Ronnie Stanley’s return makes Notre Dame a top 15 team next year

malik zaire notre dame football

Notre Dame football fans already have their eyes on next season as they progress towards the fall riding the momentum of a thrilling Music City Bowl upset of #22 LSU.  Now that OT Ronnie Stanley has officially decided to return, along with the team’s best DL, Sheldon Day, it’s safe to say the Irish will be ranked in the top 15 of next year’s preseason polls.

For the 14th consecutive season has released its Annual Early Bird Preview, which takes a very early – but extremely compelling – peek into the next college football season. Notre Dame football nation was obviously disappointed in the second half collapse in 2014, but things look up for this fall as National Champs rank ND #16, and their vanquished opponent in Nashville, LSU, #11.

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Notre Dame vs West Virginia was last “Southernless” title game

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Tonight’s college football national title game has a unique twist to it. It’s the first time, in a generation, without any Southern Hospitality. Of course, it depends on where and how you define The South. The Mason-Dixon line is a state of a mind; not a states border.

Still the Oregon vs. Ohio State clash is historical. The match-up goes all the way back to 1998; Notre Dame and West Virginia. So Tony Rice and Major Harris- represent.

ESPN’s Chris Fowler previewed the title game on media conference call.

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Notre Dame NFL Draft updates: Ronnie Stanley, Sheldon Day



Update: Ronnie Stanley returns, making ND a top 15 team for next year.

It was reported, first by Irish Illustrated, that Ronnie Stanley and Sheldon Day had a meeting with Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly on Wednesday. The topic? Well, you already know the topic: NFL Draft early entry.

Stanley still has not made a decision;  the deadline is Thursday. Sheldon Day made it official that he’s returning to South Bend today; issuing a statement through the school:

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Everett Golson graduates from ND in May; transfer rumors begin

everett-golson notre dame football

Notre Dame Quarterback Everett Golson told Irish on Wednesday that he plans to return to school for the spring semester and graduate in May. Therefore under NCAA rules, he could enroll as a graduate student and play immediately elsewhere.

There are already rumors that Golson might do exactly that., of all places commenced the Golson speculation season.

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SEC football crashing out at “SEC Speed” this bowl season


Everyone is piling on SEC football right now. Before we join in, let’s take a moment to remind everyone how/why we got here. SEC football is exceptional. With it comes SEC football exceptionalism; and it’s something that the SEC football communities love to remind you of.

This will be the first time since 2005 that we have a national title game without a SEC team. Last year, was the first time since that same year in which we had a non SEC National Champion. From 2003-2012, the SEC won it all every season but two.

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Jaylon Smith: Notre Dame Football’s best player in ’15


On the eve of Notre Dame’s (or as LSU/SEC folk call them “Notra Dame”) big upset victory over #22 LSU, Fighting Irish Coach Brian Kelly extolled the virtues of OLB Jaylon Smith:

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Malik Zaire: new Notre Dame QB arrives with authority

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(Update: NFL Draft decisions for Notre Dame’s Sheldon Day, Ronnie Stanley)

Newly minted starting quarterback Malik Zaire won both the bowl game and the postgame press conference. Zaire and company started this bowl season’s hottest trend, beating up on the big bad SEC West. In splitting time with Everett Golson, Zaire completed 12-15 passes for 96 yards, no interceptions, one touchdown. He also had 96 yards rushing on 22 carries, and a TD.

He’s also surrounded by tons of future NFL talent next year, so the sky is the limit for him in 2015.

After the game, Zaire had a couple of great one-liners.

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Notre Dame vs LSU: Music City Bowl news and notes


From a branding and/or marketing perspective, Notre Dame versus LSU is as good a bowl match-up as it gets. Forbes recently rated Notre Dame’s football program the second most valuable in the country at $122 million, behind only Texas ($131 million value), with the notation:

“A single home game attracts almost 62,000 visitors from outside the South Bend area; on average, each of those fans injects close to $200 into the local economy.”

Next on the list were Michigan, Alabama and LSU.

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Notre Dame football Bowl game nuggets, tidbits


The Notre Dame football community has a bowl game to get geared up for. In just over 24 hours or so the Music City Bowl versus LSU will kick off. There’s story lines galore, as we profiled in our previewish-kind of thinggee which we published yesterday.

Also, there’s a lot of “first day guys” in the 2015 NFL Draft and 2016 NFL Draft, as profiled here. That said, let’s move on to the more Notre Dame football specific narratives in the Music City Bowl.

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Notre Dame vs LSU: future NFL talent playing in Nashville


This year’s Louisiana State team entered the year having lost more players to NFL Draft early entry than any college football team in history. There’s still a ton of potential first rounders all over the roster though. Their opponents in the Music City Bowl, Notre Dame, have a top ten prospect on their OL. There’s going to be a ton of NFL talent on display in Nashville on December 30th.

Read on to find out who, with the help of Walter

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Which bowl game will Notre Dame Football play in?


So which postseason game is the Notre Dame football team headed to? Well, at this point, we’re talking a third or fourth tier bowl. Not the words Notre Dame football fans want to hear, but it’s reality. Through the first five games, the Fighting Irish defense recorded numbers that warranted all those comparisons that you heard to the 2012 national runner-up team’s defense.

Since in the six games since, the competition got much better and the Irish defense has been a shell of what it once was. And that’s how we got here, Notre Dame football nation. Let’s look at the bowl projections:

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Brian Kelly explains his controversial decision to go for 2


Brian Kelly made a very controversial decision to go for two, and a lot of the people in the press box blamed #15 Notre Dame’s loss on that very decision. You saw the game, so you can make up your own mind. If you didn’t here’s the Q&A Brian Kelly had with reporters in the press room explaining his justification to attempt the two point conversion.

I’ll leave the speculation, debate and opining up to you. The comment section is below, speak your mind. Or Tweet me @paulmbanks. Here’s the transcript:

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