(UHND.com) — Notre Dame returned to the top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll for the first time since 2002 when the Irish reached #4 in Tyrone Willingham’s first season as head coach. Fresh off their upset of #3 Michigan, the Irish jumped 10 spots to #10. In the Coach’s Poll, the Irish moved 11 spots, but only reached #12.
‘Well, all I know you is you just beat the No. 3 ranked team in the country and you’re 2 0. I’m not the one who sets the polls,” Charlie Weis said after being asked if he felt like the Irish were a top 10 team at the moment. He went on to add, “I think that too many times rankings are based by reputation, not really by what happens. Maybe if you go by what you see, maybe the answer is yes. I’m not there to judge that.”
The Irish have skyrocketed up the rankings after being an unranked team heading into the season opener against Pittsburgh. Last week’s “upset” of then #23 Pitt moved the Irish into the top 25, but the win over the Wolverines this weekend made quite an impression on the pollsters.
Michigan meanwhile fell from #3 to #14 in both the AP and Coach’s Poll after their loss to the Irish. Fellow Big 10 member Ohio State fell to #9 in both polls after their lost to Texas while Iowa fell to #22 (AP) and #21 (Coach’s) after their loss to rival Iowa State.
Many will debate if the Irish are truly a top 10 team at the moment and question if Michigan was over rated. I for one felt that Michigan was over rated at #3, but they were certainly a top 10 team and the Irish did go on the road and bear them.
Many fans may meet the top 10 ranking with a bit of apprehension after the Irish moving to #4 in 2002 before finishing the season 2-3 over the final 5 games and ending up at the 17th position.
Future Notre Dame opponents in this week’s AP Poll include #1 USC who sits at #1 for the 21st straight poll — tying Miami’s record. The Trojans will break that record next week if take care of business against Arkansas. Also in the Top 25 are #5 Tennessee and #12 Purdue. The Irish will travel to Rose Ade Stadium in 2 weeks which could shape up to be a game of Top 10 teams.