Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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Notre Dame 2011 CFBMatrix Profile

If you are a Notre Dame fan, your view of 2010 is likely to be very half empty or very half full.  The CFBMatrix projected a 10 win season against the recruiting ranking baseline comparison with -1 game for a new head coach.  The Irish still only had 7 wins, falling well short of expectations.

The real damage was done losing back to back game to Tulsa and Navy.  The odds of that happening to a team of Notre Dame’s caliber is less than 1%.  Already, Coach Kelly has lost 3 games at home to a team that they out recruited.  In contrast, the team that has a one spot rank ahead of them, Oklahoma, hasn’t lost a home game to a team they out recruited in over 6 years.

The model expects a maximum of 11 wins if the team is well coached and a minimum of 9.  Anything less puts Coach Kelly and his staff on a two year total of -6 games.  Only 3 other teams in the country are currently -6 game or more over the last 2 years.

On the plus side, the 2011 recruiting remained at a very high level and the 4 year total of #11 is still above the BCS Title berth line (the last 14 teams in the BCS title game were at #18 or better in 4 year composite recruiting).

Notre Dame Recruiting Rank Links:

Most recent year , year over year recruiting improvement and 4 year moving averages of all 120 teams recruiting rankings based on CFBMatrix national composite rankings.

2011 Notre Dame Roster/Depth Chart

Notre Dame Schedule and SOS/EOS Breakdown

The 2011 football schedule for Notre Dame is right in the middle of the rest of the AQ schools.   In 2010, the schedule was much easier with a ranking of #52.8 per team played.  In 2011 it is down to 42.1 due to a number of solid teams and tough road games.  Compare it to 42.1 of Oklahoma (#5 Big12), 42.2 of Tennessee (#11 in the SEC and 43.3 of Oregon #10 in the Pac 12.

The 2010 version of the Irish showed no pattern of consistency in winning or losing.  The games seemed more dictated with desire and need versus skill and talent.  Turning off the brain and effort for sure wins versus Navy and Tulsa, yet getting up to beat USC, crush Utah and play Michigan and Michigan State tough.  Appears the intangible value of coaching one game at a time seems to be in order.

Using 2010 as a base, the road games that could cause problems are at Michigan, Stanford and Pittsburgh.  All of these teams have new coaches.  The Wake Forest game will be interesting as Coach Grobe has the #1 coaching effect over the last 4 years and is +8 at home.   3-2 on the road should be the least acceptable outcome.  Anything less is very sub par.

At home, you don’t know what you are going to get.  USC comes back to South Bend and that should be the only real challenge.  Any other loses, and they should still beat USC at home, are all upsets and let downs.  If 2010 is any indication, there will be one or more home games that fans leave shaking their head for lack of focus.  It is not a lack of talent as the Irish are one of 12 teams that met the BCS title berth metrics for 2012.

Links to other Fighting Irish stats, trends, and articles

NFL/Recruiting Rank Ratios    Team Records – Odds Matrix    Returning Starters (All teams)

Notre Dame Win/Recruiting Trend Chart

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