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There’s too much good in Kelly’s history to give up on him now—or think some kind of Irish jinx is in play. The reality is Notre Dame underachieved last season, and probably overachieved in Kelly’s first season. So where does that leave 2012 for the program still trying to find itself again? It’s essentially Kelly’s roster now; there’s no more blame for the previous staff. He’ll win—or lose—because of roster and personnel decisions he has made.
A BCS coach says: “This slow transition must be killing Brian right now. He’s a results guy, and I think he thought he had something last season—and all those turnovers cost them at least two, maybe three, games. You’re going to see that team play with a different sense of urgency this season. Once his teams buy in, he’s usually very successful.”