After the dust settled on a wild Saturday of college football, Notre Dame moved up two spots in the latest AP Poll to #7 in the country. The highest ranking for the Irish since taking a 6th place ranking into the Coliseum on Thanksgiving weekend.
The #’s 3, 4, and 5 teams in the country all lost this weekend when #3 Florida State was upset by NC State, LSU was upended by #10 Florida, and #5 Georgia got knocked off by #6 South Carolina. All three teams were ranked ahead of Notre Dame going into the weekend, but Notre Dame’s 41-3 throttling of Miami was only enough to move up two spots with Florida jumping the Irish after their impressive win over LSU.
Ahead of the Irish at this point are: Alabama, Oregon, South Carolina, Florida, West Virginia, and Kansas State. There are some interesting match-ups for these teams next weekend with Alabama facing Missouri and West Virginia taking on Texas Tech, but the best chance for the Irish to move in the polls if they get passed Stanford this weekend would be a LSU upset of 3rd ranked South Carolina.
As is, the Irish have made a meteoric rise up the polls this season after starting the season unranked and just outside the top 25. After six weeks Notre Dame has moved up 19 spots for their highest ranking under head Brian Kelly. Prior to this season, the highest the Irish made it in the polls was #16 to start the 2011 season – a ranking that lasted just a week after the Irish were upset by South Florida to start the ’11 season.
Notre Dame is still ranked higher than any of its opponents although after a rough start to the season, Irish foes had a strong week in the polls. USC, Oklahoma, and Stanford all suffered upset losses in the first few weeks of the season, but all won this weekend to move with USC coming in at 11th, Oklahoma 13th and Stanford 17th.
Michigan, meanwhile, snuck its way back into the polls at #25 after making short order of Purdue and Michigan State found itself just outside the top 25 in the “others receiving votes” section.