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Notre Dame Football: Don’t Forget to Enjoy Winning

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Our Irish eyes are smiling most Saturdays.

Bronko Nagurski Award David T. Foster III/Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Recently, I’ve started documenting Notre Dame’s record in its last 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 games on Twitter.

It looks something like this:

It’s a reminder both to myself and to others to enjoy the wins each week. If I may generalize, our fanbase fixates on the ones, threes, sixes more than they do the nines, seventeens and twenty-sixes. (It’s also a good snapshot on how far the program has come since its 4-8 implosion in 2016.)

This week, some Georgia fans jumped into my Twitter mentions to inquire about Notre Dame’s record against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. I willingly obliged, although this isn’t a data point in the Irish’s favor.

Notre Dame is 23-23 under Brian Kelly against teams ranked in the Top 25 at the time of the game. And while that may seem underwhelming in a vacuum, that’s a Top 10 effort overall.

First off, here are the top winning percentages of FBS programs against other FBS teams since Brian Kelly was hired:

  1. Alabama - 136-16 (.895)
  2. Ohio State - 133-20 (.869)
  3. Oklahoma - 124-28 (.816)
  4. Clemson - 122-28 (.813)
  5. Boise State - 116-32 (.784)
  6. Georgia - 108-38 (.740)
  7. Notre Dame - 112-40 (.737)
  8. Oregon - 103-37 (.736)
  9. Wisconsin - 109-40 (.732)
  10. LSU - 103-39 (.725)

The top 15 includes Oklahoma State, Stanford, Michigan State, San Diego State and Michigan.

Here are the best winning percentages against AP Top 25 since 2010:

  1. Alabama - 60-15 (.800)
  2. Ohio State - 39-12 (.765)
  3. Oklahoma - 39-19 (.672)
  4. LSU - 43-24 (.642)
  5. Clemson - 33-19 (.635)
  6. Oregon - 28-19 (.596)
  7. Stanford - 31-23 (.574)
  8. Oklahoma State - 29-24 (.547)
  9. Georgia - 31-28 (.525)

10. (tie) Boise State - 10-10
Notre Dame 23-23
TCU - 21-21 (.500)

If your college football fandom had started in 2010, which team would leave you more satisfied than Notre Dame? Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and LSU, unquestionably. Georgia, probably. Oklahoma? Likely. Oregon? Possibly.

That’s seven teams. Perhaps you could make a case for one or two more.

The bowl game against a Top 25 opponent will come in six weeks. Historically, it’s a game Notre Dame has lost. But let’s not let that negate the 10 — and hopefully 11 or more! — Saturdays/Sundays this fall they brought us joy.