2018 Notre Dame projections on the Hour Glass
Year nine of the Brian Kelly era begins this fall and after a 10 win season and Citrus Bowl win in 2017, the Irish look poised to be in the College Football Playoff discussion for most of 2018. Kelly, who has faced some heat at times, especially after 2016, where his team went 4-8, has brought Notre Dame back to respectability; winning double digit ball games three times during his time in South Bend and playing for a National Title in 2012.
Kelly is currently our 36th best coach in the country and well inside our top 20 in Power Five coaches, but Irish fans want more and rightfully so.
Notre Dame is still if not the biggest, one of the biggest brands in college football and their fan base wants to taste the College Football Playoff.
Kelly and his staff have done a great job on the recruiting trail, where the Irish currently have the 10th best roster talent on our three year average. The Irish averaged 34 points per ball game and gave up just 22 points per game, which is right where our numbers show you need to be on both sides of the ball (30 ppg on offense, give up only 22 ppg), if you want to win double digit games.
The Irish return over 2200 yards of production on the ground and a ton of experience at the skill position. The key for the Irish is the play of quarterback Brandon Wimbush, who checks in as our 14th best quarterback in the country. Wimbush is a dual threat guy and produces, but has to do more in the passing game, where he completed only 50 percent of his passes in 2017.
The Irish did lose three of their top four tacklers from a year ago due to graduation, so several young Irish will be called upon to fill the shoes of Nyles Morgan, Drue Tranquill and Greer Martini.
Outside of lopsided losses to Miami and Stanford a year ago, the Irish defense showed up every week, even taking National Champion runner up Georgia down to the wire in a 20-19 ball game in week two.
The 2018 schedule is as tough as you could ask for as the Irish host Michigan in a prime time ball game to kick off the season on September 1st. Fair or unfair, the loser of this ball game will begin to get some heat from their respective fan base.
The Irish also host Stanford, travel to Virginia Tech and host Florida State on November 10th. As always, the Irish finish the regular season against USC, this time out on the West Coast at the Coliseum.
If the Irish can knock off Michigan in week one, and take care of Stanford and Virginia Tech, look for the Irish to potentially walk into the first College Football Playoff poll as the number one team in the country. If that happens, it will be a very exciting November for the Irish.
HG analytics pick for 2018: 10-2
2017 Notre Dame Hour Glass Pick was at 7-5; Actual finish @ 9-2 (83 Percent Accuracy)
Hour Glass National Recruiting Ranking: 10th – INSIDE our College Football National Championship bust line on our talent index.
National Coaching Rank for Brian Kelly on HG Scale: 36th (Kelly Stamp at 7) – Average coaching value for 2018 set at 3.75.
Returning Notre Dame Quarterback play rated 14th in the country in our Power Five Rankings with a stamp of 16. Average quarterback stamp nationally for 2018 is 8.3.