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  1. #1
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    Jul 2007

    ND and the AP Poll

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    After beating Purdue, ND has climbed into the top 20 for the first time since the 2011 preseason, and only the third time since 2006. This is the second straight week that the Irish have found themselves in the top 25.

    For some reason (slow day) I decided to do a little legwork on ND's history with the AP Poll week-to-week, as opposed to just at the end of the year. I decided to arrange it by coach. I got tired and stopped at Frank Leahy (the poll goes a bit further back).

    The Associated Press has released a college football poll on a weekly basis during the season every year since 1936. The number of voters has varied during that time. From 1936-1961 and 1968-1988, 20 teams were ranked. From 1962-1967, only 10 teams were ranked. Since 1989, 25 teams have been ranked. Prior to 1950, the first poll was held in October. Since then, polling has started before the season.

    Frank Leahy (1941-1943, 1946-1953)
    105 polls

    -13 times UNranked (first poll of 1942, 11 times in 1950/1951, once in 1952)
    -38 times #1
    -61 times in top 3
    -48 straight weeks in top 3 from 1943-1950 ('44,'45 not included since he did not coach). This would be tied for the 2nd longest top 5 streak, behind Miami's record of 55 straight from 2000-2003.
    -38 consecutive weeks ranked #1 or #2 from 1946-1950. This is tied for the 8th longest streak of of top 5 appearances.
    -received #1 votes in at least one weekly poll every year

    Terry Brennan (1954-1958)
    60 polls

    -12 times UNranked (last 8 weeks of 1956, twice each in 1957, 1958)
    -28 straight weeks in top 20 from 1954-1956
    -2 times #1 (both 1954)
    -19 weeks in the top five - at least once each year
    -received #1 votes in at least one poll every year

    Note: As an indicator of how much things have changed since 1958, Terry Brennan was fired despite finishing in the top 20 in 4 of his 5 seasons and reaching the top 5 and receiving a #1 vote at least once per year. Can you imagine Fr. Jenkins choosing not to renew BK's contract if he finishes the next three seasons in the top 20?

    Joe Kuharich/Hugh Devore (1959-1963)
    52 polls

    -8 times ranked
    -31 straight weeks unranked from 1961-1963 (longest streakat ND until 33 from 2007-2008)
    -received #1 votes in 1959 and 1961
    -unranked for all of 1962 and 1963 - first seasons in which ND has never been ranked. This also occured in 2007, 2008, and 2010.

    Ara Parseghian (1964-1974)
    153 polls

    -only 4 times UNranked (1964 preseason, twice in 1967, once in 1969)
    -20 times #1 (11 straight in 1966-1967)
    -42 weeks in top 3
    -66 weeks in top 5
    -130 weeks in top 10 (41 straight in 1964-1967, 30 straight in 1969-1970 and 1973-1974)
    -received #1 votes every year except 1969 and 1972

    Note: Ara's undefeated 1973 team finished #1 despite not having been ranked higher than #3 in any poll DURING the season, and only above #5 once.

    Dan Devine (1975-1980)
    89 polls

    -14 times UNranked (last 4 of 1975, twice in 1976, 3 in 1978, last 5 of 1979)
    -2 times #1 (final poll of 1977, once in 1980)
    -42 weeks in top 10 (15 straight in 1980, 11 of 12 in 1978-1979)
    -17 weeks in top 5
    -received #1 votes in 1977, 1978, 1980

    Note: Like Ara's 1973 team, Devine's 1977 NC team was ranked #1 in only one poll - the final one.

