It wasn’t a great weekend for the Fighting Irish, or for their past and future foes not called “Stanford” or “Syracuse”. Obviously, Notre Dame won’t sniff the rankings again this year. However, there were games against ranked foes to look forward to. Granted, we’re not particularly optimistic when it comes to how Notre Dame would fare in a game against a ranked foe, but those games do give teams opportunities to act as spoilers, so to speak.
A few of those spoiler opportunities were spoiled (for now) by others this weekend. First, the Miami Hurricanes dropped a tough one at home to North Carolina. At 4-2, the ‘Canes dropped out of AP Poll. Miami is still a good football team and it seems that Mark Richt is driving the bus headed in the right direction, however.
Elsewhere in the ACC, the Virginia Tech Hokies, who visit South Bend on the 19th of November, took a beating at the hands of Syracuse. The Hokies put up 17 points on the Orange in a loss; don’t forget that Notre Dame put up 50 in a win. So we’ve got that goin’ for us. Which is nice.
Future (and frequent) foe Navy bumped got a bump up from 25 to 24. At 4-1, the Midshipmen were off, but gained national recognition after beating Houston a week ago. Good for you, Navy.
That’s 2016 for you. Texas and Michigan State were hotly contested games that affected the rankings and now, they mean little. Miami and Virginia Tech looked like the toughest games left on the schedule, considering the mess that is USC right now, but they dropped out of the rankings this week. Enter Navy as the lone remaining ranked team on Notre Dame’s schedule, just like we all predicted after last year.
It’s worth noting that Miami and Virginia Tech play each other next weekend, so we probably wouldn’t have seen both teams ranked. But now either team has an opportunity to reenter the rankings with a win.
The biggest bit of news from a national level involved Michigan. Coming off an indescribable 78-0 beat down of Rutgers, the Wolverines had the week off (cheeseburgers). However, with Clemson struggling against NC State (two teams that play really well in hurricanes, as we can attest to), the voters decided it was high time Michigan jumped Clemson. They’re now ranked third. Alabama and Ohio State are still one and two after wins over ranked foes (Tennessee and Wisconsin). Oh, and there’s LSU at 25. Sure.