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Notre Dame Fighting Irish Betting - 2011 Notre Dame Fighting Irish College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/19/2011 3:43:50 PM
notre dame fighting irish betting

MLB baseball betting gurus treat the New York Yankees like royalty. In college football, the pigskin cognoscenti, along with the nation’s other premier sports betting pundits, accord a lavish amount of attention on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It’s just the way it works. This season, Americans will see if a rocky first year in the tenure of a heralded coach will give way to progress and prominence in year two.

Much like his tenure at Cincinnati, Brian Kelly is poised to take a major step forward in his second season at the helm of Notre Dame football. His first season in South Bend was not without challenges, both on and off the field. The Irish suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to Michigan State and embarrassing losses to Navy and Tulsa where the team simply looked disinterested. Off the field the team had to deal with the tragic death of a member of the support staff at football practice and questions concerning how it was handled. However, 2010 ended with a great deal of positive momentum as Notre Dame ended its losing streak to USC, dominated Miami in its bowl game, and in February signed a highly-rated recruiting class full of players that should contribute immediately. That positive momentum should bode well for the 2011 season.

Offensively, the lingering quarterback battle dominated spring headlines and threatens to do the same heading into fall. Notre Dame was forced to use a multitude of quarterbacks in 2010 and the addition of freshman standout Everett Golson to the battle between Dayne Crist, Tommy Rees, and Andrew Hendrix only complicated matters. Kelly indicated that he would likely use more than one quarterback in 2011, and the conventional wisdom is that he will start the senior, Crist, and slowly work Golson into the lineup situationally. Whoever wins the quarterback job will have star receiver Michael Floyd to throw to for most of the season (depending on the disciplinary decisions made over the summer). The Irish slowly grew comfortable in Kelly’s version of the spread offense in 2010 and should produce at an even higher level with experienced players returning along the offensive line as well.

Defense was never considered Kelly’s forte, but it might begin to be if he and the Irish get the immediate impact they hope to get from the returning starters and ballyhooed freshmen signed in February. There’s no better defender in America than Irish linebacker Manti Te’o. The playmaking machine is poised for an All-American kind of season in the Irish defense and should benefit from the arrival of elite freshmen defensive linemen Aaron Lynch and Ishaq Williams. Lynch was one of the most sought-after prospects in America and after a commitment to Florida State, he signed with Notre Dame and enrolled in January. There’s a reasonable chance that he will start from day one. Notre Dame was often susceptible to powerful rushing attacks, but should fare much better against this season.

The schedule should allow for the Irish to get off to a good start. After what should be a good opening challenge hosting South Florida, the Irish travel to face a rebuilding Michigan team before coming home to prepare for what should be a tough game against Big Ten co-champion Michigan State. Should the Irish open 3-0, they will have a good chance to be 6-0 when USC comes to town. After that, the schedule becomes much more manageable until the season ending trip to Palo Alto to face Heisman favorite Andrew Luck and Stanford. That season finale could be a battle for an at-large BCS bowl bid. The percentage-based sports bet is a bet that picks Stanford in that game. Notre Dame should not be expected to go to a BCS bowl… not this year, at any rate.

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