SOUTH BEND – After a loss to Stanford in mid-October, the thought of the team being ranked at any point during the final six weeks of the 2022 college football season seemed remote.

But over the course of their last three games, Notre Dame has turned around the outlook of their season, and now find themselves back in the national rankings.

The Irish are in the rankings for the first time since the second week of the season, coming in at No. 20 in the College Football Playoff poll along with the Associated Press Top 25 poll. In the coaches poll, the team is ranked 25th.

Marcus Freeman’s team has gone back into the polls thanks to three-straight victories, two of which came against ranked opponents. But the big reason for the move up was their performance on Saturday against No. 4 Clemson, easily their best of the season.

The Irish defense shut down the Tigers and forced a pair of turnovers, keeping the visitors off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter. Notre Dame’s offense got their work done on the ground with 263 rushing yards and two scores to pull off their first Top 5 win since they upset then No. 1 Clemson in South Bend in 2020.

It’s certainly changed the look of a season that was a bit bleak a month ago when they lost to a struggling Stanford team 16-14 at home on October 15th. Since then, the Irish have scored wins over UNLV, No. 16 Syracuse on the road, and then Saturday over the Tigers.

With a sixth win, the Irish are now bowl-eligible at 6-3 as they look ahead to their final three games of the season.

  • Saturday – vs Navy (M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore)
  • November 19th – vs Boston College
  • November 26th – at No. 8 USC

Wins in the final three contests could bolster Notre Dame’s bowl trip over the holiday season, but their outlook is certainly a bit different after an upset of Clemson this past weekend.