Where others project ND for '12

You saw earlier this week that our Mark Schlabach projected Notre Dame as his preseason No. 23 team in his way-too-early top 25 for 2012. Some, like SI.com's Andy Staples, see things similarly for the Irish. Others are less optimistic.

Staples, who has the Irish 22nd in his early 2012 rankings and praises the defense, writes:

Essentially, coach Brian Kelly must figure out which of his signal callers will throw the ball to the other team the least. It should be an interesting competition between Tommy Rees, Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson.

The Irish did not crack CBSSports.com's early top 25, though Brett McMurphy lists them as one of 10 teams he considered that didn't make it.

Yahoo! Sports' Mike Huguenin does not rank Notre Dame, either.

USC, where the Irish will close out their 2012 regular season, is ranked second in each of the three rankings. Oklahoma, another Irish opponent in 2012, is eighth (SI), seventh (CBS) and fifth (Yahoo!).

Michigan State is as high as No. 6 (SI) and as low as No. 18 (CBS), with Yahoo! ranking the Spartans No. 13. The writers were much more consistent with Michigan, ranking the Wolverines 11th (SI), 10th (CBS) and eighth (Yahoo!).

Stanford is another wild card, as the Cardinal are ranked 20th by SI and Yahoo! but, like the Irish, are one of 10 teams receiving consideration for CBS' rankings.