Notre Dame fans and some ESPN colleagues had a rough January. For one, after fighting its way back into conversation, the Fighting Irish put itself in position to win its first national championship since 1988. The game turned out to be a painful one as Alabama destroyed Notre Dame, 42-14, while embarrasing star Manti Te'o throughout. The true embarrasment didn't come a few days later, though. Lennay Kekua ring a bell?

Notre Dame is still keeping its confidence though. It looks like coach Brian Kelly is expecting a return to the BCS title game because he added that as the13th game on the team's official schedule:

It's defintely going to give the team some sort of motivation. Hopefully for Notre Dame, the players will focus only on that last game and not be overly stressed at the difficult games that come beforehand.

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[via Larry Brown Sports]