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since there (and rightly so) several fellow posters who think i'm always negative, i'll politely say i see 7-5 at best. last year, our offense killed itself and left the defense on the field way too long. this year the D will be better even with average corner play. but the offense with probably a brand new QB for the most part? 7-5.......and then i'll let the rest of the BK talking heads explain why......
Run the ball.
Stop the run.
You win, or lose, up front.
GRINGO MAFIA-SERGEANT AT ARMS-
Mr. Rice, excellent post, again. I have to say that I do not necessarily agree with everything you said (I do agree with most of it, though); however, I thoroughly appreciate you detailing your logic, which is hard to dispute.
A couple of points really caught my eye.
2) You will not hear many ND fans express this sentiment. Those who do risk being labeled over zealous or blindly optimistic. However, I get your reasoning. After following recruiting and reading the same rhetoric (i.e. # of returning starters, key personnel losses, etc.) for so long, I've come to the conclusion that you cannot project a team based on the new pieces it added less the individuals it lost. The value of a team is not necessarily equal to the sum of its parts. I will not be so bold to predict that our passing game will flourish due to the absence of Floyd; however, I will surely not dismiss this notion either. I think, by watching the BBall team over the past few seasons, sometimes when players are so good a team can become reliant on these superstars. When the "other" guys are forced to step up, sometimes you get surprisingly positive results. I'm certainly less optimistic than you, but I definitely wouldn't rule it out.
4) This is probably the one area, in which I am more optimistic than you. Shockingly, I'm really not that worried about our secondary. I think we play a very conservative brand of football, rarely exposing our CBs. You'll notice we were rarely beaten deep last year. While, we did have some good talent and great experience we were hardly world-beaters. Regardless, we didn't finish all too favorably in the final defensive pass efficiency ratings (even adj for our opp). However, to my untrained eye, this was a mixture of sacrificing the "underneath stuff" and average to below average pass covering LBs. I think we improve in this category this year, largely due to improved pass coverage from our more experienced LB unit.
5) I think this is a very important concept that is oft overlooked. I will confess I typically don't put much stock into intangibles (I'm a numbers guy - I loves me some stats); however, even I can admit that the "tone at the top" is vital in any organized structure. I've been in a situation where I lost all respect for my "leader" and our job became a trainwreck. I know BK emphasizes chemistry and consistency. There was obviously some turnover; however, the message should be constant. We can only hope this will yield results.
While I'm less than certain on the number of wins in 2012, I am very optimistic about the direction of our program. I by no means think this is a "make or break" season for BK; rather, I think this is a huge opportunity for this ND team (and BK) to make serious waves. I think most everybody is less than optimistic about our outlook (including an unusually high amount of ND fans). Just based on my observations from various postings and conversations from numerous fans, this year is expected to be a bit of a grind. This allows him the unusual circumstance to overachieve (a rare position amongst ND fans). Weirdly, this is the most excited I've been for a ND season in a long time (maybe ever).
POTW 6.4.2012 - 6.10.2012 & 3.4.2013 - 3.10.2013
2 time POTW winner on some dates I can't remember from 2yrs ago at BNG,
POTW: 1/3/11- 1/9/11, 6/20/11-6/26/11
3 time POTW
5 Time POTW--Gringo Mafia Director of Guerrilla Warfare
I agree with your thoughts and record.
Until i finally see it done on the field i will go with 7-5 or 8-4. I think they will be better but i have to see it on the field for a change.
Two time Poster of The Week, 2011 and 2013.
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