Yes friends... it’s preview mag season for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the rest of college football — which also means math season. Advanced stats, metrics, and algorithms have been a part of college football for a long time now — and they’re not going away. One of the bigger and more popular formulas is the SP+ on ESPN from Bill Connelly (formerly with SB Nation).
Today is Independent day, and Notre Dame’s SP+ prediction is quite the doozy.
Even if you're higher on Notre Dame than SP+*, that midseason stretch is INCREDIBLE. They've got a month to figure things out.— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) June 1, 2021
* Using updated ret prod numbers, ND is more like 21st-23rd than 25th now. pic.twitter.com/nTKhz07L8j
The SP+ has Notre Dame wins against the Navy Midshipmen, Toledo Rockets, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Stanford Cardinal, Purdue Boilermakers, Florida State Seminoles, and Virginia Cavaliers. “Relative toss-ups” are considered losses and those go to the Virginia Tech Hokies, USC Trojans, Cincinnati Bearcats, and North Carolina Tar Heels. The most likely loss is the game against the Wisconsin Badgers.
Now, this isn’t a Bill C thing — it’s just a formula.
On the OFD Podcast we have (and will continue) to shoot down some of the nonsense surrounding these preseason projections and predictions. One of the bigger themes we touch on is that you either believe in recruiting rankings and that Notre Dame develops its talent — or you don’t. If you do, then 7-5 is ultimate proof that math is dead.
For example... while we recognize that Cincy is a damn fine team, they lost a lot along their offensive line as well as their defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman — who just so happens to be Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator now. Still, Notre Dame only has a 44% win probability to Cincy in South Bend? Never mind the rest of the talent top to bottom.
And that’s just THAT game (and a wee bit of it).
Of course, none of this really matters, and Phil Steele still has the Irish projected as the #7 team in the AP Poll to start the season — which also means nothing as well.
If everything means nothing and the future still needs to happen... MATH IS DEAD!
We’ll have much more on this later in the week on the OFD Podcast.