Notre Dame Opens 2018 Season #11 in Coaches Poll

Notre Dame is starting the 2018 season right where they left off in 2017 – at #11 in the polls.  Well at least in the Coaches Poll anyway, but that is the only “official” poll out at this point.

After defeating LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Miles Boykin’s miraculous last minute touchdown, Notre Dame moved up three spots from their pre-bowl ranking to end the year 11th.  The Irish reach a high water mark of #3 in the country in the only rankings that really do matter – the CFP Rankings – before crashing back down following a 1-2 ending to the season.

Five Notre Dame opponents are also included in the first Coaches Poll of the year.  None, however rank higher than the Fighting Irish.  Stanford (#13), Michigan (#14), USC (#15), Virginia Tech (#17), and Florida State (#19) give the Irish five top 20 foes in their way of a playoff run.

Notre Dame’s schedule is bookended with top 15 home matchups.  Notre Dame starts the season with Michigan on Labor Day weekend and ends the month hosting Stanford.  October opens with a road trip to take on #17 Virginia Tech.  The Irish end the season with two ranked opponents in the final three weeks of the year.  Florida State visits South Bend November 10th.  Two weeks later Notre Dame ends the year on the road at Southern Cal.

Before anyone gets too excited about starting #11 and ahead of all opponents, the Coaches Poll has no impact whatsoever on the eventual playoff rankings.  Oh, and the Coaches Poll has become more or a less a joke over the last few years. Most coaches don’t even fill out their rankings on their own anymore anyway.

Perhaps most interesting – or concerning – is that Notre Dame has tended to fare better under Brian Kelly when they start the season ranked lower or not at all.  Last year the Irish were unranked to start the season before finishing 11th.  In 2016 the Irish were near the top 10 to start the season. We all know how that one turned out.  The Irish also started the 2012 season unranked. Not all of Brian Kelly’s 10 win seasons began with the Irish unranked though.  In 2015 Notre Dame opened the year 11th before finishing it 12th.

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    1. WOW DAVEY finally supporting the team!! Thanks for sticking up for ND and saying your shocked and disappointed there not ranked in top 10!! ATTA BOY DAVEY!! 5000 posts finally some signs of intelligence!!! Way to put on your big boy pants!!!!!

    1. Greg – And head to head (gasp!) is even better than any poll at all. But none of it is as pathetic as the “eye test”…a thinly veiled statement that “I like this team better than that one” or “I like this conference better than that one”…that’s the real nature of the eye (I) test. It was, after all, nothing but the “eye” test that kept us from seeing Central Florida in the playoffs…just like the “eye” test kept Urban Meyer’s old Utah team out of the Championship game back in the day, and Richard Millhouse Nixon’s “eye” test axed whatever chance that early Penn State team might have had to win an NC. Some of these guys, and nowadays gals too, would do anything to prevent it from being settled on the field in college football. And sometimes they even apply their “eye” test later in the season to negate an early head-to-head that didn’t go the way they thought it should have. I wouldn’t have the gall – even if I had the inclination for the “eye” test – which I don’t.

      BGC ’77 ’82

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