For the past two weeks, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were ranked 6th in the College Football Playoff rankings. Notre Dame finished the regular season with an 11-1 record, only marking a loss to the 4th ranked Cincinnati Bearcats.
Notre Dame’s 45-14 win over Stanford this past week should have moved them up to 5th in the rankings over Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State previously ranked 7th, edged past a 10th ranked Oklahoma team by only 4 points. Notre Dame is a persistent contender and had an all-around harder schedule than the Cowboys.
The Fighting Irish’s season was spectacular as they beat two Big Ten teams, both in contention to play in the Big Ten title game. They averaged 30 PPG and held most of their opponents to 21 points or less. They also outgained opposing teams in all-purpose yards.
Oklahoma State, who finished at 11-1 after losing to an unranked Iowa State, locked themselves into the Big 12 championship game by beating the Sooners who have been struggling offensively since the Red River Rivalry game.
Notre Dame was jumped in the College Football Playoff rankings which is tough.
In games that both the Irish and the Cowboys were projected to win, the Cowboys played a better team but should have posted a significantly better result in order to be moved two slots in the rankings.
Notre Dame held the Cardinals to 14 points, 55 rush yards, and 172 pass yards, for 227 all-purpose yards. Those all-purpose yards allowed were second-lowest all season only to their win over Georgia Tech where they held them to 224 yards. Oklahoma State allowed the Sooners to post 441 yards while only putting up 351 yards themselves. They also had less time of possession than the Sooners by over 11 minutes.
Statistically, this past weekend’s matchup with rival Sooners should have weakened the Cowboys’ ranking and moved them down a spot or two. Notre Dame’s stats, gameplay, and on-field prowess have been immaculate all season and the Irish have played full games that show they deserve to have been ranked higher.