Notre Dame's last two games against Stanford are markers for how quickly things can go downhill.
Last November, the Irish were 30 seconds away from beating the Cardinal, finishing 11-1 and making a strong case for the College Football Playoff. They couldn't make a stop, and in many ways, they haven't stopped the bleeding since that night in California.
When Brian Kelly left the field Saturday in South Bend -- after a testy exchange with a Stanford strength coach -- the seventh-year coach carried the burden of a 2-5 record, Notre Dame's worst start since 2007. A season that began with championship hopes is circling the drain, as Notre Dame has only one win against a Power 5 opponent and losses to ACC middleweights Duke and NC State. Kelly fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder after the Duke loss.
How did things get so bad so fast for Kelly and the Irish? ESPN.com talked with coaches and other Notre Dame observers to find out.