Notre Dame football ranked in top-10 of recent 2021 rankings

Kyle Hamilton #14 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Kyle Hamilton #14 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Notre Dame football team is coming off a 10-2 season and was recently ranked in the top-10 of 2021 college football ranking.

The 2020 Notre Dame football team was a special one, battling through the pandemic to go undefeated during the regular season. The Irish had to change it up for the 2020 season, joining the ACC Conference, as that was the only way they could secure an actual schedule.

While the Irish got out to a 10-0 start, they faltered down the stretch, losing in the ACC title game to Clemson, and then drawing the short straw as the No. 4 seed in the College Football Playoff. Playing against No. 1 Alabama, Notre Dame just did not have enough talent to keep up with the Crimson Tide and would go on to finish the season with a 10-2 record.

Still, playing football during a pandemic was an incredible task, and the fact that the team was able to string together their third straight ten-or-more win season was impressive. Heading into 2021, they are losing a ton of talent, including quarterback Ian Book, and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, so Brian Kelly will have to find a way to rebuild this roster in a hurry.

Sporting News ranks Notre Dame No. 6 overall

In their latest 2021 college football ranking, which is way too early, the Sporting News had Notre Dame as one of the top-10 teams in the country. In fact, the Irish nearly cracked the top five, as they finished out the rankings as the No. 6 team in the land, which is pretty impressive considering all the talent they are losing.

The piece spoke about the losses for this roster, but also some of the bright spots, including the running back tandem of Kyren Williams and Chris Tyree. Of course, the Irish also have an elite tight end in Michael Mayer, and a transfer coming in at quarterback in Jack Coan who once led the Wisconsin Badgers to a Big Ten title game.

On defense, All-American safety Kyle Hamilton will lead the way, and the Irish did get good news with Kurt Hinish coming back for another go-around. They are going back to their Independent schedule for the 2021 campaign, and they open up on the road against Florida State, a team they beat in ACC play this season.

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Brian Kelly is going to have his team ready to roll when the season starts, and hopefully, the program has a Spring Game so they can get a good look at how they would like the roster to shape out. The Irish have a solid recruiting class coming in, and just hired a star in defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, so things are definitely looking up despite all of the departures.