Notre Dame couldn't care less about No. 4 ranking

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The first College Football Playoff rankings for this season came out Tuesday, and Notre Dame checks in at No. 4.

But when asked about their ranking today, the Irish had no idea where they were slated.

In fact, they couldn't care less about where they are ranked right now. The whole team isn't even keeping up with the College Football Playoff rankings.

Why? Because last season, the Notre Dame football players admit they bought into the hype when they were ranked as a high as No. 3 in the poll.

The Irish say last year's hype got to their heads, and they want to make sure that doesn't happen again.

"The only really poll that matters is the last one," Irish defensive lineman Khalid Kareem said. "We can be No. 1 from the beginning until now and the last one we could be No. 5 and we're out. So the last one, that's the one that matters the most."

"I think we've got a lot of smart guys in this room," Irish wide receiver Miles Boykin said. "We have a lot of people that understand the season doesn't end today, so that ranking really doesn't mean anything. I think we have a lot of people that understand where we want to go as a team and what it's going to take for us to go as team, so we're just a focused group. We have a lot of smart players here."

The next team standing in Notre Dame's way is the Northwestern Wildcats. The Irish will travel to Evanston to put their undefeated season on the line against Northwestern on Saturday.

Kickoff is at 7:15 p.m. on ESPN.