    Gerry Faust (1981-1985)
    80 polls

    -29 weeks ranked (much of 1982, at least once in every season)
    -started every season in the top 20, but never finished a season that way
    -#1 for one week in 1981 (finished 5-6)
    -5 weeks in top 5, but never after the 3rd week of the season
    -11 weeks in top 10
    -received #1 votes in 1981 and 1984
    -ranked in top 20 for 8 consecutive weeks in 1982
    -unranked 14 consecutive weeks in 1985, 11 in 1981 (after being #1 in week 3)

    Lou Holtz (1986-1996)
    183 polls

    -23 weeks unranked (14 of 15 weeks in 1986, last 9 weeks of 1994)
    -26 weeks ranked #1 (19 times in 20 weeks in 1988/1989)
    -122 weeks in top 10 (50 straight and 57 of 58 from 1988-1991)
    -71 weeks in top 5 (35 straight in 1988-1990, 17 straight in 1993-1994)
    -46 weeks in top 3 (22 straight in 1988-1989)
    -ranked in top 10 at least once in every season except 1986
    -received #1 votes in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1996

    Note: Lou's teams were ranked in the AP Poll for 124 consecutive weeks from 1987-1994. At the time, this was the 5th longest such streak in history. It is still the 10th longest, having since been passed by USC (130 from 2002-2009), Colorado (143 from 1989-1997), Texas (162 from 2000-2010), Florida (209 from 1989-2001), and Florida State (211 from 1989-2001). ND was also ranked in 97 consecutive polls from 1969-1975. This is the 18th longest such streak, but in 1975 it was the 3rd longest. Nebraska holds the essentially unbreakable record of 348 straight weeks from 1981-2002. The longest active streak is Alabama, with 68 since 2008.

    Bob Davie (1997-2001)
    85 polls

    -43 times ranked (every week in 1998, 20 straight in 1998-1999)
    -3 weeks in top 10 (never ranked in the top 5)
    -never received a #1 vote
    -unranked 14 consecutive weeks in 1997 (started #11)
    -unranked 14/15 weeks during 1999/2000 (started '99 #15, finished '00 #18)

    Note: Davie's teams started 1997, 1999, 2001 in the top 20 and finished unranked. They started 2000 unranked but finished in top 20.

    Ty Willingham (2002-2004)
    51 polls

    -21 weeks ranked (19 straight in 2002-2003)
    -9 weeks in the top 10 (9 straight in 2002)
    -received a single #1 vote while 8-0 in 2002
    -unranked 21 straight weeks and 28 out of 30 in 2003/2004

    Charlie Weis (2005-2009)
    80 polls

    -36 weeks in the top 25 (31 straight in 2005/2006)
    -18 weeks in the top ten (13 straight in 2005/2006)
    -4 weeks in top 5 (late 2005, early 2006)
    -received #1 votes in first 3 weeks of 2006
    -unranked in 33 straight weeks in 2007/2008 (longest such streak in ND history)
    -never ranked during 2007 and 2008 season. This also happened in 1962, 1963, and 2010.

    Brian Kelly (2010-present)
    34 polls so far

    -5 weeks in top 25
    -no top 15 rankings - this could change with a win tomorrow
    -unranked 15 straight weeks and 25 out of 26 in 2010/2011
    -unranked for all of 2010, fifth time this has happened (1962, 1963, 2007, 2008)

    Note: BK's active streak of 2 weeks in the top 25 ties his ND record from last year. His career record is 15 straight weeks in 2009 (the last 12 of those in the top 10), although this includes a preseason NR despite being 11-3 the previous year. If you ignore that preseason poll, the streak extends to 21 going back to 2008.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    appreciate the effort here not sure what the research is telling us/uncovering
    “We GUNNA Be Beast!!"

  3. #3
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    Jul 2007
    Just found it interesting in it's own right.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NotreDameNate's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Southern Illinois
    Damn dude! Great work my man! That's some Manti Te'o effort!
    KeiVarae Russell: "When the coaches told me over the next few days in the film room that I was gonna start I was like ‘Uh Oh’.”

