Where does Notre Dame football land in the early 2021 rankings

Notre Dame football has to replace Ian Book in 2021. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

The Notre Dame football team is coming off another ten-or-more win season, as they navigated the pandemic by going 10-0 in the regular season. While the season ended with back-to-back losses in the ACC title game and the Rose Bowl, it does not diminish the fact that this was one of the four best teams in the country this season.

Led by a three-year starter in Ian Book, the Irish had a magical run this past season, including a double-overtime victory against the then-No. 1 Clemson Tigers. Next season, the Irish will have to replace Book, who has declared for the NFL Draft despite the fact he could have come back for one more go-around due to the COVID rules.

In his place, Brian Kelly could go several different ways, including a transfer in Jack Coan, a true freshman in Tyler Buchner, or holdovers like Brendon Clark and Drew Pyne. Whoever is chosen, they have some big shoes to fill, as Book has led this program to the CFP in two of the last three seasons.

Based on the early rankings, the media does not believe that is going to happen.

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