To celebrate its 80th year of existence, the Associated Press released its rankings of the Top 100 college football programs all-time. Notre Dame Football landed third on the media company’s list.
Obviously, the Associated Press used a specific formula to base their rankings off of. To create this list, the AP used this point scale:
- AP Poll Appearances = one point each
- AP No. 1 Rankings = two points each
- AP Championships = 10 points each
The Fighting Irish have accomplished all three of these things a lot in the 80-year existence of the Associated Press. As a result, the football program was ranked high on the AP’s list.
Obviously, Notre Dame is one of the most history programs in college football and are considered “blue bloods” of the sport. The AP detailed the Fighting Irish’s accomplishments when they released their rankings
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Notre Dame: 1,042 total points
- Total Appearances: 766, 69.45% of all polls
- First Appearance: 1936
- No.1 Rankings: 98
- Championships: Eight (last 1988)
- Best Full Decade 1940s appeared in 96.59% of polls.
- Worst Full Decade 2000s appeared in 45.18% of polls.
- Poll Point: Notre Dame was ranked at least once every season from the first poll in 1936 through 1961.
The Fighting Irish finished behind Ohio State Buckeyes, who finished first with 1,112 points, and the Oklahoma Sooners, who finished second with 1,055 points.
Notre Dame’s ranking is completely dependent on their history. The Fighting Irish have a very rich football history.
The football program won all eight of its national championships before the 1990s. Hall of Fame coaches Lou Holtz, Ara Parseghian and Frank Leahy were key contributors to the program’s splendid history.
Recent history has not been very kind to the Fighting Irish. As shown in the rankings, Notre Dame struggled in the 2000s due to the coaching deficiencies of Tyrone Willingham and Charlie Weis. Together, the two coaches combined for a 56-42 record from 2002-2009.
Fortunately, for the school, current Brian Kelly is slowly turning the program back around. Since Kelly took over in 2010, Notre Dame has a 55-23 record. Kelly’s tenure also includes an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game in the 2012 season.
Despite their poor decade in the 2000s, it is not a surprise to see the Fighting Irish high in the AP’s rankings. The program has been one of the most relevant programs in college sports history, and the AP’s rankings support this claim.