Notre Dame football's head coach is in 'make or break year' says analyst

Notre Dame football head coach Marcus Freeman is in a very important year to figure out what comes next.
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There is quite a bit of excitement surrounding the Notre Dame football team this season. Most think that the addition of Riley Leonard to the mix is going to make the team get over the hump. The 12-team field will help the Irish get there as well.

While there is a great deal of excitement to see what the Fighting Irish can do under Marcus Freeman, there is also some trepidation. There are some who wonder if Freeman is the right man for the job.

They point to losses to Marshall in his first season at the helm. They also point to the massive mistakes that are seen as leading contributors to the Notre Dame football loss to Ohio State a year ago. And they wonder what the young head coach can do in year three.

Notre Dame football head coach is in ‘make or break’ season

Count Fighting Irish Wire analyst John Kennedy among those who thinks that Freeman doesn’t get a pass. In fact, this is the year that he’s going to have to show he’s right for the job.

“For whatever reason, historically, year three has been a demarcation point for past Irish coaches. The record suggests that if a coach is going to succeed at Notre Dame at an elite level, the third year of his tenure is when it begins to happen. On the flipside, those who struggle in their third year have never been able to get the program on track and have ultimately failed to reach their goals in South Bend.”

Kennedy also wrote that the head coach has been getting some leeway, but that’s just about over.

“Coach Freeman has received a fair amount of leeway and patience from the fan base as he tried to navigate being a new head coach on the fly his first 2 seasons. That understanding has quickly and justifiably faded. There can be no more Marshalls, no more Stanfords, and no more 10 man performances. 2024 needs to be the year of consistent and winning play. Period.”

There’s a lot of positivity around the Notre Dame football team. But there’s also some serious pressure. It all ramps up big time on July 31 when fall camp arrives.