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2010 Notre Dame Football Preview

Odds - Analysis - Win Total Predictions

 

Notre Dame - Mediocrity has been a problem for this storied program. Charlie Weis entered the program and showed off his Super Bowl rings to bring in recruits. In the end, the offensive mastermind couldn't get the Fighting Irish to the BCS Title Game. Weis wasn't all bad; he had the high powered offense going well and he groomed QBs Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen. They rank 1-2 in passing all time at Notre Dame. Weis resigned at the end of last year.

Enter boy genius Brian Kelly. He was the HC at the University of Cincinnati prior to jumping ship to Notre Dame. He led the Bearcats to 3 10+ win seasons and a 12-0 undefeated regular season in 2009. He was COTY three consecutive years in the Big East. Kelly is a charismatic coach who can bring the best players to Notre Dame. He runs an offense that has a furious pace. He is a mastermind when it comes to developing young QBs. Kelly will have Notre Dame winning games very quickly.

The The current odds  at sportsbook.com on Notre Dame to win the BCS Title are a modest 50/1. A long shot, yes, but what stands out is that there are clearly several teams that are better than Notre Dame that have much longer odds. A picture perfect example of how Notre Dame attracts public money. Put another way, there's no value at 50/1 odds in backing the Irish to win the National Title.

Some coaches can flat out coach. Kelly is one of those coaches. Doesn't matter where he coaches, he'll find a way to win. Here at Notre Dame, he will have something that's easier to come by than other at colleges.........talent. Notre Dame will always attract talent. That and the fact that their schedule is generally never all that challenging, is why there are no excuses for mediocrity. Looking at this years schedule, they should be able to to win at least 7 games perhaps as many as 10. There no one on their schedule that would make you say, no way they are beating them. Even USC is down a notch or two.

Jimmy Clausen opted to leave ND early and head to the NFL Draft where he was taken by the Carolina Panthers who also selected Tony Pike, a protege of Brian Kelly at Cincinnati. It's tough to say who will come out on top in the QB battle. Right now Dayne Crist looks like the leader, but Coach Kelly can make a change on a dime. He won the 2008 Big East title using 4 different QBs. Nate Montana, son of NFL HOFer Joe Montana has been getting a lot snaps as well.

The WR corp looks great for the Fighting Irish. They have the best TE in the NCAA thanks to Kyle Rudolph. He will be a top TE in the NFL when he goes pro. Michael Floyd is back after a stellar 2009 season. The offensive line has lost a chunk of starters, but Brian Kelly has enough talent to work with in order to have them protecting the QB well. The LB corp is among the top in the country. This is great for a team that gave up a ton of points in 2009.

It would seem almost impossible for Brian Kelley not to succeed and be a big hit at Notre Dame. It's not as if he's taking over a program that wins 10+ games year in and year out. He's taking over a 6 win on average team, that has the talent to win +10 games year in and year out. A perfect situation for him.

While we are looking at the Independents, let's take a look at the two service academies. Army and Navy.

Navy Midshipmen - This service academy has been the best independent school in recent years. They ended the 2009 season with a 10-4 record after rocking Missouri in the Texas Bowl. Star QB Ricky Dobbs returns for his senior year. The dangerous weapon ran for 1367 yards and 27 TDs in 2009. He passed for 1031 and 6 TDs. The running game will obviously power the Midshipmen. They open 2010 on the road against Maryland. They then have easy games against Georgia Southern and Louisiana Tech. They will then have tough games against Air Force and Wake Forest, both on the road. Games with Notre Dame, East Carolina, and Central Michigan won't be easy either. The Midshipmen should thrash Army like they did last year and have for several years. With a bit of luck they may be able to match last year's win total of 10.

Army Black Knights - With 16 returning starters the Black Knights will improve on 2009's 5-7 mark. Games with Temple, Rutgers, and Notre Dame will be virtually unwinnable. Taking on rival Navy will be no easy task either. On the flip side, Army can handle Eastern Michigan, North Texas, Hawaii, VMI, and Kent State. They have enough talent to make it back to Bowl play for the first time since 1996. If they do they will compete in the Armed Forces Bowl.
 

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