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Kelly doesn't see any distractions

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There was only one direct question about the Brian-Kelly-to-Notre-Dame rumors at today's weekly news conference. It was: are you saying you won't talk to Notre Dame about its open position?

 

 "No," Kelly said. "We're focused on Pittsburgh 100 percent."

 

Kelly, like Florida's Urban Meyer and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, was given the chance today to stand before a Bob Goin team meeting room filled with media and pledge his allegiance to the Bearcats. Not surprisingly - and I think it was the right move - he didn't go that route. He said Notre Dame wasn't an issue this week and that there were other times to talk about matters like that.

 

Later, he told Bill Koch of the Enquirer that he hasn't been contacted by Notre Dame.

 

"It's irrelevant," Kelly said during the presser. "We are in lockdown mode. This is what we've been working for. We haven't been working for anything else. If you guys want to stay busy on that topic, go right ahead. We are focused on Pittsburgh. All that stuff will have to wait for another time. It's been hard to get here. We were unranked coming into the season. We have fought our way back. Everybody associated with this program is 100 percent focused on Pittsburgh."

 

Yeah, but it seems like it'd be easy for the Bearcats to become distracted. You can't turn on a TV sports channel or sports talk radio or Twitter or Facebook or whatever without hearing somebody blaring on about the BK to ND rumors. If you're a sports fan, it's hard to ignore it. Hell, I did a 15-minute interview on Bill Cunningham's radio show Monday on just this very topic. I'm doing a radio interview today with a station in Gainesville, Fla.Gainesville, Fla.?!? - who wants to know about the issue. Fans around the country have become insatiable.

 

And if it's not a conversation about Kelly, it's Bob Stoops of Gary Patterson or Tony Dungy or whoever to ND.

 

So, how does this team not see the distractions?

 

"It doesn't bother them," Kelly said. "They want to play football. They want to win a championship. Last week, that was a distraction. You get around here when 16 seniors are trying to find tickets for Senior Day when the NCAA ONLY GIVES YOU FOUR TICKETS (his emphasis). That's a nightmare. That's distraction. Sending them home for Thanksgiving and worrying about getting them back, that's a distraction. They don't care about his stuff, I'm telling you."

 

Perhaps, but junior tight end Ben Guidugli told reporters today that he wouldn't mind having Kelly address the team regarding the rumors.

 

"When they go out on that practice field, they're not thinking about anything else," Kelly said in response. "They better do it right, or I'm going to be all over them. That's what they're going to be thinking about it.

 

"They'll be all right. I'll have them ready. We've done it 17 times in a row. We're going to be OK. We're going to stay focused. We'll put them in a great position to win on Saturday. I hope that makes your day a little bit better."

 

We also asked senior linebacker Andre Revels about the distraction or lack thereof. Seems like all he cares about is focusing on winning Saturday's game against Pittsburgh.

 

"We don't think about it, because it's not going to help us win any games," he said. "That's the main goal. We're not worried about what the TV is talking about. We're worried about what Pittsburgh is going to do. We're not watching TV right now. We should be inside the film room studying. It's a real hush subject. That has no concern for us."

 

--Kelly said redshirt freshman safety Drew Frey - who left last Friday's game with a concussion - passed a neurological test today and that he would practice today. He also said he expected senior running back Jake Ramsey - who's missed the past two games with a foot injury - to be part of Saturday's gameplan.

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