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Kelly believes Irish closer to national title than many believe following BCS title game loss

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FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2012 file photo, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, right, dives into the end zone in front of Pittsburgh linebacker Joe Trebitz for a two-point conversion to tie the score late in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind. Golson is expecting a lot more of himself and the Fighting Irish offense next season. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, FILE) (The Associated Press)

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has been emphasizing a simple message to his players this spring: The Fighting Irish are not as bad as they appeared in the 42-14 blowout loss to Alabama in the BCS title game.

Some might call it revisionist history, but it's a theme Kelly has been repeating. He believes the Irish might have been overwhelmed by the moment in the title game. But Kelly says he believes the Irish can have the kind of success Alabama is enjoying.

At the same time, he's telling players that last year's success won't necessarily lead to victories this year. Tackle Zack Martin says the Irish players know they have work to do.

The Irish finish their spring practices on Saturday in the annual Blue-Gold game.