I'll add in another one: their schedule.
Even the best of teams would have a tough tie going 10-2 or 9-3 with ND' schedule:
AT Michigan State(Ok, they got a win here)
Vs. Boston College
And if they lost to BYU, realistically Michigan State and Navy are the only 2 that looks like real wins for the Irish this year(BYU is projected to finish 6th in the MWC this year.)
Michigan is gonna drill them, Purdue will drill them, Washington and Stanford will probably drill them, Tennessee will drill them, and obviously USC will run them off the field as well.
Maybe ND needs to throw a few more gimmes on the schedule instead of playing a bad-ass schedule year in and year out.