Notre Dame Back in Coaches Poll Top 10

Will Fuller - Notre Dame WR
Brian Spurlock // USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame’s win over USC last night combined with a handful of higher ranked teams falling this weekend has propelled the Irish back into the top 10 of the Amway Coaches Poll heading into their bye week.  The Irish remained just outside the top 10 in the AP Poll at #11.

Following their 41-31 victory over USC last night the Irish moved up three spots in the Coaches Poll with Florida, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss all falling this weekend.  Notre Dame is the second highest ranked 1-loss team in the Coaches Poll behind only Alabama.

Notre Dame’s final opponent of the seas0n, Stanford, comes in at #11 in the Coaches Poll but in the AP Poll they are flipped with Notre Dame – the Cardinal is #10 with the Irish #11 in the AP Poll.

Other than Stanford, the only other Notre Dame opponents currently ranked are #6 Clemson who beat the Irish two weeks ago and newly ranked Temple who debuted in the poll at #24 following their 6-0 start to the 2015 season.  Temple has a Thursday night showdown with East Carolina before the Irish travel to Philadelphia for a Halloween showdown in what could very well be a contest between two ranked teams.

Pittsburgh is currently in the “Others Receiving Votes” category at #28 with a chance to be ranked before Notre Dame’s trip to Heinz Field in November.

With the Irish idle this coming weekend, there are several chances for Notre Dame to move up in the polls.  Florida State faces Georgia Tech in a game that could be the Yellow Jackets’ defacto bowl game.  Michigan State faces a tough Indiana squad on the heels of a emotionally draining game.  The third ranked Utes will travel to LA for a showdown with USC which will force Notre Dame fans to root for the Trojans next weekend.




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  1. Duranko,

    You make excellent points on the talent discrepancy. I do like that they take a ND and Temple game and make it prime time. Not to mention of ND wins that game and Pitt has one loss another prime time game. Heaven forbid ESPN doesn’t get it’s hands on the ND money machine. The teams ND plays have excellent records (other than Wake), but I see no high powered offenses like ND saw in the first half of the year. The defense should be stout, but some of these defenses are big boy defenses. BC shut down FSU for the same part, Temple destroyed Penn State ( yes I know there line is like a water through a strainer), Pitt has Narduzi as a coordinator. I do believe ND has more talent and it’s strength is it’s O-line, but these teams aren’t roll overs.

    Now, I do think you are correct in the fact that the secondaries of these teams are not as gifted as ND and the if Fuller can beat Jackson he can beat any corner in the country. I do think ND will wear these teams down and win, but like Shaz says it’s not a guarantee nor do I think you are saying it is. I look forward to seeing this team grow and taking their final in Palo Alto.

  2. Shaz, sorry I garbled my transmission. My narrow point is that while things that occur in the next four that may INCREASE my concern about Stanford, nothing, not even four consecutirve 21 point wins, would LESSEN my concern about Stanford.

    These next four, as will be laid out in duranko’s digest are good field, no hit. These four are, albeit uncertain, good matchups for the Irish as the four offenses should not be able to pressure the irish d, allowing the Irish offense to proceed without having to match scores.

    These next four are “nice” opponents but not one of them is a TRUE top 20 team, whatever that means.

    I conclude with my annual invocation of Eleanor Roosevelt. It was said “She afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted.”

    Delusional as it may be I will not be nervous on 10/31/11/7, 11/14 or 11/21 (of course I was not nervous before Tulsa in ’10 or USF in ’11 or Northwestern in ’14) But I will probably begin the pregame projectile vomiting for Stanford shortly after the pumpkin pie on thanksgiving day.

  3. Big-D,

    Let’s be mindful, in today’s college football you never say “never’ or that ‘nothing can happen’.
    In the next four games things can, and will happen…. for better or worst.

    For example, in the our first two games we lost our starting QB and our starting running back… yet things have turned out pretty well.

    In fact, some might call it a Blessing or Divine Intervention.

    Would ND be ranked 10th nationally in total team offense with Zaire and Folston?
    Hard to say.

    But what can be said is you never know what turn of events can completely change a teams’ attitude, performance, or probability of success.

  4. jack, I appreciate your limning the last five games, and while you are probably correct, I see it differently.

    Perhaps it is not as a five game cluster, but four pop quizzes and a final exam in Palo Alto.

    for me, I will be disappointed if Notre Dame does not get over 200 yards rushing EACH Saturday in the next four games. The Irish should easily surpass 200 yards passing and unlike Clemson and SC, we will have athletic mismatches over the four secondaries we will be facing. I would not be surprised, nor annoyed (I don’t speak for the wider Notre Dame audience (on the contrary)) if ND does the pass first quarter run the last three riff.

