Who's Next at Notre Dame?: Making Cases for Brian Kelly and Urban Meyer

Dan Scofield@BleedingGoldAnalyst INovember 18, 2009

Charlie Weis addressed the media yesterday, cancelling his traditional Sunday press conference after a ship-sinking loss against Pittsburgh.

The biggest piece of information coming from his mouth was he believes a decision hasn't been made on his future, even though most of Notre Dame nation has already made that decision for the program.

"Oh no, I don't think that any decision's been made because I probably would know, and I don't know," Weis said Tuesday.

Charlie is half-correct on that response to a difficult question. A decision hasn't been made, but the search has already gotten underway.

The next two weeks are going to be two of struggles and question marks for Irish fans. Many will be anxious to get the season over with in order to unwrap their Christmas gift early and find out the next big name to sit on the throne of the Notre Dame football office.

Well, who are the heir apparents?

There are plenty of names being thrown around in the replacement theory of Weis: Paul Johnson (option, anyone?), Jon Gruden (MNF bound), Pat Fitzgerald (squashed), and Bob Stoops (definite possibility) to name a few.

However, the following two names stick out the most in this process, and by taking a look at their résumés and bios, here is why:


Brian Kelly, Cincinnati Head Coach

-Consistent, experienced head coach (will have 231 games under his belt at the end of the '09 season) who defines the word "improvement" in the dictionary of college football coaching.

-As close to Urban Meyer at Utah as you will find; 48 years old and in his prime.

-Irishman from the north shore of Boston.

-118-35-2 record at D-II school Grand Valley State, which includes two national championships.

-Turned Central Michigan into a conference winner in his third year in the program. Improvement case No. 1.

-In the middle of the four greatest years of Cincinnati football. His team sits at No. 5 in the BCS rankings and is undefeated at 10-0.

-Can coach, but can also coach academic excellence. His current team holds the highest team GPA in the Big East and is one of seven teams to post a 90 percent graduation rate in 2008.

-Proven recruiter, especially in the backyard of Notre Dame and in the Northeast.

Urban Meyer, Florida Head Coach

-45 years young and a Catholic who was named after a pope.

-Former assistant coach under Lou Holtz at Notre Dame who has proclaimed the Irish head coaching gig as his "dream job."

-Notre Dame is one of three schools that his wife Shelley apparently cannot veto him from taking the job at. I believe if Shelley says yes, he ends up an Irishman.

-Two national championships and considered the top coach in college football today.

-A small buyout ($500,000) makes the move even more appealing and friendly to the economy of South Bend.

-Tim Tebow graduates this season, leaving the Gators heading into the post-Savior era. If Meyer doesn't leave this year, there is a good chance he will never end up leaving.

-Overall coaching record sits at 93-17, including a 5-1 bowl record.

-One of the best, if not the best recruiter in the nation (as many Irish fans know). Think Omar Hunter and Justin Trattou.