Alabama only lost to Texas A & M. Who only lost to LSU and Florida. And Florida lost to Louisville, who only lost to Syracuse and Connecticut. And Connecticut only lost to NC State, Temple, Rutgers, USF, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Western Michigan.
For my Irish team, the bitterness of this loss will transform the program and I can see them playing for the championship again in 2 or 3 years. Kelly has the football program on the right path. I'd feel differently if ND was an established power favored to win the NC but got drubbed by Bama. ND is still in the early phase of rebuilding. This drubbing by Bama is painful, but it will do more for the returning players than all the words any great coach can say. Now they know why Kelly kept after them about taking care of the details. Championship teams like Bama do it by rote.
For ND haters who didn't think ND belonged in the NC game -- other teams had the chance to get there, like Oregon and Kansas St, but they choked when they needed to win. Bama would have beaten them Monday night too.
One thing that I noticed this year about my alma mater's team this season -- they learned how to fight back from a deficit to win. The wins were ugly, but they were wins and their spirit is the cornerstone of future championship teams. Champions may have off days but they eventually find ways to win games. After 20 years, ND finally relearned that lesson. The future is bright for the Irish.