The NFL is not going anywhere and it certainly looks like Brian Kelly is building a team that will be in contention in a big way for the foreseeable future.
In other words, the sport's apex will likely come calling again, as long as Brian Kelly keeps the Irish successful. So, how worried should Irish fans be long-term? Will Kelly eventually leave? Will Notre Dame have to do the LSU-Les Miles obligatory raise as jobs come calling, holding themselves hostage year in and year out?
If you are a Notre Dame fan, don't worry at all.
Not because Kelly is going to be in South Bend forever and ever. Not because the NFL will magically stop asking him to come lead its elite football machines. Not because coaching Notre Dame is better than working anywhere else.
No, if you're a Notre Dame fan, you should not worry about him staying because ultimately it's a waste of heartache. Odds are, at some point, Kelly leaves. Maybe after he's milked every raise out of Jack Swarbrick. Or when he's ready to move on to a new challenge. Or when he feels like he can't get what he needs at Notre Dame. Or when he starts losing games.
Every coach leaves.
This is 2013, not 1975. There are so few lifers in the business. You either leave on your own terms—usually for something better—or you get fired. That is the reality of the situation in the day and age that we live in.
In other words, kill your absurd, idyllic view of loyalty and commitment. Everything is conditional, and in the case of loyalty and commitment, that is overwhelmingly true. And that's not a bad thing.
Football is a vehicle for success. For kids, it is a means to free school and a shot at the NFL. For coaches, it is a career. For schools, it is a money-making venture. Each piece ties its loyalty to the other, so long as it works best for them.
How much longer do you think Brian Kelly will be at Notre Dame?
So, don't waste time worrying about "how committed Brian Kelly is" to the Irish. The answer is simple: He's 100 percent committed until it makes sense for him to not be committed anymore.
Sound bad? It shouldn't. Notre Dame is the exact same way with Brian Kelly. It is 100 percent committed to him and his program until it does not make sense for it to be committed to him anymore.
That's how it works. No need to waste the heartache on a plain point of fact. If you need to twiddle your thumbs, consume yourself with finding a replacement and looking for a way to continue the success, should Kelly leave.
Brian Kelly's not leaving. Until he decides to leave.
Hope it works out for the best, while he is there. He has the talent and support to continue raising the ceiling for the Irish. In the future, whether he stays or goes, the program will be better off than it was when he took the job in December of 2009.
That's pretty much all you can ask.