Notre Dame just did USC, Oregon, TCU, Tennessee a huge favor in College Football Playoff race

Howard Cross III of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Howard Cross III of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Notre Dame exposing Clemson was a gift to USC, Oregon, TCU, Tennessee and several others with College Football Playoff hopes.

On Saturday night the number of Notre Dame fans nationwide quadrupled. That’s because the Fighting Irish were facing off with Clemson and fans of teams like USC, Oregon, TCU, Tennessee, UCLA, Ole Miss, LSU and even more stood to benefit from a Notre Dame win.

The first College Football Playoff rankings had Clemson sitting in the final of four playoff spots. As an undefeated team on track for an ACC title, the Tigers were running out of teams that might be able to hand them a loss. The chances of them continuing to occupy a playoff spot looked strong.

It turned out Notre Dame was up for the challenge. They did just about everyone hoping to snag a playoff spot from outside the opening Top 4 a huge favor.

Notre Dame is helping USC and their College Football Playoff push

Arguably the biggest winner of Notre Dame’s win over Clemson was USC.

The Trojans are trying to overcome a one-point road loss to Utah by closing out the rest of their season with as many impressive wins as possible. They will take on UCLA and if they can beat the Bruins they are likely to earn a spot in the Pac-12 title game. A win over a highly-ranked opponent like Oregon in that game could be enough to propel them into the playoff.

Before the conference title game, USC will host the Fighting Irish. What looked like a dud of a matchup after Notre Dame’s shaky start could now be another opportunity for the Trojans to notch a ranked win.

Tennessee, TCU, Oregon and other CFP hopefuls also helped by Notre Dame

Of course, USC fans aren’t the only ones celebrating Clemson’s demise. The loss also greatly benefits every other one-loss team with a potential CFP path.

Despite losing to Georgia, Tennessee can win out and make the field without playing in the SEC title game. Every potential undefeated conference champion that falls is one less debate the Volunteers need to win in the committee’s conference room.

Oregon, TCU and LSU were also potentially on the outside looking in if teams like Clemson didn’t fall.

The race for the CFP is completely wide open.

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