The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are the only Chicago region team to be ranked in the AP’s Top 25 Pre-Season rankings for the 2014 college football season.
In the rankings that were released this week, the Irish were ranked as the No. 17 team in college football.
Notre Dame’s ranking in the top 25 comes while the university is in the middle of an academic cheating scandal. News broke over the weekend that four Fighting Irish football players–DaVaris Daniels, KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, and Kendall More–are being investigated for potential academic misconduct.
Fighting Irish head coach Chip Kelly has expressed disappointment over his players being subject to the investigation but is fully supportive of the university.
“I knew coming to Notre Dame, and one of the reasons why I wanted to come here, was there are some core values as one of the preeminent Catholic institutions that you just can’t compromise on, and that’s integrity,” Kelly said. “And if you see that something is going on that’s not right — and obviously through this investigation they found this out — it’s important that it’s addressed. And so I applaud the university for doing that.-Chip Kelly, ESPN
The Fighting Irish went 9-4 during the 2013 College Football season and are looking improve upon that mark in 2014.
Quarterback Everett Golson returned to the university over the Spring and has been named the starting quarterback.
The Fighting Irish open the season on August 30 at home against Rice.