The Irish dropped a close one on the road against a P5 opponent in week one and dropped eight spots. In week two, Notre Dame took it to Nevada, at least for two quarters, to the tune of a 29-point win. Even with the blowout win over Nevada, Notre Dame didn’t move in the AP Poll, checking in at 18.
The USA Today Coaches poll has the Irish at 18, moving up from 21.
In a week in which pretty much everyone that was expected to win (with the exception of TCU) won, it’s not too unexpected to see so little movement. TCU dropped out after losing a thriller to Arkansas, but Texas A&M jumped Notre Dame (from 20 to 17) after blowing out the mighty Prairie View A&M Panthers. I guess you do have to reward a team that won by 67 points.
Future Notre Dame opponents Stanford and Michigan State were idle this week (probably eating cheeseburgers) and did not move in the polls (seven and 12 respectively). Stanford remains the favorite to win the Pac-12, and has a showdown with fellow Notre Dame opponent USC to look forward to in week three. Stanford and MSU remain Notre Dame’s best chances to beat highly-ranked teams.
Miami remained 25th in the poll after beating Florida Atlantic by 28. It seems that Mark Richt has the Hurricanes doing the things they should do, adding intrigue to the Notre Dame Miami matchup we’re all looking forward to.
Texas rolled UTEP in the manner you would expect from a top-11 team, winning 41-7. Even though the Texas win came against a questionable foe, they avoided a let down, and didn’t make Notre Dame look too bad, depending on how much you subscribe to the transitive property in college football.
Clemson and Georgia looked shaky against inferior opponents, but Georgia dropped further (to 16, from nine). Florida State and Ohio State crushed their cupcake opponents and find themselves at two and three. Michigan and Clemson round out the top five.