Yesterday, Bleacher Report released an article entitled “Predicting Every Power 5 College Football Team’s MVP” and, by virtue of the Irish not being in a Power 5 conference, any speculation around the most valuable Golden Domer for the upcoming season was neglected. Well, luckily for Bleacher Report and all of us, we live in a world where opinion and speculation regarding Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football is ... ubiquitous.
We’ve shared our opinion on players to watch already, but those are mostly young guys who, if you weren’t watching as we’ve suggested, you’d be blindsided by if one of them had a breakout season. On the other side of the coin, we’ve covered each and every Fighting Irish player that has been named to a preseason watch list, and there are quite a few. Now, it’s time to discuss who will be the most valuable player on the field for the Fighting Irish this year. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about the official Monogram Club Notre Dame Football MVP, won in the past by guys like Michael Floyd, Joe Schmidt and DeShone Kizer. I want to name the guy who, if he were to go away, the team team might go, say, 4-8.
With that said, my choice for the 2017 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football MVP: Josh Adams.
A dependable yet explosive running back? Notre Dame has had players like this in the past, but their contributions were frequently overshadowed. In 2012, Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood were an integral part of an offense that was anchored by a solid running game. But on the other side of the line, Manti Te’o led a great defense and became the most decorated linebacker in the history of the game. Jonas Gray watched Michael Floyd win MVP awards. Darius Walker played at the same time as guys named Brady Quinn and Jeff Samardzija. Most recently, CJ Prosise was an absolute bright spot on an offense, but didn’t get the attention he should have, due to the emergence of DeShone Kizer and outstanding play by Will Fuller. However, this year we’ll see an inexperienced quarterback, and what should be an outstanding offensive line. I think that this combination will, despite his splitting carries with Dexter Williams, propel Josh Adams to be the cog that makes the offense turn.
So, what do you think? Who will be most valuable for Notre Dame in the upcoming season?
Preseason Basketball Speculation: Just What We Wanted
USA Today updated their preseason basketball top 25 poll yesterday, and Mike Brey’s squad is ranked 14th. That’s just behind the team that dispatched the Irish from the NCAA Tournament last year, the West Virginia Mountaineers. The basketball Fighting Irish are seeing the sort of preseason hype that three or four successful seasons will earn you. With the optimism surrounding the program, there’s no reason for anyone to believe, despite the departures of V.J. Beachem, Steve Vasturia, and Matt Ryan, that the Irish can’t be successful again.
However, the preseason top 25 as it stands right now is full of ACC foes. Duke is third, Louisville is ninth, North Carolina is 11th, Miami is 16th, and Virginia is 25th. No surprises here; the ACC will be a difficult basketball conference again. The Irish will face this lineup with Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell as leaders.
Mike Brey’s teams have had trouble living up to lofty expectations in the past. If played correctly, this could be a year to fix that issue.