  5. #5
    Senior Member Guff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Melbourne, FL
    AP voter breakdown - The asswipe who covers USC has ND ranked 21 in his poll

  6. #6
    Administrator luckofirish8's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Scott Wolf was also the reporter that Lane booted for reporting on a team injury. He also picked LSU over Bama.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2007
    From #5 to #21....gotta love Notre Dame and how strongly people feel and differ about them.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by Guff View Post
    AP voter breakdown - The asswipe who covers USC has ND ranked 21 in his poll

    thats a cool site--like the way you can see by specific team how the votes came in.
    cmon hansen throw in a homer vote down near 5 or 6
    “We GUNNA Be Beast!!"

  9. #9
    Senior Member adamsfamily03's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Geneva, IL
    So apx 85% had us voted at #10 or better. I would say that it a good representation of the majority of AP voters.......
    Irish Guard - GH Division

  10. #10
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    Jul 2007
    With this weekend's win over Michigan (sucks), Kelly's Irish have moved into the AP top ten for the first time (he was in the top ten several times at Cincinnati). This is the first time ND has been in the top ten since 2006, and it continues a pretty amazing streak: since the AP poll was established in 1936, EVERY ND coach has been ranked in the top ten at least once during his tenure. I don't know if any other team can say that and don't care to try to find out. Kelly was the slowest to get his first top ten ranking, but with this defense, hopefully he can spend plenty of time there over the next few years.

    -Elmer Laydn was #7 in the inaugural poll in October 1936.
    -Frank Leahy opened his ND career at #8 and was in the top ten all of that year.
    -Ed McKeever was in the top ten every week in his only season at ND (1944). He is the only coach open his ND career at #1.
    -Hugh Devore spent all of 1945 in the top ten, and finished #9. He was never ranked in 1963.
    -Terry Brennan was in the top ten for most of his first two seasons.
    -Joe Kuharich reached the top ten 3 weeks into his first season but finished 5-5.
    -Ara started his first season (1964) unranked, but cracked the top ten the following week and stayed there until mid-1967.
    -Dan Devine was in the top ten for his first five weeks at ND (and plenty of times after that).
    -Gerry Faust was in the top ten in each of his first three weeks (and every year from 1981-1984, but never finished in top 20).
    -Lou Holtz reached the top ten 2 weeks into 1987. More about this below.
    -Bob Davie reached the top ten in the second week of 1998.
    -Ty spent much of his first season in the top ten.
    -Charlie was in the top ten a lot in his first two seasons.

    Kelly is the 14th ND coach since 1936 (not including George O'Leary) He is the third to NOT have a team ranking in the top ten during his first season. The other two were Lou Holtz and Bob Davie.

    Davie was #11 in the preseason of 1997, but started 1-4 and wasn't ranked anymore that year. He only spend a total of 4 weeks with a ranking of #10 or higher, 3 of those in 1998.

    Lou's 1986 team started 1-4 and was only ranked once (#20 after LOSING the opening game to Michigan (sucks)). His 1987 team is a template for what could have been in 2011. They started at #18 and reached #9 after a 2-0 start and were in the top ten for about half the year. They were as high as #7 after an 8-1 start, but lost their last 3 games, including the Cotton Bowl, to finish #17. In 1988 they started #13 and moved to #8 after beating Michigan (sucks) in the opener. That #8 ranking would be the worst Lou's Irish would receive until 1991. They were ranked in the top ten for each of the next 50 weeks, and 57 of the next 58. They would also rank in the top ten for most of 1992 and 1993 (the last time ND was #1) and the first half of 1994. After his first season, when he was 5-6, Lou's teams spent a minimum of 7 weeks in the top ten each year.

    Which one will Kelly more closely resemble? I don't know the answer to that, but I DON'T have the strong suspicion that things are headed downhill. This ND team may not be one of the 10 best in the country, but they have a scary defense that can keep them in the game against just about anyone. They have great young players and recruiting seems to be rolling. The offense needs a lot of work, but somehow that seems easier to fix than defense. I probably would have said all the same things in 2002 before the wheels fell off, though. I guess we'll just have to wait and see and enjoy the ride.

    Welcome back to the top ten, Irish. It's good to have you home.

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