ND ranked #16 by Phil Steele.

Submitted by Logan88 on June 1st, 2010 at 6:43 PM

I love Phil Steele's detailed analyses and will be camped out at my local Wal-Mart on June 8th to pick up his 2010 CFB preview magazine, but what the holy H*ll is the man thinking?

ND ranked 16th?!?! Could this be the biggest pre-season prediction FAIL of all time?



June 1st, 2010 at 7:12 PM ^

Why do you say that? They have talent, a good coach, and an easy schedule to get to nine wins. Phil said on his facebook page that these rankings aren't how strong the teams are, but their predicted finish in the polls. He has another set of power rankings which I'd assume has Notre Dame much lower.


June 1st, 2010 at 7:51 PM ^

they weren't a particularly good defensive team last year and they lose all contributors save manti te'o. they had a really good offense last season but they lose 3 starter from the OL, jummy clausen, and golden tate. dayne crist was a pretty highly rated QB coming into ND but he's still going into his first year as the starter. they have a new coach with a new offense. i don't think ND is as good as you're making them out to be and i also don't think brian kelly is enough of a miracle worker to win 9 games. that defense won't be able to hold up against UM, MSU, USC, and pitt. i also suspect they'll have some trouble against utah as well.


June 1st, 2010 at 8:02 PM ^

Notre Dame returns nine defensive starters this year, including Te'o. That defense may not hold up against the teams you've mentioned, but if they even split those games they'll end up in the top twenty.


June 1st, 2010 at 8:20 PM ^

doesn't hold up against the 4 teams i named, how do you expect them to split those games? are we to assume that their offense is going to score 40 a game those games? they didn't outscore michigan last year and that was with a senior laden OL, a 3 year starter at QB and an NFL receiver. while they return several weapons (rudolph, floyd) they don't have an OL or a proven QB. on top of that they're learning a new offense. they could end up being in the top 20, i just doubt it


June 1st, 2010 at 7:05 PM ^

Sports Illustrated picked Oregon State as its #1 preseason team a while back,  and they ended up with a losing record. I'd say that is a bigger gaffe than ND being #16.


June 1st, 2010 at 7:11 PM ^

Dude, I have the latest and greatest in my grubby little hands right now.

Picked it up at the local Barnes and Noble after my workout this afternoon.

I'd bet you can find copies at any B/N near you



June 1st, 2010 at 7:14 PM ^

on his website, but when I double checked the date I just noticed that it has the addendum, "...may be available sooner at your local retailer."

I'm going to go check to see if it's available right now. Thanks for the heads up!


June 1st, 2010 at 7:23 PM ^

Even as a predictor of final finish, #16 for ND is stupid.  It's going to take them a year or two to fix the disaster known as their defense and they lost three O linemen, Golden Tate, and their QB on offense.


June 1st, 2010 at 7:30 PM ^

MIT = Most Improved Teams

I consider this to be true to a point.

But 3-9 to 5-7 is not the "Most Improved" Steele probably had in mind.
You can't touch his detailed analysis, but the guy's prognostication are definitely fallible.

As for Notre Dame analysis, he's stressing their RB situation (excellent), OL (talented, but inexperienced, receiver situation (very good) and defense (DL and LB good, secondary will suck). Steele then rattles on about Kelly's magical powers with 3rd, 4th and 5th string caliber quarterbacks and football special teams, which I agree with 100%. 

I don't agree with 16th in the land, but in time Kelly will have ND turned around. He's a very good football coach.




Tim Waymen

June 1st, 2010 at 7:54 PM ^

That's insane.  I generally like Phil Steele, but the fact that he points to those factors as reasons that ND will be good is even more baffling.  That was basically UM in 2008 and he still called for UM to struggle.  Athlon had us going 8-2 with 2 toss-ups that year.  Just.  Wow.

And you want to know the worst part?  I have this incredibly uncomfortable feeling that ND might not be a complete failure next year because that's the way of the universe to embarrass us again and again and again.  Think about it: ND in the same exact situation as UM in 2008 but has a better record, and everyone is hailing Brian Kelly as a better coach than Rich Rodriguez.  Ironically, in the future that I foresee (before the machines take over), this happens even though we beat ND this year.


June 1st, 2010 at 9:52 PM ^

For comparison purposes, the #16 team in the final NCAA rankings this year was Wisconsin.  I kind of doubt ND is going to finish 10-3 with a major bowl win.

