I have to make a confession: I don’t follow recruiting a whole lot. I never have.
I know it is the lifeblood of a program but I just can’t get into it. The process of how teams chase high school kids these days may be part of it.
For me, kids announcing their Top 3 or Top 5 is unsettling and borderline obnoxious. Listening to pundits trying to project how the career of a 17 year old will take shape also seems like a waste of time.
I could also just be getting old.
My second confession: I love following Notre Dame Hockey and Basketball. When football ends, that is where my attention goes. But now, it’s July and it is football preseason magazine time.
And so, I find myself at the Shore on vacation picking over some of those season previews. As I did so, I had to voice my disdain for Street and Smith in a couple of Twitter posts. Their sin: listing the Irish as the most overrated team, placing them outside their Top 25, and having them land in the Belk Bowl versus South Carolina.
Athlon, on the other hand, has Notre Dame in the Camping World Bowl versus Oklahoma State while Sporting News echos Street and also has the Irish in the Belk Bowl also versus South Carolina.
Much has been made about the turnover of the coaching staff and it was noted they all got two-year deals. So my question is this: how much trouble, if any, is Brian Kelly in? If he is in trouble, what gets him off the so-called hot seat? What is the measure of improvement needed–is there a strict win total that must be reached? What is that number?
Suppose the Irish start 1-3 (not impossible given the schedule). Does Jack Swarbrick blow it up early and get Bob Stoops on speed dial because a 10-win season is likely out of reach? It’s a sobering thought among the preseason hype.
I have to believe the Irish are better on defense, so to me the key is Brandon Wimbush. If he is as good as advertised, I can see the Irish going 9-3 and winning a Bowl game. However, if he struggles, I fear that, whatever that magic win total may be, may not be reachable.