Today The Athletic's Austin Mock released their projection model (subscription required) as to how the 2021 season will play out. If this model is correct, then it's going to be yet another season where the Irish aren't raising the College Football Playoff trophy.
The odds are slim, like really slim at just 1.4% that Brian Kelly wins his first title in South Bend. Even though there are some analysts like Desmond Howard that believes the Irish will make the CFP, they aren't as many as we would have liked to see.
Desmond Howard picks Notre Dame to make College Football Playoff
The upcoming season is being viewed by many outside the program as a rebuilding year, after saying goodbye to the all-time winningest quarterback in program history (Ian Book), a Butkus Award winner (Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah) and having to replace defensive coordinator Clark Lea.
If you told Kelly that, he might not take it very well, but this season could very well play out that way. There is also the possibility that everything does the Irish's way and another berth to the CFP is in the cards.
That's what's so great about college football, the speculation prior to the season starting brings so much hope and anticipation. Even though we have to wait a bit longer than most to see the Irish hit the field in 2021, the season is upon us and we'll see if the experts are correct.