Notre Dame matches Kelly Era high at No. 9 in preseason coaches poll

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame football begins its 2019 journey matching the highest preseason poll position in the Amway coaches poll during head coach Brian Kelly’s 10 seasons at ND.

The ninth-ranked Irish, who open the season Sept. 2 at unranked Louisville, face three teams in the inaugural coaches poll of 2019 — No. 3 Georgia, No. 7 Michigan and No. 23 Stanford — all on the road.

Five other Irish opponents garnered votes — Virginia Tech, USC, Virginia, Duke and Boston College. The Associated Press writers preseason poll comes out Aug. 19 at noon EDT.

Defending national champion Clemson and runner-up Alabama went 1-2 in the coaches poll. The Tigers garnered 59 of the 65 first-place votes, with Alabama collecting the other six.

Florida finished a mere three poll points ahead of the Irish (1,103 to 1,100), at No. 8.

Kelly is not a member of the 65-man panel of voters, having given up his ballot after the 2016 season to rid himself of that time commitment. The Irish finished 4-8 that year.

That’s also the season Notre Dame was ranked No. 9 in the preseason coaches poll, establishing a Kelly Era high. The last time ND began the season ranked higher than ninth was 2006, when Charlie Weis’ second Irish team was the preseason No. 3 team in the coaches poll.

The Irish were No. 11 in the 2018 preseason coaches poll and finished No. 5 in both polls after a 30-3 loss to Clemson, Dec. 29 in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

Kelly meets with the media en masse Friday for the first time since mid-April. The Irish open training camp off campus Sunday in Culver, Ind.


5Ohio State0-01368055/5
6Louisiana State0-01218066/6
9Notre Dame0-01100099/9
11Texas A&M0-089301111/11
14Penn State0-069901414/14
17Central Florida0-043601717/17
20Michigan State0-031302020/20
21Washington State0-027402121/21
24Iowa State0-016902424/24
 OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Nebraska 152; Boise State 118; Mississippi State 111; Miami 94; Army 91; Kentucky 79; Virginia Tech 64; Texas Christian 63; Southern California 47; Utah State 32; Fresno State 32; Virginia 30; Cincinnati 25; West Virginia 24; Memphis 24; Oklahoma State 20; South Carolina 15; NC State 12; Duke 10; Boston College 5; Florida State 4; Baylor 4; Appalachian State 4; North Texas 3; Houston 3; UCLA 2; Temple 2; Arizona State 2; Troy 1; Tennessee 1; Mississippi 1; Minnesota 1. The Amway Board of Coaches is made up of 65 head coaches at Bowl Subdivision schools. All are members of the American Football Coaches Association. The board for the 2019 season: Chris Ash, Rutgers; Dino Babers, Syracuse; Craig Bohl, Wyoming; Jeff Brohm, Purdue; Neal Brown, West Virginia; Troy Calhoun, Air Force; Steve Campbell, South Alabama; Rod Carey, Temple; Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina; Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech; David Cutcliffe, Duke; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; Butch Davis, Florida International; Ryan Day, Ohio State; Manny Diaz, Miami (Fla.); Dana Dimel, Texas-El Paso; Dave Doeren, North Carolina State; Sonny Dykes, Southern Methodist; Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern; James Franklin, Penn State; Hugh Freeze, Liberty; Willie Fritz, Tulane; Scott Frost, Nebraska; Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech; Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois; Bryan Harsin, Boise State; Clay Helton, Southern California; Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky; Tom Herman, Texas; Doc Holliday, Marshall; Jay Hopson, Southern Mississippi; Mike Houston, East Carolina; Mike Leach, Washington State; Lance Leipold, Buffalo; Tim Lester, Western Michigan; Chip Lindsey, Troy; Seth Littrell, North Texas; Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green; Rocky Long, San Diego State; Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio); Doug Martin, New Mexico State; Jeff Monken, Army; Phillip Montgomery, Tulsa; Dan Mullen, Florida; Ken Niumatalolo, Navy; Ed Orgeron, LSU; Gary Patterson, TCU; Chris Petersen, Washington; Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee; Matt Rhule, Baylor; Nick Saban, Alabama; Tony Sanchez, UNLV; Kirby Smart, Georgia; Jonathan Smith, Oregon State; Frank Solich, Ohio; Jake Spavital, Texas State; Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee; Kevin Sumlin, Arizona; Dabo Swinney, Clemson; Jeff Tedford, Fresno State; Matt Wells, Texas Tech; Kyle Whittingham, Utah.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly’s 10th Irish football team opens training camp Sunday in Culver, Ind.