We’re baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! The annual tradition continues. Before I get into the game by game predictions, let’s take a quick look back and see how I’ve done over the years.
In 2007, I predicted 8-4. Wow, I sucked. We know how that season turned out. We’ll move on.
In 2008, I predicted 7-5 with a chance to go 6-6 and we went 6-6. Pretty accurate in ’08. One of my best years.
In 2009, I went with a forecast of 10-2, with a 9-3 downside. FAIL. In my defense, I had no idea how little Charlie Weis really cared about defense. With even a decent D we’d have gone 8-4 that year no problem. With a good one we’d have been….nevermind. Water, Bridge, etc.
In 2010, I predicted 8-4 regular season with a downside of 7-5. Pretty much right on. I missed on the Ws and Ls by a TON, but at least I got USC right. Apparently I get better with age and experience.
I also bring the noise with DMQ’s favorite rating system of confidence. THE DANCING LEPRECHAUNS!
Hereâ€™s the Scale:
This is just as likely to be wrong as it is to be right (aka the BadKermit Effect)
Iâ€™ve got a good feeling, but am leaving myself some wiggle room
This is a lock, I am a genius, I cannot be wrong.
And….off we go!
This is a game that has a lot of Irish fans nervous. But I don’t see USF hanging with such a deep, experienced and confident Irish team. Over the past few years, ND has slowly aged up and filled the roster. We now have a team anchored by upperclassmen for the first time since 2006. 2006! And that experience is buoyed by solid younger depth. And that combination will wear out the Bulls. Skip Holtz will have them fired up and nerves will play a role in a close first quarter. But then the Irish take control.
ND Wins 21-13.
Oh boy, this game scares me. Michigan has a Coach that isn’t RichRod! And that coach is ALMOST .500 in his career! And they still have shoelaceless! Oh no!
I actually think this will be a tight game but mostly based on the emotion and the rivalry and all that. These games are just TIGHT. Michigan will be a ‘meh’ team this season, no doubt. The defense remains paper thin, and shoelaceless is learning a new system. BUT, it’s a night game, it’s a heated rivalry, and UM (who suck) give us issues every year. Even in years where we go 3-9, or where they go 3-9, these games are often in doubt. Because of this, I think this is going to be close. But I think ND’s balanced team and approach will overcome the madness of the UM O, and the weakness in the UM D.
ND Wins 28-27
Michigan State needed a last second
fluke crazy play with a lot of luck to beat us last year. They are, arguably, worse off this year. We are, inarguably, stronger, more experienced, and more talented than last year. Other than the location of the game, those are the factors that have shifted. We take this one, and it’s not so close.
ND Wins 31-14
Genac this, Pitt! Man, rough off-season for Pitt. Fire a coach that doesn’t want to leave (who stays at the school anyway), hire a guy that you then fire before he starts, then hire a dude whose claim to fame is beating ND on a last second play where ND gave the game away. Rough.
Pitt will be a decent squad this year, but ND should have them outclassed on both lines, and Pitt lost its top receiver in J. Baldwin. ND will be able to key on the run game and shut it down early, and Pitt’s air attack is nothing to fear. We handle the Genac-ers no problem.
ND Wins 26-16
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz. Wha? What? Fell aslezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry. Purdue is super boring. They also have no working ACLs. ND crushes them.
ND Wins 41 – 10
To be honest, I don’t know much about the Falcons this year. I mean, they have a Falcon. It flies around before the game and for some reason doesn’t attack and kill small children. It’s awesome. But the actual team? Well, I know that Navy beats them all the time. And I know we have handled these birds pretty well of late. Since I am only halfway through and there’s lots to do, I am leaving this as a game I call a W just because it’s Air Force and ND should be athletically dominant in this game. Not fair at all. Oh well.
