Key Question No. 7 - Will Notre Dame Drop?
Posted Aug 24, 2013

Key Question No. 7 - How far does Notre Dame drop?

7. How far does Notre Dame drop the year after losing the national championship game?

Richard Cirminiello: Not quite as far as many folks are assuming. The Irish won't go unbeaten during the regular season, like in 2012, but a BCS bowl berth remains well within reach for Brian Kelly's fourth team. There's no doubt that the offense will miss suspended QB Everett Golson and graduating skill players Theo Riddick, Cierre Wood and Tyler Eifert. However, the D will be even stingier than a year ago, even without Manti Te'o around. In fact, that defense is more advanced than any opposing offense on the schedule, the basis for a possible 10-win campaign.

FOLLOW! @PeteFiutak: From a 12-0 regular season to 10-2 wouldn't be that bad, and even 9-3 wouldn't be a fall-off-the-map campaign. Irish insiders swear that the defense that finished second in the nation in scoring D won't slip a bit despite the loss of Manti Te'o and Kapron Lewis-Moore, but the retirement of linebacker Danny Spond is a bigger deal than many are letting on. The defense won't be a problem as long as Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt are alive and kicking, but the offense needs to find a consistent ground game and has to keep the mistakes to a minimum. Watch out for Tommy Rees to be for Irish head coach Brian Kelly what Tony Pike turned into late in his Cincinnati career, and don't expect the loss of Everett Golson to be a killer. Kelly has ramped up the overall athleticism and talent level for one more big season before he's off to the NFL.

2013 CFN Preseason Questions
No. 25 New Star True Freshman | No. 24 Best New Head Coach
No. 23 Top Non-Conference Game | No. 22 Top Conference Game
No. 21 Who'll Bust The BCS? | No. 20 What Can Louisville Do?
No. 19 The Next Kansas State | No. 18 Cameron & Mettenberger
No. 17 Where's The Florida O? | No. 16 Clemson Or Florida St?
No. 15 Stanford Or Oregon? | No. 14 Clowney & The Heisman
No. 13 Who'll Win The Heisman? | No. 12 Will The BCS Work?
No. 11 Is Oklahoma Rebuilding? | No. 10 USC & Kiffin Rebound
No. 9 The Big 12 Champ Is...? | No. 8 Can Georgia Reload?
No. 7 Will Notre Dame Drop? | No. 6 Will Oregon Miss Chip?
No. 5 Will Texas Be A Player? | No. 4 Eight In A Row For SEC?
No. 3 Will Ohio State Go 14-0? | No. 2 Alabama Threepeat
No. 1 2013 & Johnny Manziel