NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Following a 12-0 regular season, the program’s 13th unbeaten, untied regular season in school history, Notre Dame has reached the 2018 College Football Playoff for the first time in school history.
The No. 3 Fighting Irish (12-0) will face off with No. 2 Clemson (13-0) in the CFP Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Dec. 29, 2018.
Notre Dame will make its eighth all-time appearance in the Cotton Bowl and first since 1993. The Irish have not appeared in a specific bowl more often in program history.
No. 1 seed Alabama (13-0) will face No. 4 seed Oklahoma (12-1) in the Capital One Orange Bowl, also on Dec. 29.
The 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game is set for Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, California, at Levi’s Stadium.
ESPN will televise the game and ESPN Radio will air the game. The Notre Dame College Football Radio Network also will carry the game.
The Goodyear Cotton Bowl celebrates its 83rd anniversary this year. This marks the fifth season that the Classic has been a member of the College Football Playoff.
For Notre Dame, it’s a 35th postseason bowl appearance (17-17 record) after the University declined to participate in bowl games from 1925-68. It’s the sixth season under Kelly the Irish have played in the postseason–following appearances in the 2010 Sun Bowl, the 2011 Champs Sports Bowl, the 2014 Music City Bowl, 2015 Fiesta Bowl and 2018 Citrus Bowl.
The Irish have played seven times previously in the Cotton Bowl (following 1969, 1970, 1977, 1978, 1987, 1992 and 1993 seasons), five times in the Fiesta Bowl (1988, 1994, 2000, 2005, 2015), five times in the Orange Bowl (1972, 1974, 1989, 1990, 1995), four times in the Sugar Bowl (1973, 1980, 1991, 2006) and once in the Rose Bowl (1924). Additional bowl appearances sent the Irish to the Gator Bowl (1976, 1998, 2002), Liberty Bowl (1983), Aloha/Hawaii Bowl (1984, 2008), Independence Bowl (1997), Insight Bowl (2004), Sun Bowl (2010), Champs Sports Bowl (2011), Music City Bowl (2014) and Citrus Bowl (2017).
Previous Notre Dame postseason appearances have produced record numbers in terms of both attendance and television ratings:
— Irish bowl games drew record crowds at the Sugar Bowl (85,161 in 1973 vs. Alabama), the Champs Sports Bowl (68,305 in 2011 vs. Florida State, tops among games played at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium), the Sun Bowl (54,021 in 2010 vs. Miami), the Hawaii Bowl (43,487 in 2008 vs. Hawaii), the Insight Bowl (45,971 in 2004 vs. Oregon State, tops among games at Chase Field) and the Independence Bowl (50,459 in 1997 vs. LSU).
— Notre Dame bowl games garnered record television ratings at the Sugar Bowl (28.8 on NBC in 1973 vs. Alabama), the Hawaii Bowl (3.7 on ESPN in 2008 vs. Hawaii) and the Independence Bowl (4.5 on ESPN in 1997 vs. LSU, best since game has been on ESPN/ESPN2 since 1992).
Notre Dame and Clemson will meet for the fourth time overall, first time in the postseason and first time since the 2015 season. The Tigers lead the all-time series 2-1–with Notre Dame playing host Clemson in Notre Dame Stadium in 1979 (a 16-10 loss). The Irish traveled to Clemson to play games in 1977 (a 21-17 win) and 2015 (a 24-22 loss). Two of the three previous meetings featured top-20 teams.
This marks the seventh time Notre Dame has faced an ACC opponent in a bowl game–following two meetings with Florida State (Orange in 1995, Champs Sports in 2011) and one each against Boston College (Liberty in 1983), Georgia Tech (Gator in 1998), NC State (Gator in 2002) and Miami, Fla., (Sun in 2010). The Irish are 2-4 in previous bowl matchups with ACC teams–with victories over Boston College in 1983 and Miami, Fla., in 2010.
Notre Dame Ticket Lottery results will be communicated on Monday, December 3, 2018. In the event you are traveling to the bowl game, we hope you join us at one of the official University hotels. You can reserve a Notre Dame package, inclusive of hotel accommodations, gameday transportation, semi-final game keepsake, and on-site hospitality, at the following Anthony Travel link: 2018 Bowl Hotel Packages. In the event you are interested in purchasing tickets beyond those provided in the lottery, Anthony Travel has procured additional game tickets from an official bowl source. Additional tickets are available as an add on to the hotel packages referenced above.
Moreover, additional game tickets can also be secured through the official Notre Dame Ticket Exchange.