    The insidious part about those four games, is that we might get lulled to sleep if we shut down those four offenses.. Because Stanford and the next opponent (s??) are far tougher on offense than anything the Irish will see between now and Thanksgiving.

    Now, against Stanford, statistical performance seems irrelevant. Kelly has not yet won in Palo Alto and victory, by any means, however ugly or statistically unsatisfying, would satisfy some of us. Neither of our wins against Stanford have been pretty. And remember, their field is “challenged” if El Nino comes a callin’

    But there are two chickens that may come home to roost in Palo Alto.

    First, this is the game that Jarron Jones’ absence will be felt the most.
    Second, Gilmore has been whistling past the graveyard in not playing any defensive line depth.
    Unless that is remedied before we go to Palo Alto, it might be an unpleasant weekend..

    Frankly, there is nothing that can happen in the next four games that will lessen my concern about Stanford.

  5. Does anyone besides me remember Ron Burgundy’s not-so-precient prediction for the outcome of the SC game from earlier in the year?

    Also, here’s hoping SC’s AD has a full recovery from his pre-game “incident” as witnessed by everyone waiting for the game to begin. Best wishes also for a full and complete recovery for their recently-fired Head Coach. It’s a shame the aforementioned AD couldn’t have given his coach the news himself. If he was “man enough” to personally suspend him the day before, I think it was unfortunate he couldn’t have handled the termination news any better than he did. Drug and alcohol abusers are all in need of our thoughts and prayers, no matter their profession. Obviously, some people handle pressure better than others. And who says there’s no such thing as “instant Karma”?

    Back to Ron. What would you lie to drink to help wash down that humble pie you so richly deserve?

  6. There is no way he went to Notre Dame. I take that back. You can experience severe mental illness and be from any college, I suppose.

    Shaz, did you notice how his misspelling is one letter away from “whiner”? Freudian slip? You bet.

    And I like the “Semper Fi”. Always faithful to what? Uninterrupted bitching in an echo-chamber?

  7. Let’s look at the last games ND has on their schedule:

    Temple: Top rated defense, but haven’t played a real offensive jugger not. They are tough in their front 7. Offensively, I don’t think they are a power five offense. I will like to see what they do against ECU this weekend.

    Pitt: It is never an easy game especially at that shitty ketchup bottle. The field sucks! That being said Pitt is a well rounded team that will give ND trouble. Plus a Pat Narduzi defense that will be ready for ND. Offensively I think Pitt doesn’t set the world on fire, but they have played very well this year.

    Wake Forest: ND should roll and get a break, prior to last two road contents

    BC: Their defense is tough, but offensively they are challenged. Holding FSU and other teams under what they normally get and dominating defensively.

    Stanford: Tough team that gets better as the year goes on. The game is in Palo Alto which ND hasn’t won in years. If ND can beat the remaining teams to this point it will be another prime time game with possible playoff implications.

    The key to the final 5 games in the offensive line. If the o-line can dominate and ND rush for over 150 yds per game against some pretty good front 7’s they could end the year 11-1. I don’t think the defense gets challenged until the last game.

    We will see what happens, none of us could have predicted that horrible end to last season. I also worry that the Irish have not looked good on the road this year in their two road contents against Virginia and Clemson in the first half.

  8. jesus, mary & joseph

    “The reason they give up so few in the second half is the offense is on the field trying to get back the points the defense gave up in the first half”
    Next time you give one of your cockamamie reasons at least TRY to have it make some kind of sense.

    Now that you explained what a “whinner” is, maybe you would like to take a shot at what a “ winner” is ?

    Are you sure you went to Notre Dame? ….. Not fantasy Notre Dame, but the real Notre Dame?

  9. A whinner is someone that wants to have the best team possible, that wants a national championship, that wants to give up less than 27 points a game, the average for the last 19 games. The reason they give up so few in the second half is the offense is on the field trying to get back the points the defense gave up in the first half. Semper fi.

  10. I agree there are some legitimate observations of concern regarding the current D. It certainly is far from elite or perfect. It has performed well in 2nd half a after not so great starts in the first half. Then I catch myself and look back at some examples of recent D’s we have had on the field (1999, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2007,2008, 2009, 2010, 2011,2014) and then I say to myself, it could be worse. To get even better athletes on the D, it’s simple, win consistently and those athletes will want to come play here that academically qualify. Winning takes care of that issue.

    Go Irish!

  11. Comparing this “D” to last years 2nd half of season. Improved and vastly deeper. Compare the depth of both lines to 2012 team. Much added quality depth. Barely had a starting set that end of season. Opportunities now with 3 ranked teams in 2nd half of schedule. That wasn’t expected. I have my concerns and WTF’s too. But this “D” is improving weekly. I can see it. I expect it will peak through seasons end. When they need it to most. Thanks.

