I think there was plenty of guarded optimism about Kelly in 2010 after he pulled that 4-0 finish out of his ass with a dominating defense, despite a freshman QB. However, even if this year's 7-5 results were flip-flopped and we had ended the season on a 6 game winning streak, nobody would be saying the future looks bright.
Not nearly as much as with Holtz, because at that time Faust was presumed to be an underqualified anomaly after following 2 successful coaches. There was way more optimism at that time that any experienced college football coach could turn ND into a highly ranked team. By the time BK came aboard there was a lot more skepticism on the heels of a 3 coach losing streak.