Notre Dame And The "Weak Schedule" Myth

Ken NDContributor IOctober 16, 2009

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 03: Golden Tate #23 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs against the Washington Huskies on his way to a 67 yard touchdown on October 3, 2009 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

You hear it every week in articles, in blogs, and on TV…."Notre Dame has a weak schedule".  Unfortunately, it's easier for the large number of Notre Dame haters to assume that it's true and repeat it rather than doing any actual research.  According to Phil Steele's College Football Preview, Notre Dame's preseason strength of schedule ranking was #36.  Five games into the season, Jeff Sagarin places it at #28 in the nation going into the USC game this weekend.  Compare this with some of the other teams currently ranked in the Top 25:

Florida - #49
Texas - #100
Boise State - #59
Ohio State - #37
Cincinnati - #109
Iowa - #30
TCU - #75
Penn State - #113
Nebraska - #40
Oklahoma State - #108
Kansas - #125
BYU - #68
Oklahoma - #55
South Florida - #143
South Carolina - #65
Houston - #91
Utah - #41

Notre Dame's schedule has been stronger than 17 of the other 24 teams in the AP Top 25 so far.  It's time to stop parroting ESPN personalities and start doing a little bit of research for yourself.

Update....Notre Dame's schedule is now ranked as the #13 toughest in the nation per Jeff Sagarin's rankings: