Where Does Notre Dame Go From Here?


After taking it to the chin against Michigan, where does Notre Dame go from here?

Fans seem to have mixed feelings – from calling for a change at quarterback to a hard reset to fire everyone at start from scratch.

Both are a bit extreme, despite a disheartened effort by Brian Kelly’s “Fighting” Irish.

Salvaging The Season

The door may have been slammed shut for the College Football Playoff, but Notre Dame still has a chance at a third consecutive 10 win season.

This would be the most consecutive 10 win seasons for Notre Dame since 1991-1993, and only the second time in Notre Dame’s storied history that they have accomplished such feat in back to back, to back seasons.

ESPN’s predictions are sending the Irish back to Orlando for the Camping World Bowl – an obvious step down from the Citrus Bowl (albeit in the same exact stadium) and the Cotton Bowl in which they participated over those two years.

While the recent loss definitely stings, winning out is the best the Irish can do to finish this season the right way.

A dream scenario is a post-season rematch against the same Michigan Wolverines that laid the smack down on October 26, 2019.

I guarantee that would be one of the most watched bowl games outside the College Football Playoff.

Recruit, Recruit, Recruit.

The only way Notre Dame will stay in the playoff conversation moving forward is by bringing in major recruits.

With two, five star players signed for 2020, and perhaps some more in the pipeline, the future is actually bright. Notre Dame has traditionally struggled to get five star recruits. Since 2000, when 247 Sports started ranking recruits by stars, Notre Dame has only picked up 15 five star recruits, with two more on the way in 2020.

For reference, Notre Dame is up against programs that have had substantially better recruiting success.

Clemson 28, LSU 36, Ohio State 43, Alabama 55

*Includes current commitments

A five star rating does not automatically translate to success but there seems to be some correlation to winning.

Facts as they are, Notre Dame will need to start compiling more five star talents, it’s going to be a near impossible task to compete for the national title.

Ian’s Final Chapter?

Ian Book will likely remain the starting quarterback for Notre Dame. Contrary to popular belief, I will stand behind this decision – especially if Book returns for his fifth year of eligibility.

Undoubtedly, Book should be progressing at this stage of his development, not regressing. While some may question if it’s time to turn the page on Book, it’s become clear to me the coaching staff feels the back-up is not ready for the starting role. Per Irish Illustrated’s Tim Prister – Kelly’s press conference address the quarterback situation

Time for Book and the Fighting Irish to strap their boots on and get back to work.

Tommy Boy

On the injury front Notre Dame only suffered one major blow in the blow-out loss.

Tommy Kraemer came in as a five star recruit back in the class of 2016. Unfortunately, he suffered an MCL sprain in the first half of last week’s contest and will be on the shelf for at least 4-6 weeks.

Tough hit on the offensive line, but more so for Kraemer who scouts expect to move on to the NFL level to follow recent Notre Dame standouts like Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson to make an immediate impact. Hopefully Kraemer can get back onto the field to make his case why he should be playing on Sunday’s.

On To The Next One

Notre Dame faces off against Virginia Tech on November 2, 2019 at 2:30 PM ET.

VT has the same record as Notre Dame this season with five wins and two losses. VT’s only two losses this season came from Duke and Boston College.

Both of those teams will get a shot against Notre Dame this year.