First off, Notre Dame lost one of their best defenseman in Aaron Lynch (he transferred to South Florida). If a team loses a big part to their game-plan on defense, then obviously analyst will think that the team will crumple up because of it.
Another reason is that Notre Dame had multiple players arrested due to alcohol related charges. One of them, of course, being quarterback Tommy Rees. Now Brian Kelly and the School have to decide what to do to discipline these players. If Rees is suspended, then the Irish will have to go to one of their younger quarterbacks to carry the load for the offense, which may lead to trouble on the field.
Should Notre Dame be ranked?
No, they have too many questions unanswered. Let’s first figure out who is going to be the QB of this team, and then we can worry about preseason polls. With their schedule and problems, we’ll be lucky to go 8-5 again.