Notre Dame football didn’t move in the rankings after Saturday’s lackluster win.
Notre Dame football was given a mulligan by the pollsters after Saturday’s performance.
After slopping through a win against a mediocre MAC team in Ball State, many wondered if that would mean a drop in the polls for the Irish. That would not be the case, as the Irish held firm at No. 8 in both the AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll.
It wasn’t so much the luck of the Irish that kept Notre Dame at No. 8 as much as it was the lack of statement wins from teams below them or surprising losses from teams above them. Week 2 essentially went chalk, minimizing the impact of Notre Dame’s poor performance in the eyes of the pollsters.
The College Football Playoff committee — on the other hand — may not be so kind when the time comes to release the first playoff rankings.
A win is a win, but the race to the College Football Playoff is a lot like figure skating. Not only do you need to land everything, you must look good doing it.
And don’t forget about degree of difficultly.
A one-score win over Ball State did not look good any way you cut it. The Irish need to make up for it in the coming weeks with decisive wins over Vanderbilt and Stanford if they want to remain serious participants in the College Football Playoff conversation.
Future Notre Dame opponents Stanford, Virginia Tech and USC all remained in the Top 25 of both major polls, despite the Trojans losing to the Cardinal. Florida State dropped out of both polls after their loss to Virginia Tech and failed to make up any ground with an unimpressive win over Samford.