Notre Dame Football: Irish Jump In ESPN’s Power Rankings

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Julian Love
ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 01: Julian Love /

The Notre Dame football team landed at No. 11 in ESPN’s most recent “Power Rankings.”

We’re all guilty of it. Even as meaningless as they are, we all want to see where our Notre Dame football team sits in the most recent power rankings of a given outlet — especially one with the influence and clout that ESPN has.

Back in January, ESPN released its “Way-Too-Early Top 25.” At that time, “The Worldwide Leader” has the Irish ranked at No. 20. At that time, there were four team on Notre Dame’s 2018 schedule ranked ahead of them: USC at No. 18, Virginia Tech at No. 15, Michigan at No. 14 and Stanford at No. 12.

Fast-forward to yesterday, and ESPN now has Notre Dame ranked No. 11 in its preseason power rankings. There are now no teams on the Irish schedule sitting ahead of them in the rankings. Michigan is at No. 12, Stanford is at No. 14, Virginia Tech is No. 15 and USC is No. 16.

Florida State makes an appearance at No. 18.

On the surface, there’s really no logical explanation for the movement of any of those teams. In all honesty, there probably wans’t much thought put into it. Polls and rankings of that nature are designed to create conversation and subsequently generate clicks.

Be that as it may, you can also get a pretty good idea of how the first AP and Coaches Polls will go just by looking at ESPN’s and some other power rankings. As those rankings evolve throughout the season — regardless of what anyone admits — they drive the narrative for the only rankings that actually matter: those created by the College Football Playoff committee.

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Suffice to say, looking at where the Fighting Irish and a handful of teams on their schedule sit in these early power polls, it’s obvious that Notre Dame is going to have every opportunity to be a major player in this season’s College Football Playoff picture.