Pro Football Focus released its preseason Top 25, and wisely the outlet decided to rank just the teams that would actually be playing in 2020. The recently released Associated Press Top 25 included teams from the Big Ten and Pac 12, which seems pointless considering those programs likely won't be playing in the fall.
"Notre Dame's defense has been one of the best in college football in each of the past two seasons, ranking seventh among Power Five programs in terms of expected points added per play allowed over that span. It looks like the unit will maintain that status in 2020.
"The Fighting Irish return four of their six most valuable defensive players from a season ago, and they also have a couple of stars in the making in safety Kyle Hamilton and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Serving as a backup last year, Hamilton ranked 14th among returning safeties in win shares added to their team, while Owusu-Koramoah is poised for a big 2020 after continuously improving throughout his first full season.
"Fifth-year senior Ian Book leads the offense and could have his best year yet, as he closed out 2019 with the 10th-best PFF grade in the FBS over his final five games. If anything is going to bring Notre Dame down, it's a lack of established receivers. They have promising up-and-comers, but much of their 2019 production is gone with the losses of Claypool, Kmet and Finke."
Notre Dame had three opponents in the 2020 preseason ranking. Clemson checked in at No. 1 in the poll, Florida State was at No. 23 and North Carolina ranked No. 25. The ranking had a STRONG SEC flavor, with nine of the 14 SEC programs ranking in the Top 15.
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