Sports Illustrated ranks Notre Dame No. 8

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With preseason rankings slowly trickling out, Sports Illustrated released their Top 25 today and have Notre Dame ranked No. 8 in the country. Here is the rest of the top ten:

1. Alabama
2. Stanford
3. Texas A&M
4. Ohio State
5. Oregon
6. South Carolina
7. Louisville
8. Notre Dame
9. Florida
10. Clemson

That the Irish are three notches ahead of where they sit in the USA Today Coaches poll shouldn’t be all that surprising. One thing that did raise a few eyebrows is the ranking of Stanford, who are No. 2. Also of note, Michigan State, who wasn’t ranked in the Coaches Poll, checks in at No. 15, Michigan is No. 18, and Oklahoma 19. USC, who was No. 24 in the Coaches Poll, isn’t ranked.

While the entire breakdown is worth a read, SI singled out Amir Carlisle as the potential breakout player and Max Redfield as a freshman to watch. Defensive tackle Louis Nix is the team’s X Factor, with SI calling Nix’s performance against Alabama arguably the best of his season.