Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
There wasn't much good to say about Notre Dame's first outing in 2011.
Okay, that might be stretching it a bit. Still, a loss to South Florida wasn't exactly the way Brian Kelly envisioned the start to the season—a season in which there were BCS hopes for the Irish.
Surprisingly, as terrible as things seemed for the Irish, the passing game wasn't all bad. Tommy Rees was actually pretty good, and by the end of the day the Irish had 391 passing yards. In fact, there were only four teams all weekend that had more passing yards than the Irish. It seems that Dayne Crist is out as the signal caller and Kelly will go with Rees in Week 2.
If Rees and the Irish have any chance at the BCS this season, the hard work starts right now. The Irish will be heading to Ann Arbor for the first-ever night game at the Big House, and the improving Michigan Wolverines will be a tough test for Rees and the Irish.
There's the additional specter of the game being nationally televised (on a network, versus cable). ESPN's GameDay will be in Ann Arbor for this traditional rivalry clash between two teams desperate to make a statement.
The only question is, what statement will be made? “We're back” or “Don't bet on us this year”?
A brutal 0-2 start for the Irish instantly ends any talk of the BCS this season.