Phil Steele’s Cliffs Notes: Notre Dame
Steele loves the Irish. I know most fans think the gushing is a pure play to sell more magazines, but I actually agree with him on this one. Like Steele, I believe a soft schedule and a jelling group of young talent will spark another Notre Dame “return to glory.”
Here are some of the reasons Steele is high on the Irish.
Nuggets and notes of interest
-- The Irish have nine offensive starters returning and seven defensive starters returning. They also have 37 lettermen coming back.
-- Charlie Weis is 17-13 vs BCS teams
-- Weis is 10-4 as the away team.
-- Last year Notre Dame was neutral in the turnover margin
-- They have the 67th most difficult schedule
-- Notre Dame average 75 yards rushing per game. Statistically it was the worse rushing game in Notre Dame history.
-- Steele ranks their running backs as the 23rd best group in the country.
-- He predicts they’ll play Florida State in the Gator Bowl.
-- Notre Dame is No. 1 on his most improved list
-- Notre Dame is No. 19 in his rankings
-- According to Steele, the Irish have the No. 1 group of incoming freshman
-- They finished 93rd in his special indexing in 2007
-- They are 24th in his power poll
-- He projects them to have the 9th best pass defense in 2008
-- They are expected to be the most improved in scoring offense this year.