The offseason was not kind to Notre Dame, but the bad taste left after the BCS National Championship Game and a flurry of strange stories and developments was washed away in a few hours on a Saturday afternoon. The first college football Saturday of the season, to be exact.
One game, and two wins. Not bad.
At about the same time that quarterback Tommy Rees was throwing for a career high in yardage against Temple—looking in complete control of a rebuilt offense en route to a 28-6 win over the Owls—news came out that Brian Kelly would receive a contract extension, according to CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman.
Brian Kelly's new sweetened contract with #NotreDame will take him thru the 2017 season, per source.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) August 31, 2013
Not a bad day at the office to say the least.
The extension, of course, isn’t exactly shocking. Rumors of more years (and more money) began to surface shortly after the offseason started back in January. It felt like only a matter of time, but it was at this same time, however, that Kelly briefly flirted with the NFL.
His interview with the Philadelphia Eagles felt like nothing more than a means to negotiate a better deal in South Bend. Things started to feel a bit more serious as it dragged out across a quiet week, just ask the poor Notre Dame message board servers that struggled during this stressful time.
In the end he decided to stay with Irish, although many felt (and perhaps will still feel) that he’ll eventually wind up in the NFL.
The new deal helps quiet the rumors of the eventual departure, and the extra zeroes tacked on—which remain unknown but are all well deserved—are just another sign of the momentum currently in Notre Dame’s corner. There's no end in sight, really, and the appearance in the title game (albeit one most Notre Dame fans would like to forget) might just be the beginning.
Brian Kelly has recruited remarkably well since arriving on campus, and this kind of security should help keep this trend in motion. Above all, this new contract will work marvels in living rooms and on official visits, which is such a critical aspect of today's game.
The schedule will remain difficult in 2013 and beyond, but Notre Dame will be an opponent no one wants to see as long as Brian Kelly is wearing the headset on the sideline. Although coaching contracts are by no means a surefire guarantee of stability, this is the closest thing to it.
Not a bad first Saturday for the Golden Domers. And the same can be said about many Saturdays to come.