Not that the national championship is over and the Michigan Wolverines are your national champions (until it’s inevitably vacated because they are a pack of cheaters) the final polls have appeared to finalize the 2023 college football season.
Both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches Poll have the Notre Dame Fighting Irish ranked #14 after their 10-3 campaign.
Notre Dame started the 2023 season ranked #13 in both polls, so technically, the Irish haters out there can scream that the Irish were overrated this past season. It’s a technicality for sure, but so is this tweet from Pete Sampson.
Notre Dame finished No. 14 in the final AP Poll, its seventh straight Top 20 finish. Irish are one of five schools to finish in the Top 20 every season since 2017, along with Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) January 9, 2024
While that seems like a flex — the fact that the bar is “top 20” makes it feel like a flex from a group of five program. Even with the two college football playoff appearances during that timespan, having two seasons where they finished outside the top 15 doesn’t move the needle very far.
Notre Dame’s three losses this season came at the hands of three teams that finished inside the top 25; the Louisville Cardinals, Clemson Tigers, and Ohio State Buckeyes. While we can scoff at the Irish being ranked behind the Penn State Nittany Lions (an absolute fraud of a team), the truth is that their three losses are better than Notre Dame’s three losses.
The Irish had one win over a team that finished in the top 25. Congratulations to Dave Doeren and the NC State Wolfpack on the #21 ranking — which isn’t a top 20 ranking though, so... no awkward tweet.