Despite not playing, Irish 'leap' into Top 25

Well I guess all it took was for the Irish football team not to play a game for them to get into the top 25.

After a bizarre first half of a season that has resulted in four straight down-to-the wire finishes, it probably is fitting.

Notre Dame was on the bye on Saturday, but found themselves ranked 25th in the country in both the AP and coaches polls on Sunday.

In the Associated Press poll, the Irish leaped 8 spots. Following last week's overtime win over Washington, the Irish headed into the bye at 4-1, but were still sitting in 33rd in rankings.

Notre Dame was 18th in the rankings followings its week one win over Nevada, but dropped out of the top 25 following a heartbreaking last second loss at Michigan in week two.

After just edging Michigan State at Notre Dame Stadium in week 3, the Irish lost more votes.

Then Notre Dame went on the road, and scored on a touchdown with 24 seconds left to beat Purdue. Again, the Irish lost votes.

Notre Dame was receiving just nine votes in the AP poll following a win over Washington last Saturday.

Now, without playing, the Irish have 75 votes in the AP poll (good for the 25th spot) after a numbe of losses Saturday to teams that were ranked ahead of Notre Dame.

The 25th ranked Irish will host USC Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. The Trojans are ranked 6th by the AP and 5th by the coaches poll.

Kickoff is 3:30 on Saturday, with Countdown to Kickoff getting you started at 2:30 here on channel 16.

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