I cannot speak to ND's offensive power, but a bunch of returning starters from one of the worst defenses in recent ND history does not instill great confidence in me.  And while having good WRs certainly helps a young QB, still expect to see quite a few airballs and grounders while Crist is getting his feet under him behind a decent ND line.  I don't necessarily expect ND to go 3-9 like they did under Weiss, but #16 isn't going to happen either.


June 1st, 2010 at 7:33 PM ^

I dont want to spoil to much of whats in the magazine, but this statement about Michigan got me just a little aroused:

"........3 of my 9 sets of power ratings actually call for them to go 6-2 in the Big 10 play."

please let this happen. is that too much to ask?


June 1st, 2010 at 7:37 PM ^

How is Kelly any different than RR? Yeah, he will have a better team, but they won't be #16. He isn't in the Big East anymore either. Their Oline could easily be bad, and they won't be able to stop the pass. I don't see them being any better than Michigan.


They could lose to Purdue in Week 1, could lose to us in week 2, probably will lose at MSU in week 3, probably will lose to Stanford in Week 4, could lose to Pitt in week 6, could lose at Navy in week 8, and will lose at USC the last week of the year. They'll win the other 5, but those are 7 games they could, and in some of them will, lose. IME, they won't be better than 8-4.


June 2nd, 2010 at 6:58 AM ^


ND has a terrible record recently against the Other Major Catholic College (Boston College) and the game is in Chestnut Hill (ND only plays 3 true road games next year...that must be nice).

Utah is still one of the best non-BCS teams around and will give ND all they can handle in South Bend.

My way-too-early prediction for ND in 2010:

Definite wins: Purdue, Army, Tulsa, WMU

Toss-ups: UM, Stanford, Pitt, Utah, Navy

Likely losses: @BC, @MSU, @USC

I think they will lose 2 or 3 of the "toss-ups" and finish 7-5 or 6-6. Kelly is a good coah, not a miracle worker. ND will be good again very soon under Kelly, possibly as soon as 2011, but 2010 will be a mediocre year under the Dome.


June 2nd, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

I think that Purdue is a tossup for ND.  First game of the year in the new system could be really ugly.  IMHO all of the tossups you listed lean at least slightly to the opponent.  I'm not high on Michigan at all this year, but I like the Wolverines in that game. 

Jim Harbaugh S…

June 1st, 2010 at 8:36 PM ^

No offensive line

Defense sucks

Tough Schedule

Notre Dame Could be a 3-9 or 4-8 team next season. (I think they'll be around 6 or 7 wins, but they play a lot of teams that are better than them)

This is not a top 25 team.


June 2nd, 2010 at 7:04 AM ^

I went to Wal-Mart and Kroger last night. Neither store had his mag available.

It's kind of strange, too, as Phil Steele is in Cleveland and I live in central Ohio. You would think we would get the early distribution as we are only about 2 hours away.

blue note

June 2nd, 2010 at 1:28 AM ^

Guys, ND has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball and a (supposedly) very good coach. This isn't out of the range of possibilities and I'll give Steele the benefit of the doubt. 

Of all the teams on the schedule ND is one I'm not comfortable penciling in a win against. They underacheived by about 4 games last year. They beat MSU and Purdue... we didn't. Not going to use last year as a predictor.


June 2nd, 2010 at 12:46 PM ^

I'd say probably a bit more ignorance than jealousy.  That's not not a slight, just a fact when you're dealing with fans of another team (i.e. ones that don't know ND's roster all that well).  I mean, I just read things like "they lose all defensive contributors except Te'o" and "no offensive line!" 

The question marks for me are just basic things like a new QB and the offense learning a new system (which some have mentioned).  I actually have more faith in the defense this year than the offense (at least initially).

Anyway, there are definitely reasons why ND could be a pretty mediocre team again this year.  But I don't think it's "insane" to think they'll finish in the top 25.  Since there will very good talent on the field, I guess the thought is that Kelly will not turn out to be very good.  I guess you guys can hope for that!


June 2nd, 2010 at 10:19 AM ^

I respect ND, and I root for them when they're not playing UM. I am in no way jealous of the fact that Phil thinks ND will be better this year. When we thump you in your own house and Denard runs and throws all over your D, the writers will come crawling back. They have been burned by predicting RR will do well 2 years in a row now, and nobody wants to make it a third time. The thing is, we finally have a speedy QB to run the read option, and it's going to be big-time yardage for the UM offense.

The jealousy you percieve is just UM fans calling it like it is. ND will not be a good team this year, simply because of QB experience and a whole new system/terminology on both sides of the ball. I agree that Floyd & Rudolph are excellent players, but not enough to override the rest of the team's weaknesses.