Notre Dame has found its new head football coach.  Cincinnati head man Brian Kelly will be the Fighting Irish’s new leading man after accepting an offer just eight days after saying on a radio show in the Queen City that he planned to stay with the Bearcats for the foreseeable future. Apparently, eight days was all he could foresee.

Understandably, Kelly’s decision did not sit well with his now former charges.  Cincinnati is undefeated and scheduled to play Florida in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.  Kelly had just led the Bearcats to their best season in the school’s history, and many players were not pleased that Kelly had led them this far just to leave them before the biggest game in the program’s history (Kelly began work at Notre Dame this afternoon.  UC offensive coordinator Jeff Quinn will be the head coach of the Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl.) Kelly told his team about his decision at the team’s banquet last night, but by the time he told the players, the news had already broken nationwide.  The players were nonplussed, to say the least.

“He went for the money,” Bearcats wide receiver Mardy Gilyard told The Associated Press. “I’m fairly disgusted with the situation, that they let it last this long.”

“We already knew what he was going to say. We weren’t giving him a round of applause or anything,” tight end Ben Guidugli said. “It’s like somebody turned their back on us. We brought this whole thing this far. We’ve come this far. To have someone walk out now is disappointing.”

But as disappointed as the players are, this decision was an easy one for Kelly.  Just think about this: Cincinnati just went undefeated and they are not playing for the national championship.  That would never happen to a Notre Dame team that managed to navigate the regular season without losing.  (more…)

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WANTED: A coach to lead one of the most storied yet underachieving programs in all of college football.  Previous head coaching experience required, preferably at a school that has had a demonstrated history of success.  We have a beautiful stadium (pictured) and top-notch facilities, but we also have a rabid fan base that struggles with delusions that we are still the best college football program in the country.  Available immediately. Anybody?  Anybody?

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish surprised no one by firing head coach Charlie Weis on Monday after the Irish limped to a 6-6 finish, losing their last four games.  So now the school has launched a high-profile search for its next head man, with a wish list that includes some of the biggest names in all of college football.  Florida’s Urban Meyer is at the top of the wish list, but nobody believes that he will leave the Gators, which will play Alabama this weekend in the SEC championship game with the winner securing a spot in the national championship game.  Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops has also been mentioned, but he has said that he is not interested in the position.  Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz went out of his way to say how happy he and his family are in Iowa City, while Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly said on a radio show that he plans to stay in the Queen City for the foreseeable future.

So where does that leave the Fighting Irish? Well, any denial uttered by a head coach at this point in the season should be taken with a grain of salt, and we believe that Kelly would take the job if offered.  Connecticut coach Randy Edsall has been mentioned in connection with the Notre Dame post, as has East Carolina coach Skip Holtz, the son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz.  But the name generating the greatest amount of buzz is Stanford head man Jim Harbaugh, who led the Cardinal to its best season in years this past season.  But Notre Dame should be wary of going the Stanford route, as former head coach Tyrone Willingham was the coach at Stanford before going to South Bend, and that did not turn our so well for either side.  (more…)