Notre Dame is 6-0 for the first time in 10 years despite facing a difficult schedule, and the Fighting Irish deserve to be one of the Top Five teams in the nation when the first BCS rankings are released.
The first set of standings will be released today at 8 p.m. ET, and the path to the national championship will be slightly clearer at this point.
After three wins over ranked teams in the first six games of the season, the Irish have thrived against a difficult schedule and there simply are not five other teams with a better résumé this season.
In this week’s AP Top 25 Poll, the Irish were placed fifth behind Alabama, Oregon, Florida and Kansas State, in that order. The USA Today Coaches' Poll only made one adjustment to the Top Five, placing KSU ahead of the Gators.
LSU sits at No. 6 in both rankings after defeating South Carolina and poses the most serious threat to bumping the Irish out of the Top Five. But for this week, there is a clear set of five deserving teams that should occupy the top spots, and Notre Dame is one of them.
Alabama and Oregon started the season as highly ranked teams, with the AP placing them at No. 2 and No. 5 respectively in the preseason poll. Among the teams placed in the Top Five in that ranking, the Crimson Tide and the Ducks are the only teams to remain undefeated.
Where should Notre Dame be ranked?
These teams clearly deserve two of the top spots. Florida, Kansas State and Notre Dame were not hyped coming into the season, but have all proved themselves against top competition.
Florida’s impressive victory over LSU and wins against four other SEC teams has solidified its status as an elite squad, while Kansas State’s upset of Oklahoma has earned it a top spot.
For the Irish, wins over Michigan, Michigan Sate and Stanford highlight their accomplishments this season.
All three of these teams have played difficult schedules and remained undefeated, while other ranked teams cannot make this claim. Programs like LSU, South Carolina and USC have gone up against tough teams, but have a loss on their records. Others, like Oregon State, Mississippi State and Rutgers have not lost, but also haven’t been tested yet.
In this week’s BCS rankings, the Top Five teams are easy to pick, and the Irish deserve to be included in this group.