ND a “Consensus” Pre-season #12

Stassen recently posted a summary of the preseason rankings, and ND comes in at #12.

Stanford is the highest ranked ND opponent, coming in at 8. Ohio State, despite The End Times, is ranked 11, but many of these predictions were before ShitHitTheFanGate. Michigan State comes in at 20, which actually feels a bit low to me (I’d put them 15ish), and USC’s second-meaningless-season-in-a-row starts off ranked 22. No other ND opponents cracked the Top 25, though USF came in at #34 in the Others. That USF game is going to be tough, mark my words. We should handle them, but they will come in Fired. Up.

Most interesting to me is that Texas actually fell outside of the Top 25. Weird.

I think ND might be slightly high at 12 given the uncertainty on offense regarding Floyd, the QB conundrum, and depth concerns at RB. Pre-season I’d probably put us in the mid-teens though, so I don’t think it’s way off. Regardless, ND is well-positioned to make a run at a BCS Bowl/MNC if we’re able to put together a really solid season.

Go Arsh.

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  • E-Man

    Reading my mind!
    I can’t describe how disproportionally anxious I am about that USF game compared to other ND fans around me. Probably the most pessismistic is “eh, it’ll be tough for a quarter”. I’m getting flashbacks of San Jose St.

    So Texas falls on their face one year, and drops off the face of the earth in rankings? Fickle people, these newswriters.

    Without being asked to name 20 better teams, I think ND is more 20-something than high teens even. I think MSU is fair, Stanford a bit too low, USC a bit too high.

    DTK would be proud of me…. expecting big things out of Michigan this year. The Michigan-ND game should be fun.

    • Trey

      This season will be defined by the ‘bookend’ gms. USF and Stan both worry me.

    • TLNDMA

      Do you mean San Diego St, 2008 ?

      • E-Man

        That’s who I mean. My bad.

  • CMertz

    Just saw this gallery go up on und.com


  • GB

    I don’t understand why people rank Stanford so high. harbaugh is out. Many top players are gone. They learn a somewhat new system. However, Luck is back. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

    • E-Man

      I’m thinking of whenever a coach leaves a successful program, it seems that the first year away, the team does better than expected.

      Plus the Pac-10 is going to be weaker than it’s been unless Washington and Arizona have something up their sleeves.

      • The Biscuit

        They actually bring back a large chunk of the team and the system remains very, very similar. Harbaugh also recruited well, and they have the best passing QB in the country.

  • DayBreakBoys

    ND should be in the 20-25 region. And I am EXTREMELY nervous about the USF game.

    If we drop that game, and theres a strong possibility we do…I think we’ll have a very difficult time getting thru the Skunkbears and Sparty. If we lose to USF I wouldn’t be surprised seeing us start the season 0-3.

    Thanks nothing against out players or coaches. But we’ve been handled by Michigan two years in a row by a sub-par coach. Somehow they just win. And Sparty is damn good.

    • DayBreakBoys

      Sorry for horrible typos:

      “ThaTs nothing against ouR players or coaches.”

    • tjak

      I admire your optimism. I choose to spend the summer dreaming of positive things that could be.

      • DayBreakBoys

        I tried optimism for a solid decade after Holtz left. Now I’m left with cautiousness and realism.

        • tjak

          I guess we all need to do what we need to do.

    • E-Man

      Disagree completely. Even I don’t think there’s a STRONG possibility that ND drops the USF game. It’s dangerous, and as I said before, I’m thinking back to San Jose State, but ND “won” that game as ugly of a win as it was.

      I think ND going 0-3 to start next year will leave me in a worse wreck than 2007. And that’s saying something. Buy stock in Jim Beam if that’s the case.

      I wouldn’t call the last two years of ND-Michigan a “handling” of ND by Michigan. Two years ago ND lost their best WR halfway through the game, Allen got dinged up, and there were a number of miscues which if one did not happen, I believe ND wins that game. Last year it took a record-setting performance by Robinson to keep Michigan in a game where ND only had their experienced, starting QB in for a half, plus gave up three INTs. Even then Michigan had to score on their final drive. Good wins by them, no doubt, but they didn’t “handle” ND.

