It’s often dangerous, or at least premature, to start celebrating teams when there are still games to play.

And heaven knows, Notre Dame, which debuted at No. 3 in the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, has four monumental games to play. Win out, and a shot at the national championship is pretty much a lock. Lose any of them, and the air comes out of a big-time season.

But looking ahead is OK for us fans and media. It’s the players and coaches who have to focus on the mantra we used to hear from Mike Keenan when I was covering his Chicago Blackhawks: “Focus on the process, not the results.’’

I was reminded of this by an interesting response Brian Kelly gave on Saturday, after his Fighting Irish had taken down N.C. State 35-14.

It was ND’s sixth straight win by at least 20 points—the first time the Irish have done that since their 1966 national championship team won seven straight by at least 20 points.

“Is there a mindset among this group that they don’t just expect to win, but expect to win big?’’ Kelly was asked.

“We don’t talk about winning,’’ he replied. “Winning is not even part of our vocabulary. We didn’t talk about winning any games this year. It’s about the mindset that we’ve created to dominate our opponent. So winning is not even part of the equation with this group.’’

But they do talk about doing the things you have to do to be successful. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.