The buzz out of South Bend* is that Notre Dame will announce sometime this weekend an extension for coach Brian Kelly. Will it be a Charlie Weis-like extension? It should be, given Kelly’s done more than Weis did.
If Kelly’s extension goes down this weekend – Chris Mortenson will break the news, given he and Kelly have agents working for the same firm – will Notre Dame fans immediately welcome him back with open arms? Or will they scold him initially and then hug him a few seconds later? If it doesn’t go down this weekend, then Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick might want to prepare for a coaching search.
Let’s address something: How can a guy schedule an interview for the day after the National Title game? One columnist questioned Kelly’s loyalty, but college coaches haven’t been loyal for years. There was some twitter chatter comparing it to Gronkowski partying after the Patriots lost the Super Bowl. Not sure I totally agree on the comparison, and it’s definitely worse.
Clearly, the interview had to be scheduled in advance. Even if Kelly’s agent set it all up, what college football coach who one day hopes to coach in the NFL shows up to a meeting with a team unprepared?
How much homework is involved in preparing to interview with an NFL team? Andy Reid said he watched every Chiefs game by the time he was interviewed. If you want a job, you spend days – not hours – preparing for it. If you show up unprepared, it will be obvious. Does this mean Kelly was spending time leading up to the BCS title game preparing for a job interview?
[Half-joking: It sure looked like it from the offensive game plan. ND went with the Michigan strategy - let's throw it! Let's attack the cornerbacks! Didn't work, or come close to working. Defensively, I won't even get started on how thoroughly they were manhandled. Alabama did whatever it wanted to, whenever it wanted to. Obviously this isn't all on the coach - Alabama had far better players.]
If you’re an ND fan, does it bother you Kelly was thinking about something besides the National title game against a juggernaut? What about the fact that coaches on the recruiting trail will be using this against him?
“Brian Kelly interviewed for an NFL job the day after getting stomped … some commitment! Guy’s turning 52 this year, his NFL window is closing. He might recruit you this year, but in years two and three, will he be there for you?” It isn’t just the Nick Sabans and Urban Meyers of the world who will say this – but schools like Northwestern and Vanderbilt, which are recruiting high-end scholar athletes. Pat Fitzgerald and James Franklin appear to be firm in their commitments to those schools.
You mean to tell me Brian Kelly couldn’t have told his agent, “hey, I’ll need a few days after the game. Please tell Philadelphia I need five days. If they want me, they’ll wait a few days.”
* Buzz out of South Bend = chatter from those who are closely affiliated with the program but do not want to be called a source for obvious reasons.