Eleven games into the 2011 college football season, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are not where they wanted to be with an 8-3 record heading into the Stanford game.
Yet by winning seven out of their last eight, they have put themselves in a position to take another step forward from last year by winning nine or 10 games this season.
Irish fans would have to consider the season a success if Notre Dame were to finish the season 10-3 with another bowl victory in hand.
That said, those same fans would expect absolutely nothing less than a BCS Bowl game appearance in 2012-13, as it would be the only way the Irish football team could truly show progress in year three of the Brian Kelly era.
Let's take a look at the most meaningful stats from the 2011 season that have allowed the Irish to be in position to take a step forward from last year.