\"Notre

Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist Photo by: AP

For Notre Dame, it's all about patience

\"Notre

Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist Photo by: AP

It's still too early to draw a major conclusion about a college football coach this early in the season, especially when there is too much random luck involved.

However, after Brian Kelly became the new head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this  winter it looked like their fortunes might be improving.

Kelly had a great deal of success at a BCS-level school, which is one of the surest predictors of future success.

To date coaches with previous BCS success tend to improve their new teams by about 5 percent (according to Football Outsiders' measure) within the first two years.

Plus, Notre Dame has assembled enough talent that it seems certain a new coach might be able to engineer a fast turnaround.

But now Kelly is four games in. Sure, there is clear statistical improvement, the team is 1-3 and has lost close games to the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans, two major Midwestern rivals.

The begs the following questions: Are the Irish really getting better? And is there hope for the future?

The answer is yes. Kelly faced an incredibly tough schedule the first six games but after that the schedule gets increasingly easier. Notre Dame still seems likely to finish 6-6 at worst.

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