Sports Illustrated released its preseason Top 25 today. The Notre Dame football team ranked lower than expected.
The SI.com preseason Top 25 was released today. Like most lists put out by sources not named the AP, The Coaches Poll, The FWAA or the College Football Playoff, SI’s rankings are relatively meaningless and harmless. It does, however, give you another piece of data in terms of what people around the country think of Notre Dame football heading into the 2018 season.
The Irish landed at No. 16 in SI’s rankings. That’s five spots lower than where they appeared in the Amway Coaches Poll, which was released last week.
Clemson occupied the No. 1 slot, and the top five was rounded out by Alabama, Wisconsin, Washington and Oklahoma in that order.
In all, three teams from Notre Dame’s 2018 slate made SI’s Top 25. Stanford was the highest ranked team at No. 12. They were followed by Michigan at No. 15 and Florida State at No. 18.
Virginia Tech and Southern Cal — both of whom were in the Coaches Poll Top 25, were left out of the SI.com rankings.
The biggest surprise on Sport Illustrated list is without a doubt the team that landed at No. 25. Lane Kiffin’s Florida Atlantic Owls occupy that spot. They’ll open their season at Oklahoma, and we’ll find out whether or not they deserve a spot in the Top 25 right away.
As far as Notre Dame goes, their ranking was justified by more of the same issues we’ve heard all offseason. Personnel losses and Brandon Wimbush’s accuracy remain question marks in the eyes of pundits and media members around the country.