Tom Colton: Predictions for Notre Dame’s Upcoming Season
Tom Colton shares that ESPN has just projected a 10-2 finish for Notre Dame this 2018, but he believes the Fighting Irish can do better. ESPN has Notre Dame’s chances of winning a national title at just 10% — too low for a team that managed to surpass expectations last year. With their turnaround showing last season (they finished 4-8 in 2016 and 10-3 last year), there’s reason to believe that 2018 could very well see 11 or even 12 wins for Notre Dame.
Tom Colton explains why and sums up his predictions for the upcoming season below:
1. Notre Dame has depth in their QB position – The No. 1 concern among naysayers is Notre Dame’s QB conundrum. But Coach Brian Kelly is keeping his cards close to his chest, refusing to say who will be the Fighting Irish’s starting QB. Whether the huge responsibility falls in the hands of Brandon Wimbush or Ian Book, however, Tom Colton says the good thing here is that Notre Dame has options, which can leave their opponents guessing as to what kind of strategy they’ll use. There are two other QBs whose names have floated in the starter discussion as well: Avery Davis and freshman Phil Jurkovec. While Wimbush is still thought to bag the role, at this point, Tom Colton would rather be surprised. Again, what’s crucial is depth, and Notre Dame has it. If he had to choose, however, his money is still on Wimbush.
2. Mike Elko’s departure isn’t that much of a loss – Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator has moved on to Texas A&M. Tom Colton explains that losing Elko isn’t that big of a loss because he’s done his job at Notre Dame. He accomplished what he was initially hired for, and Tom Colton dare says that the Fighting Irish’s defense will even continue to improve without him. Of course, this isn’t to discredit what Elko has done at Notre Dame. He helped the Fighting Irish move up to 44th place in total yards allowed per game, for one. But again, Notre Dame’s machinery is slowly but surely taking place and their breakthrough run for a national title now lies in the hands of its young and talented players.
3. Notre Dame’s defense is shaping up to be the best – Another reason why Tom Colton isn’t too worried: Notre Dame’s defensive line is impressive. Fans forget that defense is the other side of the coin. Despite the questions raised about the offense line, Tom Colton sees their defense formidably holding off rivals Stanford, Virginia Tech, and Florida State. Tom Colton says he’d go as far as to say that Notre Dame has the best defenses in the nation at the moment, thanks to Jerry Tillery, Julian Love, Te’Von Coney, and Drue Tranquill.
In sum, Tom Colton expects the Fighting Irish to maintain their record last year at the very worst. At the very best, it’s off to the New Year’s Six bowl!