Notre Dame Ranked 9th In Early SI Top 25
Notre Dame is projected to be a preseason Top 10 team for the second year in a row. At least that’s the early reviews as way too early Top 25’s are released. The latest comes from Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated, who ranks Notre Dame No. 9 in his first installment of the Top 25 for 2020.
Notre Dame began the 2019 season as the No. 9 team in the country but finished No. 11 in the Coaches Poll and No. 12 in the Associated Press Poll. It looks like the Irish will once again begin the season as a team with a chance to quickly rise into playoff position.
Despite the dominant play of the Irish defense the last two seasons, it is the offense that most point to when talking about Notre Dame’s ranking. Here is what Forde had to say about the Irish.
“There are two attractive but difficult additions to the schedule: Clemson at home and Wisconsin at Lambeau Field. That’s in addition to games at USC and Pittsburgh. But with Ian Book and most of the offensive line returning, Brian Kelly has some building blocks. There are a lot of good players to replace on defense. The recruiting consistency of the Fighting Irish will come into play there.”
Three Notre Dame opponents also cracked the preseason Top 25, with Clemson checking in at No. 1 thanks to the return of standout quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Wisconsin is No. 13 on Forde’s list and USC was ranked No. 16.
Clemson just played in the national championship game for the fourth time in five seasons. Wisconsin is coming off a 10-4 season in which it won the Big Ten West and defeated three Top 25 teams. USC is coming off an 8-5 season and is searching for a new defensive coordinator, but the Trojans also return a lot of talent.