November 30, 2009
Even before Charlie Weis was officially given the boot from Notre Dame today, Cincinnati's Brian Kelly had emerged as the obvious frontrunner to take over in South Bend (among the more levelheaded factions not holding their collective breath for the miraculous conversion of Bob Stoops or Urban Meyer, at least). That hasn't been lost on Kelly, who's used the interest to push his current bosses at UC for substantial stadium and facilities upgrades befitting the Bearcats' newfound prosperity at the top of the Big East -- nor on the opportunistic and flatly desperate real estate agents in the very down housing market in South Bend, who Kelly admitted Sunday already have some very nice facilities of their own they'd like to show him around town (emphasis added):
"Oh yeah (laughing). Every day it's a flood. I get real estate cards and it's crazy. (Things like) 'I want to be your new real estate agent in South Bend.' I just laugh and my administrative assistant, she kinda just throws most of that stuff away because she knows I'm not interested in anything that doesn't have a Bearcat on it."
She only tosses "most of that stuff," coach? Obviously the man's got one foot out the door already.
The one thing Kelly has not said -- unlike Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops, who have gone out of their way to deny deny deny any and all interest in taking over the Irish -- is "I'm not taking the Notre Dame job," or "I will be at Cincinnati next year," or any variant thereof. Quite the opposite, in fact: Kelly seems to have something of a wandering eye and hinted before last Saturday's win over Illinois that his immediate future is up in the air, and wouldn't be settled until sometime this week or early next week. That timing allows for an overture from Notre Dame even as the Bearcats prepare for their winner-take-all date at Pittsburgh Saturday for the Big East championship and automatic BCS bid. By the time that one kicks off, it could be beginning to feel like a fond farewell, too.
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Hat tip: Jimmy Shapiro.