ND Wins 35-10
USC is most definitely in rebuilding mode. And it will only get worse as the sanctions really take hold in the recruiting years. USC is most definitely still talented, but not moreso than last year. There is more experience at the key skill positions, and there remains a ton of athleticism. And this is probably the last game USC has a chance to take from ND in the near future. But we’re at home, and I think we have Kiffin’s number. While I do think I need to put a L in here somewhere, I can’t do it against USC this year.
ND Wins 21-20.
This year it cannot happen again. It cannot, because everyone will lose their freaking minds. ND will, again, put up points. And the D will get this figured out. Stopping Army was a step. A good one. Navy is not Army though, and ND will have fits here.
Ken Nemouandoufahfoaurhaoufgh Ricky Dobbs is gone, so that’s good. But they’ve been playing us tough for years and I am just nervous. It’s going to be close, but ND will get that streak going again…
ND Wins 23-20.
This is a fun, different, outmatched opponent. WHEEEEE! (ps – what the heck’s a Demon Deacon?)
ND Wins 34-10
Everyone seems really worried about Maryland. I’m much less so after reviewing their depth chart. That said, it’s virtually a home game for them and they will be super fired up as this will be the first time playing ND for any of these kids. ND will be dinged up from a rough, competitive season. I really don’t know that Maryland is talented enough to beat ND, but running the table is a tough task for the Irish with the schedule we have. We have to have a hiccup at some point and I think this may be it. It’s going to be a weird game, with a lot of weather, and DMQ will be there. That alone makes a L more likely.
ND Loses 17-14.
I COULD NOT FIND A PICTURE FOR BC. THIS IS TELLING.
BC is in a world of hurt. They no longer have 17 billion 5th year seniors. They have injuries at key positions, and I don’t know that they actually have a Head Coach. The leadership on this team right now is as similar to a Bob Davie hire as any in the history of CFB. Spaz is a spaz. And that’s not good. BC goes down.
ND Wins 27-13
Ah, the TREE! The singular TREE named after a BIRD! IT MAKES NO SENSE! Despite the loss of Harbaugh, Stanford will be good again this year. Luck is a solid QB and a great leader, and he returns enough talent around him to do damage. More than that, the Staff last year KNEW how to beat ND. On both sides of the ball. While I see us as being very much improved, this is a tough game at the end of a tough season, away. Stanford will compete for the Pac-12 title, and they’ll handle USC again. I think this is going to be a really tight game, but it’s one we could lose.
Stanford Wins 24-21
On the calls above, I’m looking at 10-2 here. But, note the confidence levels in the losses. For both losses, I’m not at all confident they’ll occur. Of course I’m a bit nervous about the Ws at UM and vs USC as well. Given all this I could very easily see ND going 11-1 on the upside. So I am going with 11-1 as our upside, 10-2 as likely, and 9-3 as our downside this year. BUT, we can win every game. If we get the bounces and we can stay healthy, this is a BCS team. Could be a MNC game team.
If all hell breaks loose, we dont get the bounces, we get hurt in key areas, and we slip again on a fake FG in overtime, we finish 8-4. But I dont see that as likely at all. This team is strong, confident and deep. The schedule is tough as always but every game is winnable. 10-2 is the call.
- (Re)Introducing: DANCING LEPRECHAUNS - August 29, 2019
- Ticket Auction: ND vs USC - August 22, 2019
- No Respect! - December 14, 2018
Ah, an annual tradition, the return of the dancing leprechauns means the season is nigh.
I think we’re on the same page Bis. But I am more worried about Pitt than Maryland, though both games will be potentially treacherous.
I think the Irish find a way to beat Stanford–their defense will revert to form this year and their offensive line will be less potent. ND will score in bunches against the tree, enough to outlast the talented Mr. Luck.
I also think ND lays a beatdown on Michigan-their defense is truly atrocious and outside of Shoelaces they are limited offensively. ND is a veteran squad and the raucous environment will not phase this bunch.
