LETS DO THIS.
Welcome to Hot and Cold Takes: Season Edition. As a reminder to all of the readers, this is HEAVILY driven by you. To recap: the format allows for readers and fans to leave their own takes for the game, both HOT and COLD. As a recap, a HOT take is one that may cause some controversy, but will allow you to say, “CALLED IT!”. A COLD take is still impressive, but is generally more reasonable/expected. During the season, I will feature the most accurate, most interesting, and the most wildly inaccurate after each game week. Today’s article is a bit more about the whole season, so you won’t have a chance to be proven right, horribly wrong, or interesting until after the season. Feel free to make this about the record, games, coaches, players, weather, tailgates, the over under on how many Long Islands I drink at the backer....You get the picture. Camp is dragging along and I am sure everyone has a lot of opinions about the season, so let’s have at it as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish kick things off.
Chase Claypool surpasses Miles Boykin’s 2018 campaign in catches, yards, and touchdowns.
As a reminder Boykin finished with 59 catches, 872 yards, and 8 tds, which is nothing to scoff at. I think we will see a more aggressive and explosive boundary option for Ian Book this year, and the “Maple Bandit” (let’s get that nickname popping) will explode this year. He has looked extremely physical in the camp videos and some of the catches he has been making have been ridiculous. Moving him to the boundary also makes him THE go to guy for Book, and the two have developed some pretty sweet chemistry. He will have the most dominant season for a big bodied receiver (which excludes Fuller) since Michael Floyd. Look for 10+ touchdowns and some first/second round grades as his athleticism will be off the charts at the combine. When tweeting about him, make sure to use #maplebandit as it gives him strength.
Notre Dame loses 1 game, but still makes it to the playoffs.
Hear me out. The schedule is very difficult, and I do not think we make it out of the regular season completely unscathed. The Irish will lose a very close one to Georgia Bulldogs in Athens. The bulldogs definitely do not win out, finishing with 2 regular season losses and do not play in the SEC championships game. Those 2 losses will knock them out of playoff contention, and the Irish can slip in as a wild card. Notre Dame’s lone loss will not be heavily counted against the them in grand scheme of things as I think we mostly dominate the rest schedule. The national conversation about a 1 loss “not in a conference” Notre Dame will spark some heated debates, but they will still squeak in, much to the dismay of every program nationally.
This confidence is driven by the preparation differences this team will display from top to bottom. Having close of wins against mediocre teams last year (Vandy, Ball State, Pitt, USC) was maybe the best thing to happen to the Irish. Alohi Gilman and Ian Book seem to be very legit leaders on both sides of the ball and I do not see preparation lacking as they did in multiple games last year. I don’t think they win at Georgia, but they will still make the playoffs.
Luke Warm Take
Michael Young finishes with over 1,000 all purpose yards. As the third receiver, he should see a lot of action as teams will start keying on Claypool and Chris Finke. His ability to catch, run, and return the ball will have him consistently putting up solid numbers.