The Irish weren’t a unanimous choice in the coaches balloting, and they weren’t even a top 3 team in one coach’s eyes. Three voters — Middle Tennessee’s Rick Stockstill, Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin — had Alabama as the No. 1 team in the land. That much will be settled on Jan. 7 when the Crimson Tide and Irish meet for the BCS title. Apt to linger longer are ill feelings over the ballot from Vanderbilt’s Franklin, who had the unbeaten Irish fourth — behind three SEC teams. Franklin’s top 3: Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

Respect? The Notre Dame Fighting Irish aren’t getting any, but we believe they should be. For sure, they can finally silence critics with a win on January 7th. Until then we just have these five reasons as to why they deserve your respect….

Hit the jump to see the five reasons….

5.) Their Preseason Strength of Schedule Was One of the Best in the Country

I get that their strength of schedule didn’t end up being the best in the country, but it’s not like they were going into this season scheduling cupcakes. It’s not their fault some teams faltered. What would you be saying if they still had the number one schedule in the country? The fact that they were in the top 25 shouldn’t hurt them.

4.) They Have the Deserved Heisman Trophy Winner

I’m not being sentimental when I say this, but Manti Te’o deserves the same respect that Johnny Manziel is getting. Both players have had the single biggest impact on their respective teams. The difference – Te’o's is #1 in the country. He won’t win, but he should.

3.) The Beat the Winner of the Pac-12 and Runner-Up in the Big 12

And if Texas handled their business vs. Kansas State they would have beaten the winner of the Big 12. What more can you ask? They beat Alabama they beat the winner of the SEC. That’s pretty ridiculous.


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