Agree ND knocks off the Trogans (shocking that Ambles flunked out isn’t it?). USC and ND have switched roles–Kiffin is Weis with less offensive acumen and their team is soft at the core with good skill players. By October they will be starting at least 1 walk-on or frosh on the O line and Mr. Shembo and Mr. Fleming will spend so much time on top of Barkley they will need to smoke a cigarette afterwards.
Michigan State might be a shootout–Cousins is pretty solid and sparty always seems to be able to score points against the Irish. This game worries me more than any other outside of Pitt.
I’m calling 11-1 with a loss to Pitt. 10-2 if the Irish play flat against sparty. 12-0 if everything goes perfectly, which is so difficult to achieve that it rarely happens. What do Holtz, Carrol, Stoops, Meyer, and Saban have in common besides a NC? As talented, deep, and well coached as their teams were/are, they each only have/had 1 undefeated season (including a bowl win). It’s that hard to pull off.
Can’t wait to get started. Go Irish!
What worries you so much about Pitt?
It’s not actually Maryland that scares me. It’s the time of the year, the likelihood of weather, and the grind of the season (injuries). I really think we’ll drop 1 to UM, USC or Maryland before the Tree. I dont see us losing to anyone else on the sked.
Stache was like Weis–pro guy, recruited really well, has one sided team and gets canned. Graham is like Kelly–a good up and coming coach now with some talent to work with. Experienced QB, two good experienced running backs, 8 starters returning on D. It’s a road game, relatively early in the day, and after Michigan State who always beats ND up physically even if ND wins. On paper no one on ND’s sched really scares me, but as you have pointed out very well, it is tough to be up every week when you play 10 or more quality opponents and I can see ND playing flat in this game. Just a hunch–hope I’m wrong.
Ordinarily I would say that we go 9-3, maybe 10-2, but that 4-0 run at the end of last year with all those injuries was dominant. Pass me the Kool-aid, I am saying 12-0, with heart stoppers against Stanford and Michigan. Kelly will not allow any team he coaches to lose to Lame Kiffin.
The thing with the Irish schedule is how balanced it is. ND will have to show up each week to win. Pinpointing where the bumps in the road will be is a crap shoot right now.
As far as Maryland their new coach Randy Edsall will turn them into a hard-nosed football team. That he will have an established QB scares me, as he won at UConn with much less. I still don’t see ND losing this one though. They better not, as I’ll be there.
I generally agree with this prognostication. That said, I think a loss will more likely come from either usc or um (sucks) than um (Maryland), which has entirely new schemes on o and d. I also think we have at least one or two games where our defense doesn’t allow a touchdown.
Also, ken numa numa is still the coach at navy- maybe you meant Ricky dobbs?
Had to check that myself in case I missed something.
Dobbs is gone, Niumatrollolololo is still there.
Ah, mixed them up. My bad.
B-Man, did you mean Ricky Dobbs is gone from Navy? Ken Nackodimbo is still the head coach. ND will whack em this year.
The Irish can win every game. When was the last time we said that and meant it? I think at UM, vs. M st. and USC, and at Stanford will be the difference between 8-4 and 11-1 or dare I say undefeated.
Remember we do have one thing noone else in the nation has. LNIII…I’m gonna go with undefeated.
GOOOOOOOO IRISH!! go irish! BEEEEEEAAAT BULLS!! beat bulls!
I really hope we blow the doors off of USF. I understand the hesitation — sort of — but if this is going to be a special year, we need to take care of business in a serious way right out of the gates and at home against an opponent that, frankly, should not be able to match up against us in any way, shape or form.
And then we need to go and KILL Michigan — remember the rivalry with Michigan?; we’ve become so USC-obsessed — at night on national TV under the lights.
Holy (Dayne) Crist, this season is damn near upon us!
I try to never anticipate anything with Michigan St., cause those games have been insane every year going back to 1996 or so.
But I feel that MSU’s strength has been running the ball all over us recently, and I have a strong feeling that LNIII and Te’o are going to remedy that this year.
