if the shit-for-brains who're convinced that ND can no longer compete in the cutthroat world of CFB that supposedly never existed in the past have read these rankings.
are odds on favorites to beat them (#15 Miami and #24 Stanford) the remaining three on the list are toss ups (#27 Michigan State, #29 North Carolina and #42 NC St.). That ought to tell you about player development. The two immediately above them two and three spots respectively are also expected losses and may not be close games.
It seems they are doing this purely based on rankings, however we have suffered a great deal of attrition in key spots and, just like the issue we had under Weis, we have failed to fill classes in all needed areas. Still, we have more than enough player talent to beat the likes of Northwestern and Duke and Texas and Michigan State and Navy (!) and on and on.
What these rankings do tell me, though, is that while the current climate may not permit us to be in same atmosphere as Alabama or Ohio State just from a recruit access standpoint (the Reuben Foster's of the world are not coming to ND), we still, despite ResLife and the remaining academic restrictions, can attract talent. And we have done this with a head coach who is not known for his recruiting prowess--although I'm sure recruits are mesmerized by his chameleon like ability to change colors like a fat, Irish mood ring. It's equally amazing that we can still be at this level given everything and yet heartbreaking that we can't do better by young men who pass up far easier paths to be part of our community.
Roster churn is usually even higher at places like Alabama and Ohio State -
intentionally so - than it is at Notre Dame, though they usually start out with larger numbers as well. They tend to offset in the long run, and we have to have a slightly higher hit rate with our prospects.
I will say, not so much as a rebuttal but as a clarification, that our specific instances of attrition, particularly in the 2013 class, oftentimes come as a greater expense because they are higher rated players--like the Bryant's and Vanderdoes'. Alabama can afford to lose 5 stars--because they have others and because they can really coach up lower rated players (some of their biggest hits have been 3 star guys).