The Number 23
With today's release of the Associated Press poll, both halves of the "human element" in the BCS formula have weighed in. Notre Dame will begin the season ranked 23rd, the first time in either poll since the final poll of the 2006 season (on the heals of a Sugar Bowl blowout, the Irish finished 17th). So the Irish will begin the year as Golden Tate. How low can they go - Jimmy Clausen (#7)? Manti Te'o (#5)? Darrin Walls (#2)? Or perhaps even a Deion Walker?
As for Notre Dame's opponents, only one - #4 USC - begins the year as being, in the eyes of the voters, any good. Six others - Pittsburgh, Michigan State, Boston College, Nevada, Michigan, & Navy - recorded at least one vote in one of the polls (the Wolverines and Midshipmen receiving some love only from the coaches).
Can the season really be just 14 days away?