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College Football Rankings: Will Notre Dame be No. 1 after Kansas State, Oregon losses?

The Fighting Irish are undefeated but do they deserve the No. 1 ranking in the nation?

Jared Wickerham

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the nation's lone undefeated team -- at least one that can qualify for post-season play given Ohio State's current standing. That likely means that Brian Kelly's team will finish at No. 1 in the new college football rankings that come out on Sunday. The question is: do they deserve it?

In a week in which Oregon fell to Stanford and Kansas State was rocked by Baylor, the top two slots are now open for business. The Alabama Crimson Tide fell just last week to Texas A&M, but that downturn will be short lived as they are likely headed back up the standings to at least the top 2. Could they perhaps pass Notre Dame?

The reason that Notre Dame's record at 11-0 could be called suspect is that they've played a weaker schedule than most with some close games that show they aren't likely the best overall team in the country. With names like Navy, Pitt, Wake Forest, Boston College and Purdue on the schedule, it's clear they aren't facing the likes of the SEC or Big 12 week after week.

Then again, the Irish are undefeated against a slate that includes Oklahoma, Stanford, Michigan and Michigan State. Next week's game against USC will provide another highly ranked contender on the schedule. It's hard to fault the Irish for that.

It will be interesting to see just how close the Crimson Tide are to the top. It will show how the voters feel about Notre Dame's chances of going all the way or whether they are the fortunate son left standing. In any case, this will be their time to shine and show they deserve it after all.