The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will begin the 2021 season ranked #7 in the USA Today / Coaches Poll. The 65 man collection of college coaches have spoken, and the rankings have been released in their entirety.
The preseason polls are just another marker as we count down to the start of the season. While being ranked #7 was pretty much expected, it’s still nice to have it official (save any “these polls don’t matter” for someone else because we know that — and do not care).
The poll also adds a little life to the Irish schedule. Notre Dame plays four opponents ranked in the top 15 (#9 North Carolina Tar Heels, #10 Cincinnati Bearcats, #14 USC Trojans, and #15 Wisconsin Badgers). None of those four games are inside their opponents home stadiums (3 are in South Bend and 1 is in Chicago). Three other Irish opponents (Stanford Cardinal, Virginia Tech Hokes, and Florida State Seminoles) were in the “others receiving votes” category — and all of those are away games.