  12. Wrong-headed it is, The outright mockery of the Notre Dame defense and BVG.

    The Notre Dame defense held Clemson to 10 points in the second half.
    The Notre Dame defense held Navy to 3 points in the second half
    The Notre Dame defense held USC with all its playmakers to 7 points in the second half.

    Read my lips: Watson, Reynolds, Kessler

    Those are FACTS.
    Compare and contrast with Stanford.

    None of those stirring second half performances obviates the first half struggles.

    Facts are facts; whiners are whiners. the twain never meet.

    I have many issues with this defense, including the MLB, the DL rotation and the infrequent use of nickels and dimes.

    I seem to recall the one named ARA yielding over 40 points to Troy on at least 2 occasions, or do I have that wrong?

    But this coordinator is going to be at Notre Dame for a long, long time. Take it, leave it, like it lump it.

  13. I’m concerned about the Middle LB position. Too many missed tackles. Is the better MLB sitting on the bench?

  14. Jack,

    Before the season started i thought ND would be 9-3 at best. But now here they are at mid season sitting at 6-1 and will most likely be significant favorites to win the rest of there games up until they face Stanford. Now im not nearly as optimistic as some are on this site. I dont think ND is a championship caliber team this year. Then again i dont think any one team stands out this year as being dominant. ND not only needs to take care of there own business but needs a lot of help from others as well. Probably to much to ask for but if ND and Stanford are 11-1 when they square off against each other and ND wins then they will have at least made the committees decision a difficult one, and could possibly slide in there as the #4 seed

  15. Through 7 weeks TCU # 73, Baylor #62 (6games), ND #51. Total Defense Per NCAA stats. Not having compared opponents. I’m still guessing in ND favor. Yes concerns about D. Are they improving weekly? Just may peak for finish of season? That’s what each program strives for. Playing best ball through the finish. Maybe they will gel. Just picked Bayor, TCU because I have been prejudice towards their D’s for awhile. Right or wrong IMHO. Thanks.

  16. Jeff,

    The loss at Clemson is killing ND right now. The only way the make the playoff is run the table and hope for 2 out of the four conferences to have two loss teams. They also need Stanford to win out and beat Stanford at Stanford the last game of the year. I don’t see it happening.

    As far as the defense is concerned they are playing well enough to win ball games, they are not elite in anyway, but I wouldn’t say they are the worst defense in the country.

  17. PR,

    Having difficulty believing that a team with a totally failed defense would be 6-1. (and ranked in the top 10 after 7 games)

    That their only loss of the season would be by only 2 points, on the road at Clemson, because of dropped passes, turnovers, and missed point conversions, and that even with all of that, they somehow managed to still be in position to tie the game on the last offensive play.

  18. With what appears to be elite talent and depth in some positions, the defense (if you can call it that-more like a bullfighting matador) is under-performing, and will cost us the season we all hoped for. BVG defense is a failure at this point period.

  19. If we can find a way to finish 11-1 there is no way I see us not making the playoffs. Stanford will still have only one loss when we play I hope and if we want to run the table something has to happen with this defense. Last night was a fantastic win, a great enviorment for the recruits in house and their families. A lot of the elite kids that were there had glowing reports about the atmosphere on and just as important off the field but we damn near gave up 600 yards on defense. I hate this scheme and I don’t care what anyone says but BVG needs to go but that’s for another day but my biggest issue is all the reps the starters are playing especially on the D Line with Day and IR. It seems those two never come off the field. We are running those two into the ground. Other players have to start getting some reps to give these guys in the front 7 a blow. Trumbetti, Hayes, Coney and Morgan will have major roles next year and should be playing more. I know Hayers screwed up but he can help this team this year.

    We are in a good spot right now at #11 in the AP. All we have to do is take care of our business and tighten up a few things on the field and I think we will be ok.

  20. Big IF but if ND and Stanford run the table before facing each other in late November they would more than likely both be ranked in the Top 5. A win by ND on the road at Stanford would very likely put them in the playoffs. Stanford is playing well right now and that loss to Northwestern was more likely due to time zone issues than talent on the field. If you’re going to lose a game its better to do it early than late.

  21. Cmon Chuck, ND bias running rampant.
    Between that and the announcers against us every week it’s a wonder they ever win a game.

  22. Ultimately, it does not matter because they play each other, but I cannot figure out how Stanford jumped over ND in the AP. Notre Dame’s only loss was extremely close, on the road, to the #6 team. Stanford lost by double digits to an unranked. Grinds my gears!

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