Notre Dame checks in at No. 9 in SI.com's uber-early Top 25

ND Insider Staff
ND Insider

Apparently an extended quarterback derby and the prospect of having to replace 13 starters from 2015 isn’t diluting expectations for the 2016 Notre Dame football team.

The Irish check in at No. 9 in SI.com’s post-spring, too-early top 25. None of its opponents 2016 opponents are ranked ahead of ND. Four of them, though, did make the top 25.

Stanford is highest ranked among them at No. 11. USC checks in at 18, Michigan State 19 and Miami (Fla.) at 24.

The four teams SI.com projects into the four-team playoff are Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida State and Clemson.

The Irish, 10-3 in 2015, open the 2016 season Sept. 4 at Texas.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly lost 13 starters from his 2015 team, yet the expectations already appear high for this year's squad. (Tribune Photo/MICHAEL CATERINA)