Texas lost 41-7 at home to BYU, who went 8-5 vs a weak schedule.
But to your point, those losses in Kelly's first year definitely put severe doubt in many people's minds about his ability to succeed long-term at ND. Same can be said about Strong's season.
If you want to compare those two guys' initial seasons at Texas and ND, respectively, the main difference in my mind is the way those seasons finished. Kelly got the team out of its funk and finished the season very strongly with an amazing defensive effort the final 4 games, giving way to a lot of optimism heading into 2011 (which was promptly squandered by halftime of game 1, but that's a whole 'nother story). Meanwhile, Strong finished this season getting skullfucked 79-17 in the final two games.