In the weeks leading up to the kickoff with the Temple Owls on September 2nd, here at OFD we’ll be giving you 17 predictions for the 2017 season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
No. 4: A Stress-Free Season
Since Brian Kelly was hired in December of 2009, every season has had some type of turmoil. That is not an exaggeration, either; it has been every season. I get that every program goes through trials and tribulations, but it seems most programs can go through a season now and then without any earth-shattering news.
The 2010 season was rocked with the the Declan Sullivan tragedy. The 2011 season had Michael Floyd’s preseason arrest. The 2012 season started off with Tommy Rees and Carlo Calabrese being arrested during an off-campus party, and ended with the whole Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax debacle. The 2013 season had Everett Golson being ruled academically ineligible for cheating on exams. The 2014 had the frozen five, where KeiVarae Russell, Ishaq Williams, Eiler Hardy, Kendall Moore and DeVaris Daniels were all ruled academically ineligible.
The 2015 season didn’t really have any off-field problems, but had a slew of injuries to several key players. Lastly, the 2016 season had the preseason arrests of Max Redfield, Kevin Stepherson, Te’Von Coney, Ashton White, Dexter Williams and Devin Butler.
(Excuse me if I missed an incident.)
This season, though, will be the year where it will all be different. 2017 will finally be the season where Kelly and the Irish faithful will only have to worry about what’s going on on the football field. No off-field distractions, just football. They’re due for it.
Now, I’m not saying that will translate to results on the field, but it certainly won’t hurt. Having football the only thing on the coaching staff's and players' minds could be enough to bring off a job-saving season for Kelly and Co.