Notre Dame entered 2011 as the Associated Press' preseason No. 16 team, expectations high and a BCS-bowl berth in sight.
Things didn't go according to plan. But were the Irish the biggest disappointment of this past college football season?
Turns out they'll have to settle for No. 2 in that category.
CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy broke down the preseason AP poll, using it as a measuring stick to see whom the voters were right (or close to being right) about while acknowledging those they whiffed on. McMurphy listed the 48 schools that received a vote in the preseason poll and calculated the difference from where they finished in the final poll.
The numbers showed that preseason No. 8 Texas A&M, at minus-41, was the biggest disappointment of 2011, with Notre Dame right behind the Aggies at minus-33. Ohio State (minus-31), Mississippi State (minus-29) and Florida (minus-27) rounded out the top five disappointments. Those five, plus Missouri (preseason No. 21, minus-8) and Auburn (preseason No. 23, minus-4) made up the seven schools that were not ranked in the final poll after being ranked in the preseason.
Preseason unranked Baylor (plus-36) finished as the biggest surprise.
And, in a reassuring sign for sportswriters everywhere, No. 7 Stanford, No. 14 TCU and No. 19 Georgia finished in the exact same spots as their preseason rankings.