It was men against boys for most of the night when Notre Dame faced a rampant Stanford team that picked them off at will.
The Notre Dame defense stayed in the game as long as they could but the lack of any offensive points wore them down eventually.
Notre Dame now knows what a major BCS contender looks like and how far they have to go if they are ever to relive the glory of the old days.
Stanford can be a model for them. They insist on even higher grades than Notre Dame yet have put together a brilliant team these past few years.
The quarterback controversy has officially reignited after the Tommy Rees poor performance on this occasion.
In fairness to Rees he was clearly playing injured after the first series when he was tackled heavily.
However his lack of any running ability was seen on a third and three from the five when he could not reach the endzone on a bootleg
Andrew Hendrix looked good in spots but it still very much a work in progress.
Kelly clearly believes that Dayne Crist is a lost cause and will either transfer out or be a permanent back up next year.
The amazing thing is that at certain points Notre Dame looked like they were really in this game especially after Fleming intercepted Luck in the first half.
A touchdown at that point would have sparked the Irish to who knows what, given that the Stanford Defense, especially against Michael Floyd looked suspiciously soft.
The Irish now know how high the mountain they have to climb is. A bowl victory, likely in the Champs Bowl in Orlando will help them on their way but expect that game and the early games of next year to be dominated by yet another quarterback controversy.
That's just the way it is at South Bend.