College Football Rankings 2011: Is a Lofty Ranking Bad for Notre Dame Football?

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College Football Rankings 2011: Is a Lofty Ranking Bad for Notre Dame Football?
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Although many who are not fans of the Blue and Gold would argue, Notre Dame's preseason ranking of 16th by the AP was right on the money. The Irish finished with a 8-5 record last season, but that doesn't tell the whole story.

Dayne Crist, Notre Dame's starting quarterback, was knocked out for the season with his second knee injury in as many years. Crist's play before the injury wasn't stellar, but with no definitive rotation behind him, people figured the offense would be in shambles.

As the season progressed and a freshman took the helm at quarterback, the defensive unit buckled down, and it led the team to four straight victories to end 2010-2011.

Now, with Crist back (although some debate he will be the starter because of Tommy Rees' 4-0 record; I don't), the Irish will look to move up the rankings board, but why is starting the season in the Top 25 so important? And why would people say having high expectations are a bad thing for the Irish?

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