Irish debut at No. 24 in coaches' poll
Five of the Irish's 2012 opponents appear in the poll ahead of them, led by No. 3 USC and No. 4 Oklahoma. Michigan checks in at No. 8, followed by Michigan State (13th) and Stanford (18th).
Brian Kelly is one of the 59 head coaches who is listed as having a vote in the poll. Seven head coaches who will play Notre Dame this season are also listed as having a vote: Lane Kiffin (USC), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Brady Hoke (Michigan), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Al Golden (Miami), Bronco Mendenhall (BYU) and Jim Grobe (Wake Forest).
Since 2002, Notre Dame has appeared in the preseason USA Today coaches' poll five times -- 2003 (18th), 2006 (3rd), 2009 (23rd), 2011 (18th) and 2012 (24th). It has appeared in the final poll three times — 2002 (17th), 2005 (11th) and 2006 (19th).
LSU is No. 1 in this year's preseason poll, edging out No. 2 Alabama and the No. 3 Trojans. The Crimson Tide actually had the most first-place votes -- 20 to the Tigers' 18 and the Trojans' 19 -- but LSU had the most points (1,403).
Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, USC Trojans, Stanford Cardinal, Oklahoma Sooners, Miami (FL) Hurricanes, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Brian Kelly, Mark Dantonio, Brady Hoke, Lane Kiffin, 20120802 coaches poll, Al Golden, Bob Stoops, Bronco Mendenhall, BYU Cougars, Jim Grobe
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Powers is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997. He joined ESPNChicago in May 2009 and lives in Chicago.
Rittenberg joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges. He lives in Chicago and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Bennett joined ESPN.com in August 2008 after nine years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he covered college sports and the University of Louisville beat. He lives in Louisville and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate. Fortuna's Notre Dame blog is here.
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