Notre Dame fans are sure to be happy with one certain AP Poll voter. The rest of the country will shake its head in bewilderment, but Fighting Irish fans are sure to love what they’re hearing from Mitch Vingle of the Charleston-Gazette-Mail.
Vingle, an AP Voter who apparently takes his votes very seriously, feels that Alabama and Ohio State are the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the land respectively, and that makes plenty of sense. The Tide was last season’s national championship runner-up and Nick Saban seems to win another one every other year. Ohio State, led by Urban Meyer, is expected to be very good in 2017 and the Buckeyes are always a contender thanks to Meyer’s ability to recruit and the popularity of the school.
Notre Dame is a popular and well-known school as well, so in a vacuum, it makes sense to check the Fighting Irish in at No. 3 in the AP. But then one remembers that Brian Kelly’s squad went 4-8 last season despite having a talented bunch, and for all intents and purposes, Kelly is on a very hot seat in South Bend. In fact, in may be in Notre Dame’s best interest to part ways with him sooner rather than later.
All of that makes Vingle’s pick surprising. The Fighting Irish may very well be good in 2017, but one of the top three teams in the nation? That seems like a stretch.
Still, Vingle defended his pick on his blog, writing:
As you guys know, I take my vote seriously. I don’t just copy preseason mags, I research. I try to find the teams with the most talent. I vote those teams. And if, say, my No. 3, Notre Dame, fails to perform, so be it. But the Irish have a lot of talent to start.
You can see the rest of Vingle’s Top 25 on his blog, but a few other notable head-scratchers include N.C. State checking in at No. 21 and West Virginia coming in at No. 18 overall.
(H/T The Spun)