Notre Dame Football: How Michigan Loss Proves Irish Still Flawed

Collin O'Connor@@BarkofhinklehhrCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2010

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish waits to enter the field with his team including Armando Allen, Jr. #5, Carlo Calabrese #44 and Ethan Johnson #90 before a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan defeated Notre Dame 28-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I hope no one expected an undefeated season this year and a championship. Obviously, the Brian Kelly process will take time and Michigan's loss proves just that.

It's always tough losing to a rival, especially Michigan, but we learned a lot about the team this week.

For one, Notre Dame looked like the Colts without Peyton Manning when Crist went down. Kelly couldn't get anything done with his offense with those two back up quarterbacks, and our defense gave up 21 first half points.

With three different quarterbacks throwing an interception on Saturday, perhaps the game had been a lot different if Crist had been under center the whole time. However, that's besides the point.

This loss should not come as a shock. Michigan is a good football team this year, especially with Robinson playing as well as he is right now. Yes, Notre Dame is on the way up, but after last week's win, I think fans started expecting a bit too much out of Brian Kelly in his first year.

If there's one thing Irish fans should be excited about, though, is the recruiting class coming in and knowing how well Kelly can turn this thing around. Sure, they didn't perform as well as they could have yesterday, and this might happen a couple of more times throughout the season, but Brian Kelly knows he has to turn this around fast.

These players were recruited to play for either Weis' pro-style offense or 4-3 defense, not what Brian Kelly is running now. They aren't meant to be playing the role they are in right now, especially the offensive line.

The line, which is one of the most important parts of the whole team, was recruited to play int the pro style scheme. Being on the line in the spread is a whole different task than doing it in the spread.

The Irish will definitely continue to improve as the season goes on, but will never reach the point where Brian Kelly wants a team of his to be.

Notre Dame is on the way up, we know that. Everyone knows that. Fans have to be patient and give him the time Kelly needs. Michigan did that with Rich Rodriguez, and he has now finally found the quarterback he needs.

So sit back this year, and enjoy some pretty good football for now, but be prepared for when Brian Kelly will have the Irish back in a couple of years.