Sunday, July 31, 2011

SaturDame: 2011 Season Preview

My third attempt at writing one of these.

A win over USC (thanks Ron Johnson), a beat'em down of Miami in the bowl game and a bonanza on National Signing Day, things appear to be looking up at ND. A coach, with National Championships on his resume along with BCS Bowls, has taken actual control of the program unlike Charlie who just thought he had control. He is building a program that may need a year or two to win Notre Dame's 12th National Championship, but weirder things have happened, right?

The team is led on offense but binge touchdown scorer Michael Floyd and on defense by an All-Everything candidate in Manti T'eo. The defense could be as good as any in the country and the offense should be much improved with Cierre Wood and Theo Riddick breaking out this year. I think the QB is less important in the Kelly offense than in the Weis offense (as we saw when Tommy Rees went 4-1 last year). The second year in the system is probably a bigger deal than who actually is the starter ( I was Team Hendrix, just because I wanted to blast Voodoo Chile after TD passes).

The schedule doesn't feature many teams that would be up for playing road games in the SEC without a return engagement but it doesn't feature many (possibly any) teams that will be playing in a BCS bowl game.


Mobile QB. Return of a Skip. Blow out win. At least he looks like a football player.

S10 @ Michigan 8pm ABC/ESPN

Mobile QB that doesn't tie his shoes. First night game at the stadium ever. Old people not used to staying up late. I don't think Brady Hoke is a magician and ND owes this team a couple. Win by 10. Hopefully they don't score too fast, again.


Then comes the most beloved QB in college football because he gave a speech that featured the word "p-r-i-v-e-l-e-g-e" 2,500 times. And his drama queen of a head coach. A fake field goal. Ugh. Still mad bro. Win by 7.

S24 @ Pittsburgh Noon ABC/ESPN

A match-up with former ND offensive coordinator Mike Haywood who is the new Pitt head coach. Wait, what? Okay then, a re-match with Todd Graham the former Tulsa coach. You might remember him. You may also remember this play, from the last time ND visited Heinz Field. Notre Dame wins by 18.

O01 @ Purdue 8pm ABC/ESPN

Purdue has been decimated by being Purdue. Notre Dame wins by 3 touchdowns.

O08 AIR FORCE 3:30pm NBC

First trap game on the schedule. Also Air Force is good. And triple option. Notre Dame wins by 4.


Guess who is coming into this game with a loss in the series? Two is a streak, right? Matt Barkley might be the 2nd best QB ND faces this year, but I don't think it's enough. ND wins by 10.

O29 NAVY 3:30pm NBC

Brian Kelly is not losing to Navy two years in a row. But coming off the emotion that is USC means this game is close into the second half before winning by 14.

N05 @ Wake Forest TBA

Blowout win that 30,000 fans will see in person. Notre Dame by 40.

N12 MARYLAND (FedEx) 7:30pm NBC

This is a game that scares me, it's basically a home game for Maryland and they have a good QB. Also Randy Edsall knows how to beat ND. ND wins by 6.


Notre Dame is taking control of this series. Like they should. Lots of BC kicker and Ty Willingham green jersey game highlights. But all for naught as ND wins by 14.

N26 @ Stanford 8pm ABC/ESPN

The most probable problem game on the schedule. On Thanksgiving Weekend. In California. Against a player that should be a Heisman Finalist. UnLucky. Stanford spoils an undefeated season by 10.

11-1 and BCS game. Probably in the Sugar Bowl or the Orange Bowl as Oklahoma will be playing Alabama for all the Tostitos.

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Go Irish. Beat Bulls.