A while back I was on a hot streak predicting the outcome of Notre Dame’s football seasons. A couple of years I was dead on with the final record. Last few of years I was real happy not to be a betting man because I would be even more broke than I am. Last year I said anything less than 10 and 2 would be a disappointment. Obviously I was disappointed and even more so with the outcome of the bowl game with Florida State.
This year is a real crapshoot for me, especially since I am writing before we know officially who the starting quarterback will be, though I have a pretty good idea who it will be.
So lets break down the season into segments.
Navy and Purdue. There can be no slip-ups here or the rest of the season is one slippery slope. I don’t think that will happen. Navy runs an offense that relies on a sophisticated running game and this is their first game too. Navy should be in no position to beat a bigger, faster Notre Dame team. Purdue is another matter. The Boilermakers think they have a team better than the last several years. Still, the game is in South Bend and the Irish should win. Of course, South Florida played in South Bend last year and we know how that went.
Michigan State and Michigan. This is the season, right here. Since Lou Holtz left Notre Dame is a combined 10 and 18 against MSU and UM and Michigan State has been the better of the two against the Irish. That game is a prime time national broadcast. You think they just might be fired up in East Lansing? As for Michigan, that is also a prime time national game in South Bend but so was USC last year and the Irish did not handle the atmosphere well. In his first two years Notre Dame didn’t even come close to stopping Wolverine Quarterback Denard Robinson. Corralling Mr. Robinson probably is the key to how fans will end up defining this season. Stopping Mr. Robinson may also end up getting Manti Teo an invitation to the Heisman ceremony.
Miami (Soldier Field) I love the “off-site” games. Notre Dame has won the first three and this should make it four in a row, as long as no one is star struck by the funky uniforms the Irish will wear.
Stanford. Unless Andrew Luck decides to drive up through the Kokomo by-pass from Indy, Notre Dame wins this one.
BYU. This is my “trap” game for 2012 just like I thought USF was last year. BYU has a terrific quarterback and runs one of those go for broke offenses.
Oklahoma. My first thought was Uh-oh. But as of this writing five Sooner players have been kicked off the team.
Pittsburgh, BC and Wake Forest. 3 wins
My prediction this year is a shot in the dark. 9 and 3.