Eye in the Sky: September

A look at the top 10 players and honorable mention choices for each game this season per Irisheyes.com's film reviews. First in the series: a September quartet of contests in which Manti Te'o and Stephon Tuitt dominated the action en route to 4-0.

The final Irisheyes.com Top 10 won't be cemented until after the BCS Championship game (that should probably weigh heavily on some choices, don't you think?). But with three months and 12 wins already in the books, its time to examine the standings -- and process for choosing the Top 10 -- to date.

First, a look back at September with our Top 10 players for each game as well as honorable mention selections when applicable:

Notre Dame 50 Navy 10

Plenty to choose from in a dominant opening effort, but as always, the Eye in the Sky never lies. Our film review showed the following Top 10:

Stephon Tuitt (MVP), Theo Riddick (Offensive MVP), Manti Te'o, Ishaq Williams, George Atkinson, Zack Martin, Chris Watt, Tyler Eifert, Christian Lombard, and Mike Golic, Jr.

Honorable Mention: Prince Shembo, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Louis Nix, T.J. Jones, Ben Koyack.

Also of note were Troy Niklas, Cam McDaniel, Matthias Farley (at linebacker) and Braxston Cave

Notre Dame 20 Purdue 17

Far different circumstances and nowhere near as many standouts in this, the one that nearly got away:

Top 10: Everett Golson (MVP), Tuitt and Nix (Def. MVPS), Shembo. Te'o, Zeke Motta, Riddick, Eifert, Bennett Jackson and Sheldon Day.

Honorable Mention: Tommy Rees, Kyle Brindza, Tony Springmann, DaVaris Daniels, and Robby Toma.

Notre Dame 20 Michigan State 3

Notre Dame's first of six nationally relevant victories was its second most- surprising (without the aid of hindsight) -- and a coming of age for a redshirt-freshman quarterback.

Top 10: Te'o (MVP), Shembo, Golson (Off MVP), T.J. Jones, Toma, Wood, Nix, Tuitt, Motta, and Zack Martin

Honorable Mention: Elijah Shumate, the cornerback quartet of Jackson, Keivarae Russell, Jalen Brown, and Josh Atkinson, John Goodman.

Notre Dame 13 Michigan 6

The win that made Irish fans believe 2012 could be a special season, though 12-0 remained a pipe dream as Notre Dame headed to its bye week following its fourth win in as many contests and first undefeated September since 2002:

Top 10: Te'o (MVP), Tuitt, Danny Spond, Motta, Jackson, Nix, Shembo, Riddick (Offensive MVP), Lewis-Moore, Farley

Honorable Mention: Eifert, Rees, Brindza
Debut of Note: Nicky Baratti

Top 10 Irish through September

They all count when you're 12-0. Our top 10 in the season's opening month is thus nearly as important as the final tally at season's end:

  1. Manti Te'o
  2. Stephon Tuitt
  3. Louis Nix
  4. Prince Shembo
  5. Zeke Motta
  6. Theo Riddick
  7. Tyler Eifert
  8. Bennett Jackson
  9. Kapron Lewis-Moore
  10. Everett Golson

Just Missed: TJ Jones, Kyle Brindza, Sheldon Day...

(Part II and a look back at a 4-0 October will be published Friday afternoon…)

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