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Irish open at No. 16 in AP poll

Notre Dame’s impressive finish to last season landed the team in The Associated Press preseason Top 25.

The Irish are ranked 16th in the AP poll, which was revealed Saturday morning. They are the highest ranked team in the preseason poll that didn’t finish in the Top 25 last year.

Notre Dame’s spot in the poll is the highest for the program since it was No. 11 in the Dec. 3, 2006, poll. It is also the first time the Irish are in the Top 25 since the 10th week of the 2009 season when they were No. 19.

The last time Notre Dame opened the season ranked in the Top 25 was 2009 when it was No. 23. The Irish went 6-6 that season, and Charlie Weis was removed from the head coaching job at the end of the season ushering in the Brian Kelly era.

Notre Dame’s spot in the AP poll is two spots higher than where the Irish were placed in the USA Today coaches preseason poll. Notre Dame is No. 18 in the coaches poll, which was released Aug. 4.

Notre Dame closed last season on a four-game winning streak, its longest streak to finish a season since 1992.