The Notre Dame football team will enter the 2012 season with considerably lower expectations compared to one year ago.
The Irish will face a brutal schedule containing five preseason top 25 teams, three top ten opponents, road games against a pair of top five squads, and do it with a new quarterback, a new defensive secondary, and without Michael Floyd.
There is little talk of a BCS berth. Pundits count as many as five probable losses, and, at best, this is thought of as a building year.
Still, the 2011 Notre Dame squad underachieved. Poor quarterback play and terrible turnovers doomed several contests in which the Irish out played and out gained the opponent (South Florida, Michigan and Florida State), only to see mental errors erode victory.
Had the Irish not beaten themselves so often last year, the 8-5 mark could have easily been 11-2, which would have set an entirely different tone for the upcoming season.
Here are 20 predictions of what 2012 will bring.