Notre Dame Moves up to #4 in Both Polls Even After Close Call

Notre Dame did not look overly impressive in their five point win over Pitt on Saturday, but thanks to the first really wild Saturday of the season, the Irish moved up one spot in both polls to #4.   Georgia’s 20 point loss to LSU opened up a spot for the Irish to move up.

Ohio State took Georgia’s #2 ranking after struggling themselves this weekend with Minnesota while Clemson checks in right ahead of Notre Dame at #3.  While these rankings do not determine the playoffs, this group is generally considered the quartet of teams that would be in the playoffs if they started today.

LSU moved all the way up to #5 this weekend following their beatdown of Georgia.  They will be very interesting to watch when the first playoff rankings come out October 30.  They have a very impressive resume and their only loss is to #11 Florida.  There will be a lot of chatter – specifically from SEC country – that LSU should be ranked over Notre Dame in the playoff rankings even if the Irish are still unbeaten on October 30.  Luckily for the Irish, two of LSU’s previous wins over ranked opponents – Auburn and Miami – are no longer ranked.

Notre Dame Opponent Watch

Michigan was one of the biggest movers in the polls this week and their gains actually help Notre Dame.  Michigan moved up to #6 in the AP Poll and #8 in the Coaches Poll after beating up on an overrated Wisconsin team in the Big 10 Pillow Fight of the Week.  Even if the massive jump for beating an overrated team is undeserved, it does help Notre Dame’s resume since they can point to their opening weekend win over Michigan.  The Wolverines have some more tough games coming up so their ranking will either soon be actually earned or they’ll drop back down to earth.

Stanford is just outside the top 25 right now even though they were on the bye this weekend.  They did move back into the top 25 in the Coaches Poll, but we all know of both of these polls which are both pretty meaningless these days, the Coaches Poll is generally even more laughable.   The Cardinal travels to Tempe on Thursday to take on the Sun Devils.  Hopefully for Notre Dame’s resume, Bryce Love is healthy and can fuel a second half run by Stanford.

USC is just outside the top 25 as well after their upset of previously unbeaten Colorado this weekend.  The Trojans do not play any ranked teams between now and their regular season finale against the Irish.

If USC moves into the top 25 in the next few weeks, it looks like they are the only possible remaining opponent to be ranked when the Irish face them the rest of the season.  For the sake of resume building having Stanford back in the top 20 and it would be even better if Virginia Tech could rattle off a couple of wins to move back into the rankings.  None of their remaining opponents are currently ranked.

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20 Comments

  1. Changing the subject slightly, can anyone else smell the beginning of the screwing of UCF again this year? Lots of winners went up in the polls, a few rocketed up! It’s the “EYE (I) TEST”…I don’t know what they see or don’t see when they look at that UCF team…I think some of the poll voters need to pop out those glass eyes of theirs and hit them with a little Windex and look again. Yeah, Yeah, close game with Memphis…but Memphis always gives them good games. Hell, Memphis will give a decent SEC team a good game, right?

    If Orrin Hatch were still heading the Senate Anti-Trust Committee, which is a REAL Committee, it would be strike three (literally), you are OUT, to the NCAA’s tie ins with the Bowls and the post season TV deals with the conferences if UCF is screwed again! Might be with the new guy in charge as well – don’t know much about him at this point though. Sad that these people seem to be allergic (or perhaps terrified) of settling it on the field, like EVERY OTHER COLLEGE SPORT DOES!

    Either do it right, make the Power 5 Championships “play-in” automatic berths, giving 10 teams a shot right there, plus one guaranteed slot to the Committee’s Non-Power 5 Conference pick, + two at-large bids, making an 8 team field in the end…OR GO BACK TO NO PLAYOFF AT ALL, WHICH ALLOWS FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF TWO NATIONAL CHAMPS…one in AP and one in UPI, like Georgia Tech and Washington for example. That’s better than just preordaining that Urban’s UTAH team can’t win it, or that UCF can’t compete with an SEC team. Do it right, or go back to the way it used to be…as unfair as it used to be, it at least had a justice mechanism that the UTES, TCU, and UCF all got locked out of, by some asshole’s EYE Test!

    BGC ’77 ’82

    1. Much like Notre Dame, UCF is dealing with ND bias. UCF should be ranked 3rd behind ND occupying both the #1 and #2 spots.

