Notre Dame and Stanford are considered rivals, but did you know they’ve only played 30 times in their history? The annual tilt between the two schools that created this rivalry didn’t begin until the 1988 season. Before that, the Irish and Cardinal had played only four times between 1925 and 1987.
Date: Saturday, Nov. 25 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Stanford Stadium — Stanford, California
TV: ABC | Live stream: WatchESPN
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Stanford: As strange as it might sound, Stanford might be more interested in a game going on 850 miles to the north in Seattle while playing against Notre Dame. That’s not to say the Cardinal aren’t invested in beating the Irish — they most certainly are — it’s that a win or loss here doesn’t mean anything in the bigger picture.
In Seattle, Washington will be hosting Washington State, and if the Huskies beat the rival Cougars, Stanford will be your Pac-12 North champions whether it beats Notre Dame or not. So expect Stanford fans to have the remote in hand during this game.
Notre Dame: The Irish still have playoff hopes. They’re incredibly slim, and I don’t think they’re all that realistic, but Notre Dame still has them. All of which means a win in this game is even more important because it’s Notre Dame’s last shot at impressing the selection committee with a win over yet another team ranked in the top 25.
To do so, however, the Irish will have to play better than they have the last two weeks. Everybody knows about the 33-point loss to Miami, but the Irish looked lackluster during their seven-point win over Navy last weekend, too. An impressive win against the Cardinal could change the perception of this team again.
It’s hard to get a great read on this game, but I am surprised to find that Stanford’s an underdog. I would think that has more to do with the unknown status of running back and Heisman hopeful Bryce Love. Well, word is Love is probable to play, which means I think Stanford provides some value here. Pick: Stanford +2.5