Notre Dame Fighting Irish College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction
All Notre Dame has done is get into the College Football Playoff in two of the last three years, play in an ACC Championship, and win 43 games over the last four seasons. What more do you want?
Yeah, okay, you want more College Football Playoff appearances – that’s coming on a regular basis when and if the CFP expands to 12 teams – and you need a victory in the mini-tournament, but …
The Irish lost to Alabama last year. There’s absolutely no shame there.
They lost in the 2018 CFP to a Clemson team that went on to annihilate Alabama for the national title – no reason to hang your head on that.
The team doesn’t give up cheap losses. The last defeat to anyone who finished with fewer than nine wins was the 10-3 mega-clunker to NC State in the middle of a lost 2016.
Set The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Regular Season Win Total At … 9
Notre Dame really does deserve to be considered amongst nation’s elite programs again – yes, of course it does, even without the CFP win – but this year will be a test of just how quickly it can get over too many key losses.
Brian Kelly still has a whole lot of talent to play around with, a new defensive coordinator (Marcus Freeman), a few strong transfers helping the cause, and the expectation that the program reloads instead of rebuilds.
However, the schedule will have something to say about that.
The Irish don’t have to deal with Clemson, but it gets Cincinnati. It doesn’t have to play Miami from the ACC, but it goes to Chicago to face Wisconsin.
At Florida State might not be the layup we all think it is – but, okay, it will be. Going to Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Stanford will all be pesky, and playing USC, North Carolina and Purdue at home are all landmines.
There are too many question marks, new parts, and tough games to get back to the College Football Playoff, there’s no ACC title to play for this time around, and the 12-team expanded CFP isn’t in place yet.
It’ll still be a fantastic season, even if it’s not quite what the fans might want.
Notre Dame might only win nine games. That the possibility of a nine-win season seems like a disappointment – and might even be ten after the bowl game – is okay.
The program is used to doing a whole lot more, and it soon will again.