Notre Dame football: Irish outside of top-5 to start 2022 season?

The Notre Dame football team has the talent to be a College Football Playoff contender in 2022, but could they start the season outside of the top 5?

It has been an incredible offseason for the Notre Dame football program, as they were able to get elite players to commit for the 2023 and 2024 recruiting classes. On the field, first-year head coach Marcus Freeman seems poised to have this team take the next step forward, after a Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State in his head coaching debut last season.

Though the team has question marks, including who will start at quarterback, they also have a ton of starting talent returning. Many players could have made the jump to the NFL this past season, including guys like Isaiah Foskey, and Jarrett Patterson, who may be slated for the first round next April.

When looking at the roster as a whole, there is a lot to like about this 2022 Irish football team, but where do they rank overall. It is always hard to put preseason rankings together, especially before summer camp, but the Irish seem to have the talent to be a top-5 team to start the campaign.

However, one major media outlet feels differently.

Notre Dame football is ranked No. 7 by Athlon Sports

In their preseason ranking, Athlon Sports has the Notre Dame football team outside of the top 5, coming in at No. 7 overall. The piece spoke to lack of experience at quarterback, and depth at wide receiver, two key issues that we have spoken about throughout the preseason.

It also speaks to the fact that Freeman is inheriting a great team, with 14 players returning, and should be able to win a bunch of games in Year 1. The schedule is daunting, kicking off against Ohio State in Week 1, but there is enough top-level talent to beat anyone on the docket this season.

Overall, it is my belief that 7 is too low for this Irish team, as I believe they will be a top-5 team entering Week 1. That is likely to make their game against the Buckeyes a battle of top-5 teams, and could be the best game on the entire 2022 college football slate when all is said and done.