Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had similar thoughts about the 2012 football schedule that most did when it was released Wednesday – It's going to be tough.
The Irish play traditional Big Ten opponents Purdue and Michigan as well as Stanford, BYU, Pittsburgh and Wake Forest at home. Notre Dame also will travel to Michigan State, Oklahoma, Boston College and USC in 2012.
And on top of that, the Irish begin the season in Dublin, Ireland, against Navy, and they have a game against Miami at Chicago's Soldier Field.
"I thought it was a pretty strong schedule," Kelly said. "That's why I came to Notre Dame to play those kind of teams in those venues. It's pretty exciting. If I looked at it as, boy, can we throw in a couple of I-AAs? Why would you come to Notre Dame? That is the kind of football we want to play.
"We are not at that position where I can say our football team is ready to win all of those games. But that is where we are going to get to. Hopefully by 2012, this football team can go out and display that the other side of the ledger is saying, 'Boy, we got to go out and play Notre Dame this week.' That's how I look at it."