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Notre Dame football ranked No. 17 in AP preseason poll

AP Top 25

Record Pts. Pv.

1. Florida St. (57) 14-0 1,496 1

2. Alabama (1) 11-2 1,361 7

3. Oregon (1) 11-2 1,334 9

4. Oklahoma (1) 11-2 1,324 6

5. Ohio St. 12-2 1,207 12

6. Auburn 12-2 1,198 2

7. UCLA 10-3 1,106 16

8. Michigan St. 13-1 1,080 3

9. S. Carolina 11-2 1,015 4

10. Baylor 11-2 966 13

11. Stanford 11-3 885 11

12. Georgia 8-5 843 NR

13. LSU 10-3 776 14

14. Wisconsin 9-4 637 22

15. USC 10-4 626 19

16. Clemson 11-2 536 8

17. Notre Dame 9-4 445 21

18. Mississippi 8-5 424 NR

19. Arizona St. 10-4 357 20

20. Kansas St. 8-5 242 NR

21. Texas A&M 9-4 238 18

22. Nebraska 9-4 226 NR

23. N. Carolina 7-6 194 NR

24. Missouri 12-2 134 5

25. Washington 9-4 130 25

Others receiving votes: UCF 94, Florida 87, Texas 86, Duke 71, Iowa 68, Louisville 48, Marshall 41, Oklahoma St. 37, Virginia Tech 26, TCU 23, Mississippi St. 22, Michigan 19, Texas Tech 19, Miami 16, Cincinnati 15, Boise St. 10, Oregon St. 10, BYU 8, Northwestern 8, Penn St. 5, Navy 2, Vanderbilt 2, Louisiana 1, Nevada 1, Utah St. 1.

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Updated: September 19, 2014 6:23AM



There’s no asterisk next to Notre Dame’s name in the Associated Press’ preseason football poll.

Perhaps there should be.

The Irish landed at No. 17
in the poll, which was
released Sunday. But votes were due in before the
announcement Friday that four Irish players, including three starters, were
being held out of practices and games until the completion of an investigation into academic fraud.

Notre Dame is looking into suspected academic dishonesty on the part of several students, including receiver DaVaris Daniels, cornerback KeiVarae Russell, defensive lineman Ishaq Williams and linebacker Kendall Moore.

‘‘As players, you don’t replace KeiVarae Russell,’’ coach Brian Kelly said Saturday. ‘‘He’s one of the best corners we have had here in quite some time. But we’ll find a way. We’ll rally, and now that means a next man in gets an opportunity. Cole Luke [and] Devin Butler are going to have to step into that role. And we’re going to have to get them up to speed quickly. But you don’t replace a guy like [Russell].’’

Luke and Butler are sophomores. Luke had 15 tackles and broke up two passes last season; Butler had five
tackles.

Daniels’ absence makes Chris Brown (15 catches) the Irish’s top returning receiver in terms of receptions. William Fuller, Corey Robinson and C.J. Prosise also will be among the targets for quarterback Everett Golson.

‘‘Daniels certainly has had his moments here,’’ Kelly said. ‘‘But we think we’ve got some depth at wide receiver.’’

Isaac Rochell and Andrew Trumbetti got some work in with the first-team defensive line at practice Saturday. They are the top candidates to replace Williams.

And Notre Dame’s challenges don’t end with trying
to find substitutes for the starters. The Irish’s schedule features five teams ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 1 Florida State. Notre Dame will visit the Seminoles on Oct. 18.

The Irish also will face
No. 11 Stanford (Oct. 4) and No. 23 North Carolina (Oct. 11)
at home and No. 19 Arizona State (Nov. 8) and No. 15 USC (Nov. 29) on the road.

The preseason poll won’t be a factor in determining the teams for the inaugural College Football Playoff.

Email: lpope@post-trib.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



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