Notre Dame loses to Cincinnati again in fictional ESPN matchup

The Irish and Bearcats faced off against each other during the regular season, with Cincinnati coming out on top 24-13. The lone Notre Dame regular season loss ultimately hurt during Brian Kelly’s final season, the loss keeping the Irish out of the College Football Playoff.

It was a de facto play-in game and in ESPN’s March Madness style fictional CFP 64-team tournament, the two teams faced off against each other once again. Chris Low saw it the way it played out in real life, with the Bearcats again defeating the Irish in the semifinals of the Midwest region.

It was a bit closer this time, Cincinnati winning 24-20, with the difference being Marcus Freeman at the helm instead of Kelly as Low used 2022 rosters instead of last seasons. The Bearcats would then hypothetically go on to lose to Ohio State, who Low has winning the championship against Alabama.

It’s always fun to see how a larger style playoff would play out with college football teams, and unfortunately we are going to have to wait a bit longer for an expanded CFP. It was interesting to see how it could have turned out though.

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