The SteveWire

COLLEGE FOOTBALL CORONAVIRUS RANKINGS: Notre Dame Hangs In At #7 Amidst Jumbled, Hybrid Covid Pandemic Rankings, Right Before Suspending Football Operations

Notre Dame Football, and college football generally, continue to get more jumbled and unpredictable. The Irish are hanging in there at #7 in the latest rankings, even as one major poll, but not the other, now features B1G/Big Ten (Big 14) teams that still do not intend to play for another month.

In one case, a currently non-playing Big Ten team is now receiving two first-place votes. Both polls feature SEC teams that do not start play until this coming weekend, with one ranked ACC team also still yet to play.

Days after the latest poll, Notre Dame suspended football operations after a small but notable outbreak of positive Covid-19 tests within the Irish roster. Their third game has been moved to mid-December. By Tuesday, out of 94 new Covid tests, seven were positive, bringing the number of players in isolation to a new total of 13, with 10 in quarantine, with additional testing and tracing planned.

It was about a century ago that the greatest all-around player to ever play the game, George Gipp, died while still a Notre Dame student, of a communicable respiratory illness.

RANKINGS AFTER NOTRE DAME'S SECOND GAME

[Notre Dame green boldface; Notre Dame opponents blue boldface; additional ACC italicized]
[Ranking, Team, First-Place Votes, Record, Poll Points]

AP

1 Clemson (59) 2-0
2 Alabama (1) 0-0
3 Oklahoma 1-0
4 Georgia 0-0
5 Florida 0-0
6 LSU (1) 0-0
7 Notre Dame 2-0
8 (tie) Auburn 0-0
8 (tie) Texas 1-0
10 Texas A&M 0-0
11 North Carolina 1-0
12 Miami (Fla.) 2-0
13 Central Florida 1-0
14 Cincinnati 1-0
15 Oklahoma State 1-0
16 Tennessee 0-0
17 Memphis 1-0
18 BYU 1-0
19 Louisiana 2-0
20 Virginia Tech 0-0
21 Pittsburgh 2-0
22 Army 2-0
23 Kentucky 0-0
24 Louisville 1-1
25 Marshall 2-0

Also receiving votes: Baylor 89, West Virginia 59, SMU 57, TCU 30, Virginia 30, Boston College 23, Arkansas State 20, Mississippi State 6, UAB 5, Texas Tech 5, Ole Miss 4, Appalachian State 3, UTSA 2, Troy 1, Coastal Carolina 1

Coaches Poll

1 Clemson (44) 2-0
2 Alabama (1) 0-0
3 (tie) Oklahoma 1-0
3 (tie) Georgia 0-0
5 LSU (1) 0-0
6 Florida 0-0
7 Notre Dame 2-0
8 Auburn 0-0
9 Texas 1-0
10 Ohio State (2)
11 Texas A&M 0-0
12 North Carolina 1-0
13 Penn State 0-0
14 Miami (Fla.) 2-0
15 Central Florida 1-0
16 Cincinnati 1-0
17 Wisconsin 0-0
18 Oklahoma State 1-0
19 Michigan 0-0
20 Memphis 1-0
21 Tennessee 0-0
22 Minnesota 0-0
23 BYU 1-0
24 Virginia Tech 0-0
25 Louisiana 2-0

Also receiving votes: Kentucky 146, Pittsburgh 140, Army 121, Baylor 57, Louisville 53, SMU 42, West Virginia 41, Marshall 40, Iowa 39, TCU 26, Virginia 24, South Carolina 22, Boston College 20, Appalachian State 12, Ole Miss 10, Mississippi State 7, Arkansas State 6, NC State 5, Nebraska 4, Georgia Tech 4, Coastal Carolina 4, Air Force 3, Louisiana Tech 2

The ACC is one of the bigger beneficiaries of the swiss-cheese season. While five ACC teams (Notre Dame plus four others) are ranked in the AP, only three are ranked in the more crowded Coaches Poll, which includes the elusive, currently abstinent Big Ten teams.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame will end up with just two games in September, both against teams that had losing records in 2019. Truthfully, neither game should have been played in the first place, given that both opposing institutions are connected with "abortion," a human rights violation so egregious it brings automatic excommunication from the Catholic Faith. Indeed, prenatal killing is opposed by multiple diverse faiths representing billions of the world's population. The ACC has multiple abortion institutions.

During the pandemic, of course, Notre Dame has expanded their ACC affiliation from their usual status, as Olympic-sport member and football partner, to full football quasi-member, including access to the ACC conference title game and the ACC slot in the Orange Bowl.

Last year, Notre Dame was the second-best team in the ACC constellation, after national title contender Clemson. Yet the Irish were shut out of the ACC's Orange Bowl slot, in favor of a barely-ranked Virginia team that Notre Dame had beaten decisively in the regular season.

At that time, the ACC had appeared to be in jeapordy of having an unranked team appear in the ACC's Orange Bowl slot. Virginia sneaking into the rankings perhaps might have invited speculation over whether the Cavaliers were given a kind of "mercy ranking" to help avoid such an embarrassment for a major conference, and a major bowl.

Key Words: Notre Dame Football, College Football, College Football Rankings, ACC, B1G, Big Ten, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Orange Bowl

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