For the second straight season the Notre Dame Fighting Irish enter the season as a preseason Top 10 team according to Lindy’s Sports. After ranking ninth a season ago, the Irish enter the 2020 season ranked as the 10th best team in the country.
Lindy’s Sports projects Notre Dame to play the Florida Gators in the Peach Bowl after a season in which they predict a double-digit win season. Here is what Lindy’s wrote:
“We’re looking at 10, 11 wins again as long as None Dame doesn’t stumble somewhere it shouldn’t.”
In the analysis of Notre Dame, Lindy’s Sports wrote the strengths of the Notre Dame football team are a veteran quarterback, a talented offensive line, defensive coordinator Clark Lea and “game-changers” Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and Kyle Hamilton on defense.
The “potential problems” for Notre Dame, according to Lindy’s, are consistent running back play, an inexperienced group of receivers that must develop chemistry with quarterback Ian Book and proven production at defensive end.
The preseason magazine named Owusu-Koramoah as the team’s preseason Most Valuable Player. It was a surprising pick considering most view Book as the projected MVP, but it was a savvy selection. Here is why they picked the rising senior linebacker:
“Redshirted as a freshman and limited to two games as a sophomore, Owusu-Koramoah took off in 2019, tying for the team-lead in tackles (80) with a team-leading 13.5 tackles for loss and a co-team leading 5.5 sacks. A weapon as a pass rusher, but also runs sideline-to-sideline to make plays.”
Wide receiver Kevin Austin was named an emerging star and graduate transfer Nick McCloud was named the top newcomer.
One of the features I like most with preseason magazines is when they quote other college quotes. Here are some of the quotes that Lindy’s provided:
“They lost another haul of guys to the NFL, but they’ve got talent and should be good again”
“The numbers are better than the tape on (Ian) Book, but he doesn’t turn it over and makes most plays that are there. Can he carry them when they have to throw it?”
“He’s got help. That O-line is always good, and this group could be special. (Liam) Eichenberg looks like a first-rounder”
Lindy’s ranked Notre Dame has having the nation’s best offensive line, and it named fifth-year senior left tackle Liam Eichenberg as a preseason second-team All-American. The magazine also ranks the best players at each position, and Notre Dame had seven players ranked among the Top 10 players at their respective positions.
Notre Dame was frequently mentioned in the early portion of the magazines, which looks around the country at different topics. It ranked senior defensive end Daelin Hayes as the #10 comeback player, quarterback Ian Book ranked as the tenth highest Heisman candidate and Isaiah Pryor was ranked as the ninth best non-quarterback transfer.
Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea was ranked as the fourth best assistant coach for teams to hire as their next head coach. He was one spot ahead of former Irish defensive coordinator Mike Elko, who got the ball rolling in the right direction and is doing the same thing at Texas A&M. Here is what thy wrote about Lea:
“Has won over ND fans with his work the past two seasons, and he finished second for the Boston College head coaching gig this offseason.”
Lindy’s ranked the 16th top non-conference games, and Notre Dame was listed three times. The Notre Dame/Clemson game ranked as the second best, the Notre Dame/Wisconsin game ranked fourth and the Notre Dame/USC game ranked 10th.
Eichenberg was listed as the ninth best senior draft prospect.
The Fighting Irish know how to produce offensive linemen, and Eichenberg is next up. He has already started 26 straight games at left tackle, and he didn’t allow a sack in 2019.”
Here is where Notre Dame’s 12 opponents were ranked in the preseason magazine:
#60 Wake Forest
#79 Georgia Tech
#90 Western Michigan
Lindy’s Sports preseason magazine is always arguably my favorite. Its analysis is usually sound, and even when I disagree I respect the points being made. The position-by-position rankings and the position group rankings are really quality work. It is definitely a preseason magazine that I would recommend buying. You can get the Notre Dame cover option HERE.
Be sure to stay locked into Irish Breakdown all the time!