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The Rumor Mill

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So ESPN's Mark May says that Brian Kelly is "campaigning for the Notre Dame job harder than Barack Obama."  His definition of campaigning is apparently not pulling out of a race before it has started.

 

The Chicago Tribune says that Kelly would "crawl on hands and knees over broken glass for the job."  Is that the same glass that Les Miles crawled over to get to his supposed dream job at Michigan or the shards that Greg Schiano had to cross before his widely rumored return to the University of Miami?

 

Then you have Matt Hayes of The Sporting News who since November 5th of last year has written about the possibility of Brian Kelly leaving Cincinnati for Tennessee, Washington, Florida State, Texas A & M and Notre Dame.  That's 5 down . . . only 114 FBS programs to go.

 

You know what I say?  Thank God it's almost over.

 

In the very near future, Notre Dame is going to fire Charlie Weis and chances are they'll call Brian Kelly to gauge his interest.  He may not be on the top of their list, but he's certainly on it.

 

If you were him, wouldn't you listen to what they have to say?  It's Notre Freaking Dame, and while it's not the job that it once was, it's still one of the most storied programs in college football history.  Plus, it's a school that gave Weis a huge 10-year contract extension after he had coached all of seven games at South Bend.  Imagine the loot that they're going to offer to the guy who is hired to clean up the mess.

 

Brian Kelly is a great coach and a very smart man who knows there's no harm in considering his options.  As much as UC fans would love for him to publically state that he has no interest in Notre Dame or any other jobs, I'd rather have him avoid the subject than pull a Thad Matta and lie about about it.  Ask Xavier fans how that felt.

 

As for the suggestion that this is going to distract the team before the Pitt game, I don't buy it.  Playing for an outright Big East championship, a BCS bowl bid, and a perfect regular season trumps any and all job rumors - especially since the players have heard it all before.

 

I don't pretend to know what Brian Kelly is going to do, but I do know that he's very happy at Cincinnati.  The school has generously boosted the salaries of Brian and his assistants and will continue to do so within its means.  His personal appeals to boosters have helped get the Jefferson Avenue Sports Complex off the ground and the team will have the option of practicing in an indoor bubble at this time next year.  Hopefully, the Bearcats will be getting ready for their third straight appearance in a BCS bowl game.  With players like Zach Collaros, Armon Binns, D.J. Woods, Isaiah Pead, J.K. Schaffer, Walter Stewart, and Drew Frey coming back, a national championship run is not out of the question.  Especially if he sticks around.

 

If BK does meet with Notre Dame, we're going to experience severe anxiety about what would happen to UC if he leaves.  But think about the best-case scenario - what would happen if he turned it down?  Not only would Brian's popularity soar to record heights in Cincinnati, but the UC program would get a huge credibility boost nationally.  Anyone who hasn't been paying attention to what the Bearcats have accomplished over the last three years would certainly have to think differently about the program if its coach turned down the Fighting Irish to stay at Cincinnati.

 

Shoot, Matt Hayes might even have to find another name to toss in the ring for every available job.

 

I hope Brian Kelly will stay. 

 

I think it's a realistic possibility.

 

And I know I'll be happy when it's over.

 

I'd love to hear from you.  The address is dhoard@pawsox.com.

 

And if you Twitter, you can follow my tweets at http://twitter.com/Dan_Hoard

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