I think they will win a game they shouldn't, but will also lose a couple they have no business losing.
I see 7-5 with another period of waiting after the season to see if Kelly gets canned, only to have them announce he'll be back for 2018.
Having said that, 4-8 of course is a possibility.
One thing about Brian Kelly's teams, save 2010, when it goes south, it goes south.
I think it's within the realm of possibility that Wimbush is awesome, that Elko's changes take pretty well on defense, that we catch a couple of lucky in-game breaks, and that the schedule falls in such a way that we finish 11-1. I don't think that's remotely likely, but it's possible.
I also think it's possible some stupid screw-up costs us the Georgia game and that some combination of a hangover, bad luck and general stupidity that we've come to expect this decade costs us at least 1 of the following 2 games and the season goes completely belly-up, resulting in another 4-8. Again, not remotely likely but possible.
Given we seem to be stuck in eternal purgatory, I suspect we'll play really well at times, really crappy at others, not win any games against comparable/better talent, and finish 8-4, resulting in no real changes in the program.
Assuming Wimbush does not get hurt,
I think the ceiling is 10-2 and the floor is 6-6. I think the most likely outcome is 8-4.
I think the defense will play free, and look more consistent. They will resemble the post-BVG defense rather than the BVG one. If they can get a good rotation beyond Bonner and Tillery inside and beyond the Hayes Bros (I know they are not) at DE, and the safeties play closer to their recruiting rankings, I think the we will get close to the ceiling.
On O, if Wimbush is as good as advertised, I think we could see a special year on offense. The trick will be the WRs. If they run the routes and are where they need to be, we will have a good offense. If they are not, and I don't believe they were last year, other than St. Brown, even Tom Brady won't be able to create a passing game that can consistently beat a good defense.
Kelly in seven years here hasn't generated a good offense...Why now do you think he will?
I agree with the poster's thought process about the floor, the ceiling, and the expected outcome, which is why I will be surprised if Kelly is not back next year. The defense looks to be more rickety than the offense.
As for part B, and the reason for my relative optimism is that I truly believe that we were a poorly conditioned team last year. We had leads in 9 of 12 games, but couldn't put 60 minutes of football together. I think you will see that change so much so that you won't see a 1 point loss to Navy, blow a 17 point second half lead, let a shit team up off the mat, etc. I believe you will see better conditioning pay dividends on the field. We can't be much worse in terms of conditioning than last year.
I also believe we will beat Georgia, Kirby Smart has much to prove to me, but we will lose a game that we have no business losing, e.g., BC, Wake, Navy (we should NEVER lose to Navy).
Anything less than 10 wins with 2 competitive, 4th quarter losses plus a bowl win, will be a fail in my eyes.
the talent, experience (except QB), depth, and the new offensive coordinator. I doubt if any team will hold ND to less that 20 points and that includes Georgia and NC State. Our defense should also be substantially improved now that we have a coach who teaches defense on the field and not in the classroom.
Consequently, the ceiling for me is eleven games. The floor is eight games.
Yea I know. Have a good laugh on me, but you did ask.
If they get blown out, they will tailspin.
4-8 was not a fluke, and they could do it again.
floor were 12-0 and 4-8 prior to 2012 and 2016, respectively. To say that one of those was a fluke but not the other, I don't think that's very objective. As Mama Gump would say, he's like a box of chocolates, and it would be nice to have a coach that's more dependable.
If the offense is as good as 2015, and the defense and special teams are average, then there isn't a game on the schedule that they can't win. If the offense is average and the defense and special teams are shitty, then there isn't a game on the schedule that they can't lose.
about a 3 game win improvement.
Last year we had a QB who was a 2nd round NFL draft pick and we finished 4-8. Our QB this year will be first time starter, thus the lower floor than last year's record.
There might be 4 games where you can say ND will have the talent and coaching advantage: Temple, Wake Forest, Miami (OH), and Boston College.
The other 8 games there will be talent deficiencies, coaching deficiencies or a combination of the two. Considering Kelly's track record in such situations, I think 4-4 is the best one can hope for there.
8-4 is the ceiling and I don't think another 4-8 finish is outside the range of outcomes. If Wimbush goes down early on, it will get ugly.
Try back later.
5-7 if the team leadership/culture sucks, injuries pile up and Kelly inserts himself too much. 10-2 if things start off on a roll, injuries are sparse, and Kelly stays out of the details.
so board ops, please take this down if you feel like the post is in poor taste
The over/under for ND is 7.5. Who on this board doesn't think that is the perfect #?
We are an 8-4 or 7-5 team this year. I see losses to SC, Georgia, Stanford, and Miami...we will likely be underdogs to each of them. Throw in Michigan State, Navy, NC State, and North Carolina...I just see another loss coming out of those four. Maybe we beat Stanford or Miami.
This team could be quite a bit better than last year, but I don't think they will be strong enough up front on defense to beat good power running teams like Georgia, USC, or Stanford. I also wouldn't be shocked if this team looks quite a bit like last year's team and drops close games @MSU, @UNC, NCState, Navy, @Miami in addition to the other three losses I mentioned.