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.