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After losing to a scrappy South Florida team in their season opener, Notre Dame has really found their stride—losing only once since, in a very close game to No. 18 Michigan.
In a strange twist of musical chairs, Notre Dame, Michigan and No. 16 Michigan State share an interesting relationship: although Michigan was handled easily by rival Michigan State last week, the Fighting Irish actually bludgeoned the Spartans 31-13 just a week after falling to the Wolverines in Week 2.
Logically then, these three teams' seasons should be evaluated relative to one another.
So who is the best of the bunch?
Notre Dame's upcoming games against USC, Wake Forest and Stanford will go a long way to establish that.
Michigan State must perform well against No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 13 Nebraska, while Michigan has Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio State still left on their schedule. Of the three, Notre Dame has the most to gain from their high-profile matchups.
With the balance Notre Dame exhibits (36th-ranked offense, 30th-ranked defense), they could be the best team to emerge from this impressive pack.