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Beating The Odds

Nov 27, 2012, 4:15 PM EST

When the season began on Sept. 1, Notre Dame wasn’t even ranked in the Associated Press poll. Yet today, less than three months later, the Fighting Irish are the #1 football team in the country. Presumptively, there’s a spot waiting for them in the national title game on Jan. 7 in Miami.

Notre Dame’s ascent to the top of the rankings is one of this year’s feel-good college football stories. In his Ken Burns-esque essay today, ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski says a standing ovation is in order.

While you’re at it, check out Gregg Easterbrook’s article on why Notre Dame should be celebrated.

Easterbrook writes:

In recent years, Stanford has been close to the top for combination of poll rankings and graduation rates, showing that low standards are not needed to win football games. But Notre Dame is first to be a double No. 1, on the field and in the classroom. Hearty congratulations are due to coach Brian Kelly, Notre Dame president John Jenkins, and the Fighting Irish team.

Click here to read the rest of the article.