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Way too early 2021 predictions


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I thought with the year slowly grinding to a close it would be fun to project what 2021 will be like:

 

- some COVID restrictions will still be in effect but OoC games will be allowed again

- Brandon Clark starting QB

- USC will be favored to win when ND/USC plays next year

- Clemson will start the season as #1 again

- ND will start the season as defending national champs

- ND will go undefeated again

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I thought with the year slowly grinding to a close it would be fun to project what 2021 will be like:

 

- some COVID restrictions will still be in effect but OoC games will be allowed again

- Brandon Clark starting QB

- USC will be favored to win when ND/USC plays next year

- Clemson will start the season as #1 again

- ND will start the season as defending national champs

- ND will go undefeated again

 

Well I can agree with the first four easy. Wouldn’t it be great to be defending champs? Not likely but I’ll remain optimistic I suppose. I don’t see next year as a undefeated year with Clark at QB or any one of the current guys. Just too much inexperience. I’m chalking it up to a rebuilding year solely based on QB play.

 

Then again no one expected Book to do anything when he arrived and it wasn’t too many weeks ago that some were saying how bad he was. Now he’s in the Heisman discussion by some analysts. So anything is possible.

 

If next years schedule holds the. I’m seeing 5 toss up games depending on who comes back and who the QB is for ND.

 

1) Wk 1- Sept 5 - Opener at FSU - they have talent can they turn it around in a season to get the most out of the athletes they have?

 

2) Wk 4 - Sept 25 - Wiscy in Chicago - they’ve been a disappointment this year but they are typically a strong team. NDs D should be able to keep them in check and allow the O to continue to gain experience under the new QB.

 

3) Wk 5 - Oct 2 - Cincy - are they really a top 1 team? Does their team return most of this years team? I don’t follow them at all so who know what they are next year. However, I’d they are team deserving of their current ranking then not an easy game.

 

4) Wk 7 - Oct 23 - USC in SB - tons of talent as always. Can NDs D match up with their playmakers? Can NDs new staring QB in only his 7th game keep mistakes to a minimum and score enough points to win?

 

5) Wk 8 - Oct 30 - UNC in SB - another team with a lot of talent on O and will only get better. Just like USC can the D match up? Can NDs secondary improve? Will the pass rush crush Howell again?

 

Toledo, Purdue, @ VT, Navy, @ UVA, GT, @ Stanford should all be wins.

 

I think it all hinges on Lea returning to keep the D strong and adding depth. They will carry the team and how the QB play develops. Have another top D and a someone who can at a minimum manage the O then another great year.

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Next year might be a little rough. When I say rough, I mean maybe 8 or 9 wins. If they lose 4 of their olinemen and QB, this will be a huge blow and could lead to many offensive growing pains.

 

I think a lot of people are thoroughly underestimating how hard next year’s schedule will be.

 

I expect USC, Wisconsin, Cincinnati and UNC all to be top 15 teams when we play them. They might even be top 10.

 

VT, Stanford, UVA, GT and FSU could right the ship and be A LOT better than you imagine at any moment. I think they’re all pretty close to getting right and I respect what all their coaches have done in the past.

 

This could be a very, very difficult schedule.

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2018 rivals rankings

USC - 3

FSU - 10

ND - 11

VT - 22

ND - 23

Wisc - 40

Cincy - 47

Purdue - 49

GT - 53

 

2019 rivals ratings

 

ND - 14

FSU - 17

SC - 18

Stan - 24

VT - 25

Purdue - 26

Wisconsin- 27

UNC - 31

VA - 39

GT - 43

 

2020 Rivals

 

UNC - 12

FSU - 20

ND - 22

Stan - 23

GT - 25

Wisc - 28

Purdue - 30

Cincinnati - 39

USC - 71

 

2021 rivals

ND - 9

USC - 12

Wisc - 15

UNC - 16

Virgina - 24

GT - 32

Cincy - 35

VT - 39

FSU - 44

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Next year might be a little rough. When I say rough, I mean maybe 8 or 9 wins. If they lose 4 of their olinemen and QB, this will be a huge blow and could lead to many offensive growing pains.

 

OL will take a step back, but will still be pretty good. ND has recruited this group extremely well. Correll, Kristofic, Carroll, Baker were all highly ranked recruits.

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If you start every year with a really good OL and good RBs, you have a shot at being a great offense. I think ND is starting to step up their RB recruiting which was greatly needed. They too often relied on RBs outperforming their ranking status.

 

Keep Lea and the D will always be good to great. Again, the line matters most to me. If the opposing QB doesn't have time, good things happen on the back end for the D. ND is starting to step up their CB recruiting which was also important.

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If you start every year with a really good OL and good RBs, you have a shot at being a great offense. I think ND is starting to step up their RB recruiting which was greatly needed. They too often relied on RBs outperforming their ranking status.

 

Keep Lea and the D will always be good to great. Again, the line matters most to me. If the opposing QB doesn't have time, good things happen on the back end for the D. ND is starting to step up their CB recruiting which was also important.

 

Foskey will have a breakout season next year. With the lack of "good" HC jobs out there, I'm hoping they can keep Lea one more year. However, after next year, you have to think he'll be in the running for some of the jobs where schools on the fence this year, pull the trigger next year.

 

Edit: with Arizona firing Sumlin, I'm worried this might be the job that draws Lea away. It's a far better situation than Vandy, still a P5, decent recruiting base and it's in the Pac 12 where a quick turnaround is entirely possible bc the competition is weak.

Edited by ELDER06
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Whomever the ND QB is, I hope they perform well. I just do not believe Clark has the ability to do that.

 

On what basis? Have you ever seen him play on anything than 1 or 2 series in mop up? If you don't think Clark can do well, and presumably don't think Pyne can do well, why not just start Buchner and go through growing pains for 1 year.?

 

My concern about Clark is his health - knee. If his ACL that he's now wearing a brace for needs anything more than cleaning, he'll be out all spring and maybe longer. Not good for prospects.

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On what basis? Have you ever seen him play on anything than 1 or 2 series in mop up? If you don't think Clark can do well, and presumably don't think Pyne can do well, why not just start Buchner and go through growing pains for 1 year.?

 

My concern about Clark is his health - knee. If his ACL that he's now wearing a brace for needs anything more than cleaning, he'll be out all spring and maybe longer. Not good for prospects.

 

I think they can get a good transfer and avoid having to throw Buchner out there underprepared.

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This transfer stuff is nonsense. There are too many boners for mixon... Take our guys and let them play. We’ll be fine.

 

If you can upgrade and create healthy competition, then you absolutely do it. Whether that is Milton or another qb.

 

If our guys beat out the transfer then I’m all for that as well, keep building that depth!

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If you can upgrade and create healthy competition, then you absolutely do it. Whether that is Milton or another qb.

 

If our guys beat out the transfer then I’m all for that as well, keep building that depth!

 

The thing is once they transfer in they are "our guys." ND has had successful transfers in the past and present. It's not like they're dipping into the JUCO ranks

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Brendon Clark was the best QB coming out of Virginia.

 

He’s not exactly some scrub they found hanging outside the 7/11 the night before last.

 

From what I've seen of him, I like him. I also get the feeling there's an X factor, "it" factor, whatever you want to call it, there.

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