Notre Dame ranked No. 9 in preseason Coaches Poll
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, August 4, 2016
When Notre Dame kicks off its season Sept. 4 in Austin, Texas, it will do so as a top-10 team — at least in the Coaches Poll.
The Irish are ranked No. 9 in the preseason edition of the USA Today and Amway-sponsored poll, slotting just behind No. 8 Michigan and ahead of No. 10 Tennessee.
Three Notre Dame opponents are ranked in the preseason top 25: No. 7 Stanford, No. 11 Michigan State and No. 17 USC. The Irish get the luxury of playing two of those teams at home, with Michigan State visiting Sept. 17 and Stanford coming to town Oct. 15. As is tradition, Notre Dame will conclude its season in California, this year at USC, on Nov. 26.
In addition to the trio of ranked opponents, the Irish will run across four schools that also received votes in the first major poll of the season. Miami (Fla.), who was the first team out of the poll after receiving 120 points, visits South Bend on Oct. 29, while Texas, Navy and Duke all received votes as well.
That matchup with the Longhorns, set uncharacteristically for the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, will be the curtain-raiser on Notre Dame’s season, with the Irish looking to duplicate their triumph from a year ago, where they ran out 38-3 winners at Notre Dame Stadium.