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Let’s be realistic here…

Mackin Bannon | Monday, August 30, 2010

This is in response to Daniel Collins’ letter from Friday’s issue of The Observer, (“Show some faith,” Aug. 27) Let me start off by saying that I am a fourth generation student here at the University of Notre Dame, so I was born and raised an Irish fan right here in Indiana, and I know what Notre Dame is all about. I have been to many games, and I will always be first in line to defend this University and its football program. I have plenty of faith in Coach Kelly and the Fighting Irish football team, and I do believe that they will do great things in my four years at Notre Dame and beyond.

However, I am also realistic. The question was, “What will Notre Dame’s football record be this season?” not, “What do you hope Notre Dame’s football record will be this season?” I hope that Notre Dame goes undefeated this season just as much as the next guy, but realistically, it would be extremely hard. Looking at the schedule, Michigan and Michigan State are always tough contests, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a dark horse for the Heisman, 15th-ranked Pittsburgh has one of the best running backs in the nation in Dion Lewis, and we have to travel to bowl-ineligible Southern Cal, whom we have not defeated since 2001 (excluding the vacated win in 2005) and will be hungry to end its season with wins over us and UCLA. Additionally, the players are learning a completely new offense, which may take several games to reach its full potential. I am not saying that the team cannot overcome all of this and go undefeated, but when putting the situation in perspective, it would be very difficult.

Despite all of this, I do expect Notre Dame to win at least nine games this season, which certainly is nothing to scoff at. Two of Notre Dame’s three BCS appearances came after nine-win seasons, and a 9-3 record would be a vast improvement over the last three years. In my eyes, 9-3 and a BCS appearance would be a success for this year, and a great way to start a new era that, I believe, will include multiple undefeated seasons and bring Notre Dame back into the elite of college football.

So, if anyone doubts my loyalty, spirit and pride, on Sept. 4 I will be in the nation’s greatest football stadium cheering as loudly as anyone, supporting the Irish as I have my whole life. This is going to be an exciting season, and hopefully I’m proven wrong. Go Irish!

Mackin Bannon


Sorin College

Aug. 27