Blue and Gold Illustrated

August 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BY MATT JONES T exas has a new and improv ed offen se. Stanford has star running back Christian McCaf- frey returning and ready to run. USC brings back a wealth of talent and experience, and Michi- gan State remains formi- dable. That's what we think we know right now, though much will change by the time the season ar- rives. The 2016 Notre Dame season could break many different ways, but that does not stop the five preseason publications — Athlon Sports 2016 Na- tional College Football An- nual, ESPN 2016 College Football Preview, Lindy's Sports College Football 2016 National Preview, Phil Steele's 2016 Col- lege Football Preview and Sporting News College Football — from prog- nosticating the Irish and their opponents. Here's an early look at the position units, play- ers, toughest games and more on Notre Dame's 2016 schedule. BEST POSITION GROUPS • Quarterback: Phil Steele's is high on Notre Dame's two quar- terbacks DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire, ranking them as the eighth- best group among the 128 Foot- ball Bowl Subdivision teams. The publication also has Miami (led by Brad Kaaya) as the 12th-best unit, USC (Max Browne) at No. 37, Texas (Shane Buechele, Tyrone Swoopes or Jerrod Heard) at No. 43 and Stanford (Keller Chryst) at No. 50. • Running backs: Led by All- UNDER THE DOME BEST OF THE BEST There's plenty of tough opposition facing Notre Dame in 2016 A Heisman Trophy finalist in 2015, Stanford's Christian McCaffrey is expected to be one of the best individual talents Notre Dame faces in 2016. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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