Don’t believe the hype.Â Don’t-don’t-don’t believe the hype.
But listen to Flav-o-flav.Â
We here at HLS, and all you ND fans out there, hear it all the time from the haters.Â “ND is overrated.”Â “TV hypes ND up, they don’t deserve to be in the Top 20.”Â “Blah blah blah whine whine whine”, etc. etc. ad infinitum.Â It’s freaking exhausting, especially when, if anything, ND is held up to a higher standard and gets penalized in the rankings because of it.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach (well, his interns more likely) did a nice solid analysis comparing pre-season polls to end-of-season results, to see which teams are truly overrated and which are underrated.Â ND didn’t make the Top 10, and in fact there was evidence that shows that ND is often underrated.Â Â Can you freaking believe it?Â And this from ESPN, who perpetually trashes and downlplays the Irish in all ways humanly possible (while raking in ratings/dollarsÂ from coverage, interviews, etc. of ND players, games and culture).
The Top 10 Most Overrated Programs of the past decade?Â Here they are:
- Ohio State/Nebraska (Tied)
- Nebraska/Ohio State (Tied)
LOVE seeing Michigan, Florida Miami and FSU on that list, and high up there.Â While UF and Michigan have been quality recently (e.g. last season), they don’t live up to expectations or their own hype on a regular basis.Â In the near future, NO FAN FROM ANY OF THESE SCHOOLS HAS THE RIGHT TO SAY ND IS OVERRATED.Â Â This is a new rule.Â Punishment?Â The Ann Arbor Sooth.Â If you don’t know what that is, good for you.Â
ND didn’t make this list obviously, because of 3 years where the Irish went from unranked in the preseason to finishing ranked.Â As Schlabach mentions:
Notre Dame, which long ago earned the reputation of being overhyped, wasn’t among the top 10 overrated teams during the last 10 years. In fact, 2003 co-champion LSU [was]Â more overrated than the Fighting Irish in that time span. Although Notre Dame has failed to live up to lofty preseason rankings five times in the last 10 years, it also rose from unranked to ranked three times, finishing No. 15 in 2000, No. 17 in 2002 and No. 9 in 2005.
And if the haters start dropping the ‘but they don’t deserve their bowl games’ argument, just walk away.Â They don’t get that bowls have nothing to do with ‘deserving’ and everything to do with ‘making money’.Â If ND meets the criteria for BCS inclusion, they deserve it as much as anyone else.Â If they meet bowl qualification standards in general with a 6 win season, they deserve to be there.Â And they will, because the bowls are profit-making machines, and ND guarantees that profit.Â Upset about the fact that no one outside of Columbus cares about OSU?Â NOT OUR PROBLEM.
This kind ofÂ analysis is rare, but great – clears things up a bit from a fairly objective standpoint. And I like that.Â
9/1Â can’t get here fast enough.