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College Football
Updated: June 13, 2006, 10:39 AM ET

Notre Dame Will Lose 2006 Opener


I really don't understand what all the fuss coming out of South Bend is about. Not only does Notre Dame's football team not warrant the number one overall ranking, which they proved in last year's Fiesta Bowl, but I predict that won't even make it out of the first week of the season. Yes, that's right, I'm saying it now: Georgia Tech WILL beat Notre Dame-and I don't think it's even going to be close. Irish eyes will be crying on September 2nd when the Ramblin' Wrecking Crew gets to them and here's why:

1. Quarterback Matchup
You might be surprised here. Brady Quinn, America's golden boy and everyone's trendy preseason Heisman pick is arguably the most overrated QB in college football. His counterpart, Reggie Ball, on the other had, is probably the nation's most underrated. Ball may lack Quinn's size but he does bring the great x-factor, mobility. He has great arm strength and, with better offensive weapons around him, look out. Quinn has yet to show he can put up in the big games (ie. USC, Ohio State). Nonetheless, he is pretty good. Advantage: Even

2. Receivers
Jeff Samarzija is good but Calvin Johnson is amazing. It's not often you find a 6'5", 230-lb receiver who can run a 4.4 and jump through the ceiling. We have a word for that around here: Freak. I have him as the second best receiver in the country behind Dwayne Jarrett of USC and I don't think ND has anyone who can stay with him. Tom Zibikowski, you may be the Gold Gloves boxer, but I suspect you'll be the one getting knocked out. Advantage: Georgia Tech

3. Defense
With a front line of Joe Anoai, Adamm Oliver, and Darryl Richard, the defensive line is going to be Tech's strength. The linebacker corps is solid again with two starters returning. The defense's Achille's Heel, if it has one, is the secondary, which is very inexperienced but has great athleticism. ND has a good end in Victor Abiamiri and a punishing playmaker in Tom Zibikowski, but they're still a few steps away from having a dominant defense. Advantage: Georgia Tech

4. Coaching
Charlie Weiss has been grabbing headlines since his departure from the Patriots to return to his alma mater, and rightfully so. The offensive genius turned the Irish's fortunes around last season and did so with style. His counterpart, former Cowboys head coach Chan Gailey, inherited a program under probation from his predeccesor George O'Leary but has worked wonders in Atlanta. His defense, coached by Jon Tenuta, has been virtually inpenetrable (with the exception of a thumping at Virginia Tech last season) and his offense is showing steady improvement. Advantage: Even

5. Recruiting
The obvious edge here would go to Notre Dame, which signed a top ten recruiting class this past February, including two five stars and ten, count 'em, ten four stars. The Irish definitely added speed and helped fill some holes in the offensive line with Sam Young, a monster out of Florida's St. Thomas Aquinas. The Yellow Jackets only signed sixteen players because of their probation but added some quality players that will be able to step in and play right away, especially in the defensive secondary. Gailey also managed to nab the steal of the recruiting season with walk-on Sean Bedford, a stud defensive end out of Gainesville, Florida who opted not to sign on February 1st. Advantage: Even