Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Correct me if I'm wrong with this statement: Notre Dame is tabbed a "national title contender" every preseason and then they don't end up contending for a national title.
Well, this year will be no different.
The Irish still don't have a clear-cut starter at quarterback, something that has been consistent since the departure of Jimmy Clausen.
We can assume the starter will be Tommy Rees, but he hasn't been as productive under center as the Notre Dame coaching staff has hoped.
But whether it's Rees, Andrew Hendrix or even true freshman Gunner Kiel, the starter will have to find a way to produce without wide receiver Michael Floyd.
Saying that Floyd was the go-to receiver last year would be a vast understatement; as he accounted for 1,147 of UND's receiving yards, 100 of its 302 receptions and 9 of its 21 touchdowns through the air.
Manti Te'o will be the leader of a decent defense, which will lose three of its top five tacklers from last season.
However, the Te'o and the Irish will need a lot of help to get past a tough schedule.
History has shown that their season opener against Navy in Dublin, Ireland is far from an easy win.
After that, they will cap off September with a couple of brawls against two serious Big Ten title contenders in Michigan and Michigan State.
They also have to make road trips to face two of the top teams in the country, in Oklahoma and USC.
Best case scenario for Notre Dame is 8-4, but things could go as sour as 6-6 or worse.
In the end, the Irish may be clinging to a bowl bid at .500, but either way they'll be far from title contention.