Notre Dame's reputation of playing cupcake schedules is now enhanced even further, as they will be playing the lowly Tennessee State in the '23 season. ND doesn't play in a conference. They don't get the amount of sporadic and mandatory short weeks in the worst possible times as Power 5 conference teams do. They don't get 8-9 rivalry games per year.
They also don't have to play a conference championship game to prove that they earned their record. It has led to them showing up to the postseason with misleading records that have got them into bowl games that they don't deserve, and humiliate themselves in.
In fact, since 1994, every single time Notre Dame has been in a New Year's Six Bowl Game or better, they have lost each time. That makes 10 straight losses. That's not many NY6 or better bowl game selections since 1994, which is a problem in itself considering that they play easy schedules year-in and year-out, but it goes to show that even when they are selected, they prove that they should not have been.
In fact, here are the amount of points they lost each game by (starting from first to last from 1994): 17, 5, 32, 14, 27, 28, 16, 27, 17, and 2. They haven't even been competitive in all but two, and in one of those (the most recent one), they hilariously blew a 28-7 lead. It was just as bad of a look as all the blowouts. They continue to prove that they are never battle-tested, and now they've stooped to the point where they're scheduling FCS teams.
USC football refuses to schedule free wins.
USC football earns their bowl selections. Not only have they made 15 more bowl games than ND has, but they win them too. Their bowl record is 34-19. That winning percentage is sixth in the country (0.642). The Fighting Irish, on the other hand, are an awful 18-20 in bowl games. That winning percentage embarrassingly ranks 52nd in the country (0.474). Not deserving the few bowl game selections that ND has had is clearly not a new trend.
It risks continuing as they schedule an FCS team who is 14-25 at that low level in the last four years. It was unclear that the Irish would lower their standards to this level, but that was the decision.