The jury was still out on Brian Kelly coming into this season. He knows that coaching the Notre Dame Fighting Irish carries with it the constant pressure to excel. So in what ways has this program improved under their third-year coach?
It's hard to argue with their 4-0 start and No. 9 ranking in the AP Poll. They've beat two ranked teams in a row, even if those wins weren't pretty.
That's usually the sign of a team that's going somewhere. Being able to pull out games when you're not at your best is crucial to keeping yourself in contention for a national championship.
The next step for the Irish comes Saturday night at Soldier Field, when they renew a once fierce rivalry with Miami (FL). That presents another prime time opportunity for them to show the nation that they're for real.
Let's take a look at a few reasons Kelly has this team improving not only on a year-to-year basis, but also week-to-week.