For the third time in four years, Notre Dame is starting the season out of the Top 25 in the pre-season USA Today Coaches poll. ND received 5 votes, which translates into 43rd place. It's the lowest starting point, rankings-wise, for the Fighting Irish under Charlie and the lowest for ND period since 2002, when ND was slotted in 46th place.
Here is a glimpse at the rankings of the 2008 ND opponents that received votes:
2. USCHardly a murderer's row this season. No clear cut favorite at the top either as Southern Cal was one of six teams to get first place votes. Of course, preseason polls aren't usually even worth the paper they are written on, even if Spurrier didn't vote for Duke this year to "keep the integrity of the poll alive".
31. Boston College
40. Michigan State
48. North Carolina
Dipping back into a familiar routine, let's take a look at the biggest gainers and losers from last year's final poll to this brand spanking new pre-season version. I certainly agree with the theory that pre-season polls are more of a reflection of the results of the previous season than what we should all expect to see in the coming months. However, there are still a few teams that experience a sizable boost or drop in perception after the final whistle of last season sounds.
The final Coaches Poll from last season can be found here. Comparing the two, Boston College experienced the biggest change in votes of any team, reflecting the loss of Matt Ryan and the army of 5th year seniors on last year's team. Michigan lost a ton of talent as well, but Coach Rodriguez's reputation likely kept the drop from being too severe. Florida welcomes back Heisman winner Tim Tebow and sees the biggest boost in rankings.
|biggest gainers |
|biggest losers |