Notre Dame ranked No. 11 in preseason AP poll

IRISH STEW

ND Insider Staff Report
ND Insider

Notre Dame's high expectations for the 2015 football season were reflected in Sunday's preseason AP Top 25 poll. The Irish are slated No. 11 in the country.

The No. 11 ranking marks Notre Dame's highest position in the preseason poll since being pegged No. 2 in 2006.

Four of Notre Dame's 2015 opponents made the list: USC (No. 8), Clemson (No. 12), Georgia Tech (No. 16) and Stanford (No. 21).

In the AP preseason rankings, Notre Dame has now been ranked 12 times in the 19 seasons that followed the end of the Lou Holtz Coaching Era.

In the 11 previous times ND started the season in the top 25 in those years, the Irish have never finished higher in the poll than where they started, and in eight of those seasons ND finished outside the top 25 – albeit just barely in 2014.

Conversely, of the seven times ND was snubbed in the preseason AP Top 25, the Irish finished in the top 25 four of those times.

That included a No. 4 showing in the finals polls after the 2012 season. The Irish finished No. 3 in the coaches poll that year.

ND was ranked 17th in the preseason AP poll last year and finished one spot out of the final Top 25. 

The full AP Poll is listed below.

1. Ohio State

2. TCU

3. Alabama

4. Baylor

5. Michigan State

6. Auburn

7. Oregon

8. USC

9. Georgia

10. Florida State

11. Notre Dame

12. Clemson

13. UCLA

14. LSU

15. Arizona State

16. Georgia Tech

17. Ole Miss

18. Arkansas

19. Oklahoma

20. Wisconsin

21. Stanford

22. Arizona

23. Boise State

24. Missouri

25. Tennessee

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly waits to take the field with his team before an NCAA college football game against Purdue in Indianapolis, Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Our Eric Hansen submitted his Top 25 earlier this month. Here's a look at his list: 

1. Ohio State

2. TCU

3. Michigan State

4. Alabama

5. Ole Miss

6. Oregon

7. Clemson

8. Georgia

9. Notre Dame

10. USC

11. Auburn

12. Baylor

13. Georgia Tech

14. Wisconsin

15. LSU

16. Oklahoma

17. Arkansas

18. Florida State

19. Stanford

20. Arizona State

21. Tennessee

22. UCLA

23. Penn State

24. Arizona

25. Virginia Tech