Athlon sports has reported a very optimistic forecast for the upcoming season regarding the Notre Dame team, ranking the Fighting Irish number six in its 2011 preseason poll.

Two Notre Dame players made All-America status in Athlon’s college football annual: the junior linebacker Manti Te’o and suspended senior Michael Floyd.

“We expect big things from the Fighting Irish in Brian Kelly’s second season,” Athlon Sports managing editor Mitch Light, told the SouthBend Tribune.

“With a solid skill group and an experienced defense, Notre Dame is a prime candidate to earn a BCS berth.”

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