Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football Season Preview History
2014 Notre Dame Football Preview:
The Fighting Irish followed up a 2012 campaign where they reached the national championship, with a disappointing 9-4 season. Notre Dame also lost some significant talent to the NFL draft, including star offensive linemen Zack Martin and Chris Watt. But the story of the 2014 season in South Bend will be all about the return of Everett Golson. Golson led the Irish to the national championship as a freshmen, but it is unclear how the talented sophomore will respond from his season in exile. If he is the same player that he was in 2012, the offense looks primed to be one of the more dangerous attacks in the country, with a veteran unit of running backs and wide receivers to disperse the ball to. The defense is more of a question as the squad comes into the season with 5 sophomores starting. It is likely that 3 games will determine how far Notre Dame will rise this season. The final game of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry will be the biggest story of the early season, but the keys to the season will be Stanford, at Florida State, and at USC. If the Irish can win 2 of those 3 games, they will probably have a shot to make the college football playoff. If they win all 3? It will be hard to vote against them.
2013 Notre Dame Football Preview:
The return to national relevance for Notre Dame football occurred in 2012, and the key will be staying at that level for head coach Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame may have lost in the national championship, but they made huge strides in becoming a force again in college football. Notre Dame lost Heisman Trophy finalist Manti Te’o and tight end Tyler Eifert to the NFL and quarterback Everett Golson to suspension. However, the defense should still be one of the best in the nation with many key starters returning. For Notre Dame to build off of last season, they will need Tommy Rees to step up for the loss of Golson. Rees proved to be a valuable asset off the bench in 2012, but the senior will now be relied on as the starter and the guy to return the Irish back to the national championship. Notre Dame will welcome Michigan State, Oklahoma, and USC to South Bend this season in their quest to stay near the top of the college football world.
2011 Notre Dame Football Preview:
As another season approaches, expectations are high once again in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame had somewhat of a rebound season, winning its second consecutive bowl game under first year coach Brian Kelly. With a favorable schedule and a bevvy of returning young talent, this might be the season that the Fighting Irish return to its glory days of the past.
The offense will be led by sophomore quarterback Dayne Crist. Though he struggled at times during his freshman season, he showed flashes of potential that bodes well for this coming season. He will also have a large number of weapons surrounding him that will make the offense a legitimate scoring threat, including veteran wide receiver Michael Floyd and running back Cierre Wood.
As for the other side of the ball, the defense will turn to the contributions of linebacker Manti Te'o, who was one of the best defenders in the country last season. In addition to being a smart offensive coach, Kelly is also one of the best all-around play callers in the country so it would not be shocking if Notre Dame is in the conversation all season long.
2010 Notre Dame Football Preview:
Notre Dame has had quite an eventful offseason. The Fighting Irish fired coach Charlie Weis shortly after the season ended, having stumbled to a disappointing 6-6 finish and missing out on a bowl game.
Weis was replaced by former University of Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly soon after, and the new leader was quickly met with high expectations. Notre Dame has lost several key players on offense, including quarterback Jimmy Clausen and wide receiver Golden Tate - both of whom got drafted by the NFL. However, there is still a lot of talent on offense with wide receiver Michael Floyd and highly touted quarterback Dayne Crist.
The defense, which surrendered a large amount of points last year, returns a lot of veterans - especially up front. They also landed the heavily recruited lienbacker Manti Te'o who can have an impact right away, even as a freshman.
The Fighting Irish will meet three of their biggest rivals in the first three games of the year. They open the season with in-state rival Purdue coming to South Bend. That game is quickly followed by another home game against Michigan, and then they go on the road to face Michigan State. Other games with Western Michigan, Tulsa and Army may provide Kelly with the favorable schedule he needs to be successful his first year at Notre Dame.
2009 Notre Dame Football Preview:
Head Coach: Charlie Weis
Will 2009 be the year that Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis finally quiets some of his critics? Weis has coached four years in South Bend with just a 29-21 record to show for it, so many of the Irish faithful are looking for a big season. Things are in place for Notre Dame to live up to expectations because Weis has talented quarterback Jimmy Clausen and host of other highly rated players. Weis also landed some highly touted defensive players in his 2009 recruiting class; the type of players that should pay immediate dividends on the field. If the Irish offensive is clicking and the defense plays solid, then Notre Dame should be able to overcome a tough schedule to have a great year.
2008 Notre Dame Football Preview:
Head Coach: Charlie Weis
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football program is arguably the most successful team of all time in college football. While the 2007 season was an abysmal low in Notre Dame's history, you can bet head coach Charlie Weis will lead the team to a big turnaround next year with more experienced players and new recruits. Notre Dame Stadium will shake this coming season as the country's most rabid college football fans cheer on their Fighting Irish to play their way back to the elite status they've enjoyed throughout most of the team's history.