- Matt Fortuna, ESPN Staff Writer
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Notre Dame just missed making the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll Saturday morning, marking the seventh time in the last 11 years the Irish enter the season unranked, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The school notched 83 votes, making it the first team from the outside looking in, at No. 26.
A few more votes would have meant Notre Dame's second straight preseason Top 25 appearance in the AP poll for the first time since 1998-99, according to ESPN Stats & Info. The Irish entered last season at No. 16 in the poll before finishing the 2011 campaign unranked.
Rival USC tops the poll, the first of five Notre Dame opponents to enter the season ranked. Oklahoma (4th), Michigan (8th), Michigan State (13th) and Stanford (21st) are the others.
Notre Dame was No. 24 in the USA Today preseason coaches' poll, which was released Aug. 2.
13dEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf