Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and his Irish have some climbing to do in the CFP rankings to work their way back into the New Year’s Six bowl mix.

As long as the Notre Dame football team keeps winning, its College Football Playoff ranking could play into its postseason destination.

Just not the way it did last year.

The Irish (6-2) — No. 16 in both the AP and Coaches polls released Sunday — landed at No. 15 in the first CFP standings of the 2019 season. There isn’t a reasonable scenario that ultimately could land them in the top four in the final set of rankings in December, as they finished last season.

But the CFP committee also determines the at-large spots in the Cotton Bowl, and a 10-2 Notre Dame team could works its way back into that mix.

As for the teams on a trajectory for the four-team College Football Playoff itself, Ohio State was awarded the top spot, followed by LSU, Alabama and Penn State. Just on the outside looking in are defending champion Clemson at No. 5, and Georgia at No. 6.

Oregon, Utah, Oklahoma and Florida rounded out the top 10.

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