      1. If ND moves up after a narrow win against Pitt, why would UCF go nowhere, comparatively speaking, after a narrow win against Memphis State. The bias, Ron, is not against UCF particularly. It is against ANY and ALL non-power five schools. Near the end of 2017, the Committee froze UCF where it was! Then they cynically sent an SEC team that they could not figure out a way to also put in the playoffs (giving them three of all the arrogant things!!!) out to a NY 6 NON-Playoff Bowl to put UCF in its place (like they sent some “brand name” out to put the UTES in their place years ago, I don’t even remember who). After all, Auburn had beaten both teams in the NC game head-to-head, right? But UCF NEVER EVEN TRAILED IN THAT GAME!!! NEVER EVEN TRAILED!!! But the Committee has enslaved the UPI and the AP Polls…they are not even allowed to name another NC than the one of the two pre-declared by the Committee! It’s CRAP, sir. Why do you, or anyone else, continue to defend the indefensible?

        And both the UTES and Central Florida lost by the most determinate of all margins…a shut-out. Do I think the UTES could have won, if not for being shut-out? YES I DO. Do I think they would have won (a completely different question)? No, I’d never say that, because nobody will ever know, will they? How convenient. Do I think UCF could have won? YES. Do I think they would have won? NO…I don’t ever pick against BAMA in this era! But I don’t think the final game would have been BAMA against Georgia or Oklahoma…unless seeding required it. I think it would have been BAMA against UCF. And since BAMA won by a shut-out against UCF, it’s a moot point. BUT THIS IS NO MOOT POINT: Let’s not continue to pretend that no non-power 5 teams can ever beat a team from a major conference, when we all know that’s demonstrably untrue; ESPECIALLY FOR THE ONES THAT FINISH UNDEFEATED…the Boise’s and UTES, and UCF’s of this world…as well as an occasional in-season match-up (like Memphis/Mississippi, for instance. I don’t know what you all’s problem is…but grow up, or grow a pair, or at least just “tell the truth, now” as some band from the Southland once famously sang it. Thank you.

        BGC ’77 ’82

  2. NDcrazymike is 1000% right. I am from the heart of Miami. Went to school at Florida State but always an ND lover. Lots of young dudes playing ball in high school that love ND. Even back when I was at Miami Northwestern in the late 90s. These dudes out here are mad talented. Academically they would never cut it at ND. They will tell you all the time that they have a better shot of getting into any other school than ND because of the academics. This isn’t the 60s and the 70s or 80s anymore.

  3. Everyone worried who we are going to play, matchup with. I look at it like Digger Phelps getting in the final Four all but one time. That was His biggest claim to fame. Even larger than beating seven #1ranked teams. The Irish will be Champs just to reach that Final Four.

      1. Really miss Him. Guess He has more important things to do like getting tie wrapped and getting kicked out of galleries.

  4. Thankfully ND got a lot of help this weekend by fellow top 10 teams. The game against Pitt was brutal and could have cost the Irish in the rankings a bit had everything remained equal.

    1. It does go to show that ND did win, even though the special teams gave up 7 and the offense was lethargic at critical points in the game…now its time for a well deserved break before getting ready for the Navy game!! Go Irish!!

  5. I understand what your saying Bruce but I’m 62 and remember when Notredame under Lou Devine and Ara won national championships and year in and year out could compete and recruit with the best. Now I hear Kelly say we can’t have the number 1 recruiting class in the country.We shop from a different aisle. Back then the mission was tobe the best every year. Lou Ara and Devine would never say we can only be between 5 and 15 in recruiting. I’m afraid unless Notredame is willing to bend on the standards they are never going to be there with the top dogs no matter who the coach is.Also time will tell but watching Notredame Saturday and watching Alabama Saturday Im not so sure how much the gap has closed if any.Of course I know it was 1 game we need to see how it plays out.Also who knows LSU could upset Alabama.You never know.

  6. Time for the receivers to step up. I know Book missed on some deep passes on the deep passes against Va tech but we have got to continue to work on this part of the passing attack. Finke should be open on every play. Boykin’s and Mack are the only WR’s that I trust on the 50/50 balls. O line looked average against Pittsburgh. Won’t cut it against Alabama, Clemson, or Ohio State. That’s the standard we are measured against.