I am oddly worried about South Florida a whole lot more than other people seem to be. Skip Holtz is a damn fine coach, and had a history off taking his teams at ECU on the road into big stadium games against giants and knocking them off with outrageous performances (see Virginia Tech, Clemson, Georgia, North Carolina).
Brad-I was starting to feel the same way as I read about these guys yesterday. But wasn’t the ACC a mess last year? Are those wins all that impressive? I know many say the same thing about ND given that Utah, USC, and Miami all had their own issues.
One thing that gives me confidence is that finally ND has bonafide big time, big game performers. They don’t have a Floyd, or a Teo, or a Harrison Smith or a Tyler Eifert–national award watch list kind of guys all over the field like ND does. If Kelly and company are as good as we think/hope they are, they should have more than enough firepower to beat USF convincingly. Not necessarily a blowout, but not a nailbiter either.
That is very true, and good points (its actually worse, South Florida is Big East). I just get the jitters by coaches who have a habit of taking out big teams on the road with (at least perceived) less talented teams.
Right. I meant VT, Clemson, and NC are ACC teams but you were talking about ECU not USF last year. I read that wrong.
It’s worse than a tree named after a bird. It’s a tree named after a COLOR! Cardinal! There’s no “s” at the end.
Yes, the Tree is that lame.
Why does Pitt have a giant blow-up doll of Richard Nixon?
I’m not too worried about Maryland. We should be able to get the starters some rest during Wake Forest, so the team will be relatively fresh for Fed-Ex field, even though they’ll have already played USC and Navy after the bye week.
I have a feeling the Stanford game is going to make or break our BCS hopes. We’ll probably have one loss at that point, either from (scUM)/USC, MSU, or a let-down game, and it’s tough to back into the BCS by losing your last game of the year, even if it is to a really good team. If we happen to have 2 losses, a big WIN at Stanford could be enough to propel us back into the BCS if we were on the bubble. Big BCS implications either way, I think.
The Stanford game is huge.
I’m just not as convinced that the D as is prime-time as people are think. If the D wasn’t dominant, there’s no way ND finishes last season 5-0. The offense will be better, but how much so? Enough to keep us in scoring shoot-outs a-la UM and MSU last year? Therefore I’m going the opposite of Tjak, and seeing 8-4.
If we go 8-4 that’s a big step back, especially after all the hyping of this defense and how most mags and pundits are predicting, AGAIN, a return to national prominence.
If we play with heart and with barbaric physicality for four quarters, as our D should, we will give up FEW pts. Our offense needs to put up about 14-21 a game and we can run the table.
Count me as one of the people who is scared of USF. Did you ever play your little brother in 1-on-1? This game kind of seems like that to me. When you look at it on the surface, you think, “Here’s big bad Notre Dame, 5/4-star talent all over the place, hundred years of dominating history against a small school down in Florida with a young coach, no historical successes, and decent recruiting classes.” So, naturally, you think this is a slam dunk win to start the season off for the Irish. 2 years ago, when we SCHEDULED this game, that was probably the exact intent of the matchup. However, in the two years this game was set up, little brother isnt the LITTLE brother anymore. He’s 6-3, 190 and has serious ball skills. ND is sitting at 6-5 200, but it’ll be a TOUGH matchup against the Bulls. Their run D scares me, and you all know I have no faith in Dayne Crist to lead us to victory. I pray Manti feasts in the season opener and that LNIII rips open the USF QB’s guts on the goalline.
I also disagree on Maryland. The only way they win that game is if, when they come out in those new God-AWFUL unis, ND forgets who they’re supposed to be playing and suddenly thinks “Well, this game is in a professional football stadium, this must be a CFL team or something.” They get scared because they think they’re up against pros and crap their pants and run away. No way Maryland wins that.
I’m going with 9-3 regular season with losses to Sparty, Air Force, and the Tree. BCS bid and we squash LSU in the Sucre Bowl.