The University of Notre Dame ranks first in both the current Bowl Championship Series standings and the current NCAA Graduate Success Rate figures for football (released last month) — and that’s the first time in the history of the BCS and the GSR that any team has ranked atop both sets of standings.
“I took the Notre Dame job wanting to have an opportunity to play for a national championship and have high graduation rates,” says Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly. “I think this year we are in a position to validate that, with the number-one rankings right now in football and graduation — that you can do both, and they don't have to be mutually exclusive in college football. I have not seen anything here in my time that will not allow us to continue to have the highest graduation rates and compete for national championships.”
This season’s double so far is similar to the 1988 season when Notre Dame finished 12-0 and won the national championship in football on a unanimous basis — and the Irish also won the Academic Achievement Award that year from the College Football Association with a perfect 100 percent graduation rate for the Irish football squad. Notre Dame also won the CFA award in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1991 and 2001 (it was first presented in 1981). The American Football Coaches Association took over presentation of the award beginning in 1997.
The NCAA began announcing graduation rates in 1992 based on federal graduation figures — with Notre Dame first ranking number one in football for the three combined entering classes for 1983-84-85.
The NCAA began issuing GSR numbers in 2005 based on a combined four years of entering classes for student-athletes. Notre Dame football ranked number one each of the last four years — in 2012 (97 rate for classes 2002 through 2005), 2011 (97 for 2001 through 2004), 2010 (96 for 2000 through 2003) and 2009 (96 for 1999 through 2002).
The University has football student-athlete records back to the 1962 entering class — and since then 98 percent of Notre Dame football players who entered on scholarship and remained enrolled for at least four years have received their degrees.
Notre Dame also has two current players already selected as 2012 first-team Academic All-District V selections by Capital One and CoSIDA (College Sports Information Director of America). Irish senior linebacker Manti Te’o (3.324 grade-point average as design major in College of Arts and Letters) and senior offensive guard Mike Golic Jr. (he graduated last May with a 3.429 GPA as a film, television and theatre major in the College of Arts and Letters—he’s currently in graduate studies) both currently are on the national Academic All-America ballot (the national team will be announced Dec. 6).
Notre Dame has produced 32 first-team Academic All-Americans, including two-time selections Tom Gatewood, Greg Marx, Joe Restic, Greg Dingens and Tim Ruddy and three-time honoree Joe Heap. In addition, Irish players have been second-team selections on 14 other occasions. Only Nebraska has produced more football Academic All-Americans among Football Bowl Subdivision institutions.
Notre Dame football also has produced:
Sheldon Dutes ’07 has found a home in front of the camera on WNBC in New York City.
View All Alumni Stories
Excellence in Teaching Conference features a weekend of creative innovation, Notre Dame inspiration, and hands-on skills building to help educators ignite student learning. Register
Hesburgh Lecture Series brings Notre Dame faculty into your club community for continuing learning and intellectual dialogue.
Find upcoming events
Learn from and engage with Notre Dame experts on a wide variety of topics, meet interesting alums, give your career a boost, and more with our online learning series. Find event
Thu, August 21, 2014 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM
Spend 30 minutes with former NCAA champion, Olympic gold medalist, and WNBA champion Ruth Riley '01 as she looks back on her career in basketball and discusses post-retirement plans. Read More
View All Online Learning
Random Acts of Kindness By Molly Butler '06 Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor ...
Find service opportunities in your community
Learn how to manage a service project
Notre Dame clubs committed to community service. Alumni, parents, and friends of the University have the opportunity to participate in this tradition of service through their local Notre Dame clubs.
Read Today's Prayer
Online prayer cards from FaithND
Pray the Gospel daily through email
A Melodious Life By Patrick Manning ‘07, ‘09M.Ed., ‘11M.T.S. Maybe this is why music is such a wonderful thing. When we sing and dance and play music, we pour out ourselves with an abandon ...
See today’s Saint of the Day
View All Saints
Alumni weigh in on which Dining Hall rules.
North | South
Notre Dame Clubs by the Numbers
Think you know your ND facts? Guess along with this video montage from Reunion 2014.
View All Posts
View All Trips
October 21, 2014 to October 29, 2014
Discover incredible ancient wonders on this Greek Isles odyssey from Istanbul to Athens while …
November 5, 2014 to November 10, 2014
Each October and November, hundreds of polar bears descend upon the small seaport of Churchill.
November 7, 2014 to November 15, 2014
Discover some culturally-rich pearls of the Mediterranean, as you cruise from Monaco to Spain …
Your generosity makes the dream of a Notre Dame education possible for many - and extraordinary for all. You can select how to help fulfill critical University priorities.
Make A Gift
For more than 35 years, the Sorin Society has made a difference for Notre Dame.
The Sorin Society continues to fulfill Father Sorin’s bold vision that a humble log chapel would grow into a powerful force for good.