame Football

Written By Ryan Fravel|Recruiting Analyst & Reporter|Twitter: @Fravel_Ryan

Photo by Sportsnet

As the matchup with the #6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes approaches, I wanted to take a closer look at just how monumental a win like this could be for not only Notre Dame's status among the elite in college football, but the massive impact this would have on Fighting Irish recruiting going forward.

Biggest Game Since When?

Photo by Matt Ca

Now, when trying to explain just how huge a win like this would be for the Irish as a program, we first need to talk about the last time a game of this magnitude occurred. The game that immediately comes to mind is the USC game in 2005. The Trojans were the defending national champions that year and were coming into Notre Dame Stadium seeking their 28th straight win.

Meanwhile, the Irish were coming into the game with a record of 4-1 as their lone loss came at the hands of rival Michigan State by 3. If Notre Dame could get a win over USC, their chances of making the national title would greatly increase. Instead, the Trojans squeaked out a win in South Bend on the infamous "Bush Push" and the Irish failed to secure a big time win yet again.

A Chance to Join the Elite and Silence the Critics

Photo by Online Athens

Next, let's discuss how a win against the Buckeyes would not only quiet the critics but also elevate Notre Dame to the elite of the elite in college football. Now, whether or not you agree with the criticism the Irish get on a yearly basis, to a certain extent, it's warranted. Since 1994, Notre Dame is 4-19 in games against top 10 opponents and has not won a New Year's 6 Bowl.

Now that's obviously not very good, but in terms of Ohio State, it's worse. The Irish have not beaten the Buckeyes since 1936 and have only beaten them twice in 7 meetings overall. However, this year's team feels different as they finally have an elite quarterback in Sam Hartman. Over the years, the Irish have had very good teams, but never a team that most people thought had any real chance to win the national title. A big reason for that was shortcomings at the quarterback position.

Sam Hartman changes that narrative, and I think I speak for every Notre Dame fan when I say that this is the first time in a long time that there is immense confidence from the fans as a whole that we can beat Ohio State. When is the last time you can say going into a matchup between these two that the Irish have the better quarterback?

If Marcus Freeman can beat his alma mater Saturday, the national media will have to finally respect the Irish. No more "Notre Dame is overrated every year." No "the Irish will never win a big game." those narratives all go away with a win over the Buckeyes. Not only would it hush the critics, but a win of this magnitude could be an Irish coronation. This could be the start of our own version of becoming the next Clemson or Georgia.

The Recruiting Impact

Photo via 247 Sports

Finally, we will breakdown just how huge of an impact on Irish recruiting taking down the #6 ranked Buckeyes would have. Over the last two days, Notre Dame has been scorching hot on the recruiting trail landing a commitment from borderline 5-star Quarterback Deuce Knight who ranks as a top 3 passer in the Class of 2025, then adding a top 4 ranked Offensive Tackle in Guerby Lambert for the 2024 class. Knight will be visiting this weekend for the showdown with Ohio State to help recruit for Notre Dame's 2025 Class.

Imagine already being that hot on the trail to then take down not only an elite team in the Buckeyes, but also your biggest rival in recruiting with all 40+ of your commits and top targets for the 2024-2026 recruiting classes in attendance. Now if you do not follow recruiting as closely as others, you may be wondering what I mean when I say the Buckeyes are our biggest rival in recruiting.

I'll keep in short and sweet, just over the past 3 recruiting classes Ohio State has landed over 70% of recruits that had an offer from both them and the Irish. This includes players like 5-star WR Mylan Graham, 5-star DL Justin Scott, 5-star ATH Sonny Styles, 5-star WR Carnell Tate, and many more. Taking down the Buckeyes in front of guys like Top 100 Wide Receiver recruit Talyn Taylor and Top 100 Offensive Lineman Owen Strebig among others, could lead to an influx of commitments.

For those big time prospects who are not attending the game, this is the type of game that every garners a lot of attention and could open many doors that otherwise would not be open for Freeman and the Irish on the recruiting trail. This is the type of victory that would be program altering and could shakeup the world of college football as whole.

Wrap Up and Prediction

Overall, this has the makings to be the biggest Notre Dame victory since 1993, and will set the stage for how good this Irish team could be going forward this season. You cannot overstate enough just how monumental this game is, and I do not think we fully realize the lasting effects and impact beating Ohio State would have for the program.

Finally, my prediction for the game is Notre Dame 38 Ohio State 28, as the Fighting Irish solidify themselves as a true college football playoff contender and national title threat. Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed the article and as always GO IRISH! BEAT BUCKEYES!


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