Lindy's Sports is predicting that Notre Dame will have a bit of a drop off in 2021, but the preseason magazine still expects the Fighting Irish to be a very good program. Lindy's ranks the Irish 11th heading into the season and projects Notre Dame to face Florida in the Peach Bowl following the season.
As is true with everyone else that predicts Notre Dame to take a step back, the heavy personnel losses on offense are the primary concern for Lindy's.
"... with just 13 starters back from a second playoff team in three years, Brian Kelly has more questions than normal as he enters his 11th season at Notre Dame," wrote Lindy's, who quoted Kelly as calling his team a, "Work in progress."
Lindy's still has Notre Dame making New Year's Six game due to its defense and talented returning weapons on offense.
"Yet with what should be a disruptive defense, more than a few potential weapons on offense, and a veteran kicker and punter, the Irish look like they might always be favored and never overmatched," Lindy's wrote. "A New Year's Six Bowl seems again likely."
Safety Kyle Hamilton was named the magazine's "Most Valuable Player" while tight end Michael Mayer was named an "Emerging Star" and quarterback Jack Coan was named the "Top Newcomer."
Four of Notre Dame's 2021 opponents were ranked in the Lindy's preseason Top 25. Cincinnati is Notre Dame's highest-ranked opponent, checking in at the 8th spot. North Carolina was next, ranking 9th in the preseason list. Wisconsin ranked 12th and USC ranked 22nd in the ranking. Notre Dame plays those four opponents in a five-game stretch.
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