Notre Dame hosts Pittsburgh in Week 7. They also host Wisconsin in Week 7. Notre Dame has a bye in Week 8, but they also visit Michigan State in Week 8. Notre Dame fans have two allegiances for the remainder of the 2018 college football season: Notre Dame and Michigan.
In the history of power conferences, never has there been one undefeated team from each power conference. While conference-affiliated Power Five teams aren't guaranteed a playoff spot if they go undefeated, they really are. Non-affiliated Power Five teams (i.e. Notre Dame) are not guaranteed a playoff spot if they go undefeated. Therefore, Notre Dame needs help in the form of losses by fellow contenders and wins from the Wolverines.
Wins from all of Notre Dame's 2018 opponents would be ideal, but it matters very little if Wake Forest finishes 8-4 or 6-6. Same goes for Northwestern, Syracuse and all the other mid-level opponents. The Irish need their high-level opponents to beat legit foes on their way to nine-, 10- and 11-win seasons. (They don't need their high-level opponents losing to an 0-3 Conference USA team.) They need Michigan, whom they beat in Week 1, to roll through the Big Ten schedule, beating, ideally, at least three of these four teams: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State.
Where Michigan goes, Notre Dame goes. If Michigan wins in Week 7 (vs. Wisconsin), Notre Dame wins in Week 7. If Michigan loses to Northwestern, Maryland, Rutgers or Indiana, Notre Dame loses big time.
And while the same applies for Stanford (whom they play in Week 5), Michigan matters more. I refuse to entertain anti-Pac-12 conspiracy theories but the committee would hold a one-loss Michigan in higher regard than a one-loss Stanford — which, of course, means Stanford loses one of their remaining Pac-12 games. Heck, they'd probably hold a two-loss Michigan who beat, for example, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State, in higher regard than a one-loss Stanford who beat, for example, USC, Oregon and Cal.
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This could be the season that Notre Dame is finally burned by their independence. For example, an undefeated or one-loss Big Ten champ and SEC champ would rank above the Irish, as would an undefeated Oklahoma (or West Virginia, an undefeated Clemson and a one-loss Pac-12 champ (e.g. Washington). That's a very real scenario.
However, would a one-loss Pac-12 champion Stanford earn the nod over the Irish? That could be the million-dollar question.
For now, for Notre Dame, it's beat Stanford and cheer your tails off for Michigan.