      • tjak

        Thank you for the rationality of E-Man. We were never handled by Michigan. I believe the score was 21/24-7 with Crist in the game last year.

  • miked

    I think everyone is under estimating this years
    D, the front seven is NFL sized…. Ethon and KLM both will play at 300, and Nix starts at 340. Lb’s are playing at 6’2 250 or bigger, plus lots of depth.

    • E-Man

      And not to ratchet the hype machine up further, but being able to bring in a Lynch or Ishaq on 3rd-and-13, where you just know they’re coming, but try and stop them? Wow.

      Have we ever seen a team kneel on the ball in a non-running-out-the-clock situation?

  • farwest

    I’m down here in Austin and there are good reasons Texas unranked. The last half of 2010 season they were in total disarray. QB play so dreadful they may end up starting Colt McCoy’s untested sophmore brother in 2011. Offensive line was mediocre and running backs worse……….They got a lot to prove in 2011…………….

    • Trey

      Im in San Antonio & hear the same thing. Aggies will be a major BXIII threat this yr

  • BruceB

    I think we’re making too much of both the QB situation and the RB situation. Both QBs have demonstrated an ability to run the team and I’d be comfortable with either. Personally, I think Crist is going to have a breakout season. Plus, both Hendrix and the new kid seem to have good potential, too. Kelly knows how to get the most out of his QBs.
    We have two competent RBs – if they can both manage to average around 5 yds/carry, that will be plenty to keep defenses honest, and with the improved OL, that should be doable. The improved blocking should help keep down injuries, too. I don’t think a top ten finish is at all out of the question. Remember, this team was only three plays away from being 10-2 last season.

  • Mouth

    Guys, the Crimson Tide USF ain’t. They’re a tough week one matchup, but remember thy we’re a tougher week one matchup for them. Our D will be stout and they’ve struggled mightily in trying to move the ball. We have more than our fair share of fast-twitch athletes. We should expect that our O will take a significant step up. Let’s not get our panties in too much of a bunch, ladies. We need to expect this team to start playing like the national power we want it to be.

  • Sadwarrior

    All this handwringing!? Get over it fellas. The Irish are back and it’s going to be payback city big time. Have more confidence instead of that nanny attitude. USF has plenty to be scared about facing the Irish.

  • kyndfan

    LNIII Frequently donates blood to the redcross. Just never his own.
    LNIII does not worry about changing his clock twice a year for daylight savings. The sun rises and sets when LNIII tells it to.

  • Whiskeyjack

    USF returns only 4 of 11 starters on offense in 2011. They were ranked 105th in the nation last year in Total Offense.

    There is no way they hang enough points on our defense to beat us, on the road, in their first game of the year.

  • INNDFan

    Although I think ND has improved immensely over the past year, not so sure they should be ranked #12. They are definitely a top 25 team, but still have some question marks on defense and difficulty with consistency on offense. If they play like they did the final four game of the 2010 season this will be on dangerous team. I’m really excited to the much improved defensive line take control of scrimmage. As a lifelong ND fan, control of the line of scrimmage hasn’t happened since Holtz’ prime. But overall, very impressed with Kelly and staff so far!

  • terry

    The team has a year under Kelly’s system.
    With all the injuries last year we built a lot of depth.
    We have a fine recruiting class coming in especially on D.
    In Kelly’s 2nd year his teams tend to improve dramatically.
    We have a fine fight going on to start at QB, and I’m sure there are others at other positions.
    If Michael Floyd has brain one, and I think he has, he will get his poop in a pile and KEEP it there for the chance to get out on the field with the guys on this team.
    Whether Floyd plays or not USF will NOT look back on Saturday September 3, 2011 with and nostalgia at all.