The schedule says it is only Week 3 of the college football season and there is still plenty of time for a coach to meld his team into a championship unit.

But at Notre Dame the clock moves faster. The stakes at the beginning of the season are always clear cut.  There is no chatter about conference championships because Notre Dame is not part of any conference in football. There is not the goal of making it to the league championship game for the same reason.

The goal that Notre Dame has every year is to compete in the national championship game. Or, more recently, at least make the Final Four playoffs

Having said that, because it is Notre Dame, there is more wiggle room at the end of the season for the Irish to squeeze into a Final Four playoff spot simply because it is Notre Dame.  The Irish always play an ambitious national schedule which means they will remain on the contender board with one loss and perhaps even two losses. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.