2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Opponent: at 25 Louisville | Time: Saturday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m. ET (ABC) | Spread: ND -6.5
Full disclosure, everyone is overrating the Louisville Cardinals. Hats off to Jeff Brohm returning to his alma mater and getting off to a 5-0 start, but let's not pretend that this team has been winning against overly impressive competition along that start.
A five-point win over Georgia Tech at a neutral site, a seven-point win at Indiana, and even a 13-10 win at NC State last week don't exactly read as something that could make you think that Louisville is the same caliber as Notre Dame. And you know what? They probably aren't.
So many times in college football, however, we see what I like to refer to as situational upsets. Whether that's a trap game, a contest that comes at the end of a brutal scheduling stretch, or something in-between those things, we see this all the time. And this is 100% one of those positions for the Fighting Irish as they come into Week 6.
After starting the season in Dublin for Week 0, the Irish will be playing their seventh-straight game without a week off. Furthermore, this will be their third consecutive game in primetime, not mentioning the fact that it's their third consecutive ranked opponent. Throw in that this game is also their second-straight road game, it's a tough spot where fatigue could very much be a factor for the Irish -- especially with USC coming to town next week, adding a bit of a look-ahead aspect too.
There's definitely a gameplan where Notre Dame's defense just causes too many problems for Louisville QB Jack Plummer. In that world, the Irish can also pound the Cardinals for consistent gains with Audric Estime and an elite offensive line. Yet, in such a tricky spot, even if Louisville isn't certifiably great, they are good enough to take advantage and upset the Irish if they're a letdown.