How to watch Notre Dame vs Stanford on Saturday; TV, Peacock, 2022 – Inside the Irish

As of this week, Notre Dame faces the toughest schedule in the country. by Phil Steele. That might come as a surprise given the Irish played (3-2) against Marshall and Cal, but it’s part of independent planning. While Notre Dame plays North Carolina and then-No. 16 BYU, most other teams add an extra Sun Belt enemy and maybe an FCS dally.

The Irish are unlikely to remain at the top of Steele’s planning rankings as the next teams on the list will face tougher teams than Stanford (7:30 ET; NBC), with Colorado versus Cal, Arkansas at BYU and the state Michigan plays Wisconsin.

The real shock of this ranking is that Notre Dame still has two top 10 opponents to face. No. 4 Clemson has two challenging games ahead of it, but it would need to lose both to drop out of the top 10 before arriving in South Bend on Nov. 5. No. 7 USC is an underdog at No. 20 Utah this weekend, but if it can clear that hurdle before meeting No. 11 UCLA in November, then the Trojans should be a top-10 foe, too, if not even more so as the Irish move west.

However, these are concerns for the future.

Stanford (1-4): The Cardinal lost his 11th straight FBS game, through no one’s fault but his own. Stanford led 24-10 against Oregon State into the fourth quarter and put a 27-22 lead on a field goal in less than a minute.

Then the Cardinal snapped defeat from the jaws of victory, not only allowing a finish but wasting several tackles to give the Beavers a game-winning touchdown.

As of late Thursday morning, the Irish remain a 17-point favorite against Stanford this weekend, according to PointsBet, with an over/under aggregate score of 53.5. If you do a quick math, Notre Dame is expected to win 35-18. The Cardinal has yet to play a defense as strong as the Irish, but Notre Dame has faced a defense comparable to Stanford. SP+ ranks the Cardinal 97th among defenders, just four places ahead of North Carolina, where the Irish have 45 points.

UNLV (4-2): The Rebels were chased off the field by San Jose State on Friday, and although the Spartans were favored, a 40-7 win was never expected. This was UNLV’s long-awaited entry into the season. It gained 52 rushing yards on 27 attempts while giving up 203 yards on 36 attempts, the kind of disparity that should ripen for Notre Dame in a week’s time.

It should also be ripe for the Air Force (10:30 ET; CBSSN) on Saturday night, though the Falcons are only 10-point favorites. Once again, just like last week, this can underscore how long-held analysis feeds into these metrics more than recent results.

No. 18 Syracuse (5-0): The Orange took the week off before facing a daunting three-week list in which they faced No. 15 North Carolina State (3:30 ET; ACCN), No. 4 Clemson and Notre Dame back-to-back. Syracuse is favored over the wolf pack at 3.5, a number that defies clear understanding up to this point.

No.4 Clemson (6-0): Boston College never stood a chance. That may sound reductive, but the Tigers were able to hold the Eagles with 30 carries for 25 rushing yards. Even cleaning the sacks, 68 rushing yards on 26 carries is hardly a sign of a balanced offense in a 31-3 loss. Without an explosive offense of their own, Boston College stood no chance of keeping up as Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw three touchdown passes.

The Tigers now travel to Florida State (7:30 ET; ABC) as a 3.5-point favorite, another ACC spread that is feeling oppressed and therefore causing unease.

Navy (2-3): The Midshipmen have turned their season in a decidedly unexpected way. The 53-21 win over Tulsa was the Navy’s second win in three weeks since their idle week, the loss a narrow 13-10 loss to the Air Force. Notably, this was the Midshipmen’s first strong rushing show, gaining 455 yards on 69 carries for an average of 6.6 yards per rush.

How much of this success is sustainable? Who knows. The walk to SMU (7:30 ET on Friday; ESPN) may shed some light. With Navy an outsider, the line climbed as high as +13.5 before settling at +12.5 late in the week.

Boston College (2-4): The Eagles enter their idle week looking to find a unique balance, something that won’t save their season but could return them to some wins later in the year.

No. 7 USC (6-0): On the one hand, the Trojans only managed 369 yards and 30 points against Washington State. On the other hand, they held the Cougars to 5.2 yards per game and 14 points without relying on defensive turnovers. USC quarterback Caleb Williams threw just 188 yards on a 15-of-29 pass, but he still threw for two touchdowns.

It remains difficult to determine how good the Trojans are or not, this list compiled over the summer and not yet thoroughly tested. No. 20 Utah (8 ET; FOX) may not seem like such an unshakable test to some, but the Utes are at least a well-known and tried-and-true commodity. With Utah favored by 3.5 points, this could finally be the moment when USC becomes a real contender…or a follower.

No. 2 Ohio State (6-0): The Michigan state thrashing will be a Big Ten time in 2022, so the Buckeyes’ 49-20 win doesn’t need too much praise. Now take a week off.

Marshal (3-3): The Herd didn’t play over the weekend only to slip up in a Wednesday night game against Louisiana in which Marshall fell flat. As a double-digit favorite at kick-off, the herd lost 23:13. Suddenly, a supposedly one-time contender for the sunbelt is 0-2 in the conference.

Cal (3-2): After an idle week, the bears travel to Colorado (2 ET; Pac-12 Network) for a fun time. The buffalo are so bad. Cal is now a 15-point favorite, a number that could yet reach -17, quite frankly, an unusual occurrence in Justin Wilcox’s era. Since being acquired by Wilcox in 2017, the Bears have benefited from more than two touchdowns against exactly zero FBS opponents

North Carolina (5-1): Are the Tar Heels a contender for the ACC title? The victory on the road in Miami, 27-24, puts North Carolina 2-0 in the conference, so obviously it’s still a long way off, but it has a crucial lead over the rest of the Coastal Division, who recorded second Victory. Pitt is 1-1, and with a tiebreak over Miami (0-1 in conference), the Heels may just have to focus on the Panthers in a fortnight.

North Carolina should have little trouble at Duke (8 ET; ACCN), no matter how well Mike Elko’s first season goes. The heels are touchdown favorites.

BYU (4-2): Following the loss to Notre Dame, the Cougars host another Power Five opponent, Arkansas (3:30 ET; ESPN). The line has fallen to a pick ’em despite BYU being favored most of the week.

Friday at 7:30 ET – Navy at SMU (ESPN)
Saturday at 2 ET — Cal in Colorado (P12N)
3:30 ET — State of North Carolina at Syracuse (ACCN); Arkansas at BYU (ESPN)
7:30 ET — Stanford at Notre Dame (NBC); Clemson, Florida (ABC)
8 ET – USC Utah (FOX); North Carolina at Duke (ACCN)
10:30 a.m. ET — Air Force at UNLV (CBSSN)

Favorites: Syracuse (-3.5) vs. North Carolina State; Clemson (-3.5) in Florida State; Cal (-15) in Colorado; North Carolina (-7) at Duke; BYU (pk) vs. Arkansas.
Outsider: Stanford (+17) at Notre Dame; UNLV (+10) vs Air Force; Navy (+12.5) at SMU; USC (-3.5) in Utah.

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