This is the start of our “Just as relevant as the AP Poll” poll.
Brian Kelly and the Golden Domers could end up having a spectacular season if they hang onto the football. Notre Dame has the talent to be a contender, but will they live up to it?
Junior quarterback Tommy Rees is back, but after having an off-season Notre Dame fans want to forget, will Rees be a part of the offense that Kelly needs him to be?
The Irish also lost their number one receiver Michael Floyd, but have two productive seniors ready to step up and replace him, and behind senior running back Cierre Wood, the Irish offense should be pretty decent. Again, pretty decent if they can hang onto the ball. The Irish ranked 110th in turnovers lost last season with 29 while their offense ranked 35th overall.
The schedule isn’t the easiest Notre Dame has had in recent years with the reinvigorated programs in the state of Michigan, but it’s not daunting enough to keep them out of the top 25 if they lose the big games.
Returning Starters: 8 Offense / 7 Defense
Best games: at Michigan State, Michigan, Miami, Stanford, at Oklahoma, at USC
2011 Total Offense: 35th
2011 Total Defense: 30th
2011 Turnover margin: 118th
Championship odds: 30/1
Projected record: 8 – 4