Winner: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (No. 12 up to No. 8)
Every year we hear about Notre Dame being “overrated” in the polls. The Fighting Irish began the season ranked No. 12 in the preseason AP Top 25 and even though they had a successful 2017 campaign, fans were quick to dub them one of the most over-valued teams in the land.
Opening with a tough Michigan team that boasted one of the nation’s stingiest defenses from a season ago and returned almost every starter, Notre Dame had an early shot to silence the doubters and nay-sayers.
And that they did.
The Fighting Irish handled Michigan from start to finish, jumping out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter and maintaining the advantage the game. The Irish led the entire game and Michigan wasn’t able to get anything going offensively as Notre Dame’s pass rush sent the much-hyped Shea Patterson running for his life.
Notre Dame’s defense looked improved for a second straight year, even though it lost Mike Elko as the coordinator, and Brandon Wimbush had a strong, accurate first half, making good decisions.
The Fighting Irish look like contenders after Week 1.