  7. Notre Dame is so overrated! Their defense is good but they only played one good team. all year in Michigan. Te barely beat a bad Pittsburgh team. If they played in the SEC LSU, Texas A&M. Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Kentucky they would have 2 losses by now Alabama receivers Judy, Riggs 3, Smith and Waddle will try tear them to shreds. They haven’t seen speed like that

    1. KEITH it looks like BAMA’S WRS are tearing everyone to shreds!! But ND did beat LSU in bowl games the 2 of the last 3 years!! A&M has 2 losses , Florida struggled to beat VANDY and let up 27 points in the process!! Georgia beat us by a point last year, Kentucky ” really ” ? How bout OLE MISS they stink, Tenn. fires a coach every year!! AUBURN has 3 losses!! CMON 5 games left for everybody including the SEC teams, see how many losses they have at the end of the year!! WE CAN ONLY PLAY WHO”S ON THE SCHEDULE, AND NONE OF THOSE TEAMS HAVE TO DEAL WITH ACADEMIC RESTRICTIONS!!

      1. Keith? Were you one of the 8-4 guys? Because my I’m still willing to bet that I can count to ELEVEN quicker than you all can count to FOUR, as I posted in August or early September. Anybody willing to put their money where their big, absurd mouths are? Nobody put any dough up then, but being the nice fellow that I am, I’m willing to give you another shot.

        BGC ’77 ’82

  8. I’m probably going anger a lot of people but I would only want Notredame in the playoffs if LSU knocks off Alabama. My fear is going 12 and 0 and then getting demolished by Alabama.It would hurt Notredames recruiting and give all these talking heads to say Notredame doesn’t deserve to be in playoffs blah blah blah

    1. IF Notre Dame gets into the playoffs and that’s still a BIG IF at this point in the season they will be a 2 or 3 seed and most likely not face Alabama in the first round. Of course facing Ohio State in first round isn’t much easier. Its not supposed to be easy and lets not forget this is the best Notre Dame team since the Holtz Era. Much better than the 2012 team IMO. Notre Dame must run the table to make the playoffs. The Irish cannot be sitting at home with one loss while the power 5 plays there conference championships games and expect to make playoffs. Highly unlikely.

    2. Pete, You write a lot of good stuff, but this is not one of those posts. Alabama is above the pack…they have been, as a program for many years and as individual teams about every second year during that time span…always in the NC game , winning about half of those. News flash to all village idiots: BK and ND is not the only coach/school that has had a bit of trouble with BAMA lately. They are favored…over everyone. But I actually want them in the first game because the gap between us and BAMA is still there, but not as lopsided as 2012. So let’s see right off the bat how far we’ve really come, measured against the best. If we beat them somehow, we would absolutely know we can beat whoever is next as well, because there is no other “Alabama” in this era! But if we don’t meet them until the final game, we won’t know for sure that we can win the NC title game going into it…and we might not even get the chance to try at all!
      I’m not saying we can beat them; betting against Saban is exactly the same as betting against post-war Leahy! I’d never do it. Back in those days, they used to say the two best teams in the country are ND’s first team, and ND’s second team. This BAMA team is similar to that. Yet they can be beaten, if not by us, I’m sure there are other teams out there who would love to take a shot at them (and carefully keep score, just in case).

      None of all this means anything though, if we lose to any opponent between us and the playoffs though. Playoff scenarios, strategies, and videos are premature.

      But I say this: let’s go up against the undisputed best as soon as we can…and find out how much the gap has narrowed.

      And also, losing to BAMA sure did not hurt Clemson’s recruiting, did it?

      BGC ’77 ’82

      1. I would prefer to face Saban in the Championship than Semis due to the fact that he will have less time to prepare

      2. It’s a good point Jeff, but it cuts both ways…we also would have less time to prepare for them. There is much to be considered.

        BGC ’77 ’82

      3. WERE all way to ahead of ourselves here!! THERES still 5 games left, and outside of BAMA every team is vulnerable to losing!! If the IRISH somehow win out and make the playoffs that will only help with recruiting!! WIN OR LOSE in the playoffs is a win, win for recruiting!! A top 10 finish is a huge step in recruiting look at last years class, when the IRISH were in the top 10 most of the year!! NEWSFLASH: WITH THE ACADEMIC STANDARDS IN PLACE AT ND ITS IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE THE#1 RECRUITING CLASS, REMEMBER URBAN ( LIAR ) MEYER TOLD US THAT 13 YEARS AGO!!

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