Funny how life repeats itself sometimes. Notre Dame has scheduled an interview with Brian Kelly, Cincinnati Bearcats head coach. Kelly is the flavor of the week after defeating Dave Wannstedt and his Pittsburgh Panthers over the weekend. The sad thing about Notre Dame talking to Kelly, he appears to be exactly the same person they fired not one week ago Charlie Weis.
Many in the Notre Dame community are split on Brian Kelly and his recruiting credentials already. Yes he has done a tremendous job at Cincinnati. Kelly has led Cincinnati to their second consecutive Big East title and their first ever undefeated season. The question remains, can Brian Kelly possibly handle the pressure of dealing with a situation the likes of Notre Dame.
Will Brian Kelly melt under the spotlight of the Notre Dame press?
Look no further than the Big East Championship Game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Saturday. Brian Kelly was beside himself in the first half the game. Trailing 31-10 approaching halftime, Kelly confronted his starting quarterback Tony Pike. Kelly got in Pike’s face. Yelling at him and according to ESPN sideline reporter Holly Rowe, he told Pike he was going to bench him. Mardy Gilyard took the next kickoff to the house. GIlyard’s touchdown got Pike off the hook and made the score 31-17 going in at the half. Kelly relented and let Pike out on the field for the next series.
Kelly also was flustered by the music being played in between plays. According to Holly Rowe, Kelly had approached the officials at half time and complained about the music. The officials agreed to warn Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt, he needed to tell the Public Address announcer to turn the music down in between plays. Why is this important? If Brian Kelly is going to coach Notre Dame he will be playing in many more stadiums like Heinz Field and he will have to learn to deal with the noise. To see the full story of the Cincinnati game click here.
The question of recruiting for academics and athletics
More questions of how will Brian Kelly succeed. Kelly is a coach with only one big program coaching job under his belt. Kelly will not only have his work cut out for him just to find top notch talent, he will have to find athletes that are looking past football. In other words he will have to find players with intelligence and character that want to play at Notre Dame. Not to mention recruiting against Big 10 schools like Ohio State and Michigan.
Kelly is asked if he will be coaching in the Sugar Bowl
Kelly on The Dan Patrick show on Direct TV channel 101 stated, “No, there’s no guarantees in anything that you do,” Kelly said. “I’ve never given a guarantee whether I was going to make it home at the end of the day.” Kelly went on to say, “I may come out in 48 hours and say I’m staying here at Cincinnati even if the New England Patriots call,” Kelly said.
Kelly comes off as the same attitude of arrogance as Charlie Weis
Only one man’s opinion but Brian Kelly, from all appearances sounds and acts like Charlie Weis. In his interview with Dan Patrick he claims another “Top 5 BCS” school had contacted him last year. It may be that Kelly is just trying to up the ante in his negotiations with Cincinnati. Possibly trying to seem more desirable to Notre Dame and pressure them into making a quick panic hire like they did with Weis five years ago.
The Weis extension of a few years back is eerily reminiscent of what Brian Kelly is trying to pull right now. Of course Notre Dame has proven they are vulnerable. Look no further than the cicumstances revolving around the hiring of Charlie Weis. Weis hiring occurred when Notre Dame was turned down by numerous candidates and were obviously embarrassed. So look for five more years of “when will Brian Kelly be fired.”