AP Top 25 Preseason College Football Poll Prediction: Where Will Notre Dame Rank?

Going into the 2024 college football season, where should Notre Dame rank in the preseason AP Top 25 Poll and just how high could it go?
Nov 25, 2023; Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman fires up his troops before taking on the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 25, 2023; Stanford, California, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Marcus Freeman fires up his troops before taking on the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports / D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

It's not quite as big a deal now in a College Football Playoff era, but the preseason AP top 25 poll is still the unofficial annual marking point when the sports world really starts to care again about college football.

At the very least, as a snapshot, the early rankings set the expectations for the top teams.

College Football News came up with its early summer prediction of what the rankings might be, and there's not much craziness up top.

Georgia, Ohio State, Texas, Oregon, Alabama - it's all an educated guess trying to figure out the whims of all the voters, so the goal is to get the predictions close to where they'll probably be.

So what's the prediction for Notre Dame in the preseason AP Top 25 college football poll?

Forgetting how good they really are - and it's not wrong to put them the top five with all the talent in place - the early summer prediction puts the Irish at 7.

The 2022 team started out No. 5 and ended up 18th. Last year Notre Dame started 13th and ended up 14th.

Being higher than nine would matter - it would be the second time since 2006 the ranking would be in the top eight, and it has only been that high twice since 1996.

But it's a preseason poll. Predicting it might be fun, but everything will change wildly one way or another right away.

Beat Texas A&M right out of the gate in College Station - this is a GOOD Texas A&M team - and there's a sochance the Irish will be in the top five and stay there for a long, long time.

Again, the College Football Playoff rankings are all that matter, and those don't start up until late October. However, if the Irish beat the Aggies, they'll almost certainly be favored in the next seven games against Northern Illinois, at Purdue, Miami University, Louisville, Stanford, at Georgia Tech, and against Navy in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

If the Irish don't misfire in a wild upset, 8-0 and a top three ranking in the polls - including the first batch from the CFP - isn't asking for the world before the showdown against Florida State in South Bend on November 9th.

- Notre Dame and the Expanded College Football Playoff: No Bye? No Problem


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Pete Fiutak

PETE FIUTAK