Thursday, December 10, 2009

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Notre Dame got the coach they wanted. Unlike the last coach, who's name will not be mentioned, Kelly has what most schools are looking for in a Head Coach: up and comer, winner in college, college coaching experience, midwest recruiting ties, (hes Irish), and hes willing to start right away. He is leaving Cincinnati and not coaching them in their bowl against Florida (almost guaranteeing a slaughter) and will start by trying to save a number of ND recruits.

Kelly separated himself from Randy Edsell by his ability to build up programs (some of his Bearcats are Dantonio recruits) and win on a big stage. UConn never really were a contender in the Big East, and Kelly seemed to have more support from the alumni. His personality is perfect for the job and outside of Urban Meyer or Bob Stoops, he had to been the favorite.

What does this mean for Notre Dame? They will have another tough year next year losing most of their great players and switching to more of a spread offense that Kelly prefers. They will start to land some bigger recruits and it will take 3 or 4 more years before they start winning again. Notre Dame may learn from past mistakes. Maybe they will give him 6 years, and not sign him to a 10 year extension after his first sign of success. Kelly can turn Notre Dame into a consistent winner (not a consistent National Title contender) and be a solid hire. With so much salary being eaten, don't expect to see Kelly going anywhere for a while.

In Cincinnati, they may hire Butch Jones, the man who replaced Kelly in Central Michigan. Jones has 2 MAC titles and a trip to the GMAC Bowl ranked 25th in the nation. But with Mr. Everything Lefevour graduating, now could be a good time to get another, higher paying, higher profile job. He is also interested in the Marshall job, but Marshall will lack the BCS conference power and probably some of the money. Marshall did finish with 2.5 million dollars in profit so they can invest in facilities and attract better recruits and coaches, like Jones. He could go and try to dominate Conference USA and land a better job down the road. We should see plenty more coaches move around as the season draws to a close.

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