Notre Dame is undefeated with its only quality win over No. 5 Michigan. LSU, however, has a schedule that's loaded with bullet points. The Tigers boast a win over No. 6 Georgia and No. 18 Mississippi State, in addition to a road win at Auburn in Week 3 and a season-opening win over Miami in Arlington, Texas. Those wins, combined with the eye test, impressed the 13 members of the CFP Selection Committee.
"One-loss LSU is ranked No. 3 ahead of Notre Dame because they've beaten six teams with winning records," committee chairman Rob Mullens said. "Within the FBS, no other team in the country has that many victories over winning teams. They've played a strong schedule. In comparison, Notre Dame has three such wins."
He went on to explain how the committee views the Fighting Irish, including their progression from Week 1 to Week 10.
"It's a quality team that's 8-0," Mullens said. "Impressive opening-season win over Michigan. The committee certainly has recognized their improvement on offense. Overall, we're very impressed with Notre Dame."
Part of that progression has to do with Ian Book taking over the starting quarterback role in place of Brandon Wimbush. Mullens was asked if the committee viewed Notre Dame's season-opening win over Michigan differently because it was with a different quarterback.
"That's an impressive win for Notre Dame no matter how you stack it up or who was at quarterback," he said. "Often times, we do talk about that. ... It was noted in the Notre Dame conversation how their offense has improved over recent weeks."
Will it matter in the long run? Probably not.
Notre Dame still has a game with No. 19 Syracuse left on its schedule to beef it up, and the only other teams with unblemished resumes are No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson. If coach Brian Kelly's crew wins out, there's no doubt that it will make it in, especially considering either No. 1 or No. 3 will lose this weekend when Alabama travels to LSU.
For now, though, undefeated Notre Dame sits behind a one-loss SEC team. That surely doesn't sit well in South Bend, Indiana.