The beginning of the Marcus Freeman era is already bringing on high expectations.

Notre Dame is at No. 6 in ESPN’s way-too-early top 25 for next season.

The Fighting Irish are coming off their fifth straight 10-win season, which is a program record. They finished No. 8 in the final AP Top 25 poll for the 2021 campaign.

Notre Dame returns several key members of its 2021 team, including tight end Michael Mayer and defensive end Isaiah Foskey. The Fighting Irish have also already added former All-American safety Brandon Joseph to their secondary for next season.

Quarterback will be a major topic of discussion going into next season. Jack Coan is moving on, so backups Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne are expected to compete for the starting job. It’s unclear if Notre Dame intends to bring in a quarterback through the transfer portal.

Notre Dame also has a difficult schedule next season. It begins the year at Ohio State in Week 1 and will also play road games vs. North Carolina and USC. The Buckeyes are No. 2 on ESPN’s way-too-early top 25.

Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and Michigan round out the top five.