Kelly: ND close to being title winner

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - 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.

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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.

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