The recent rumblings around Brian Kelly and the vacancy in South Bend have been at an all-time high ever since the Cincinnati coach tweeted about a future meeting with Jack Swarbrick and Notre Dame.
A day later, many now are speculating that Kelly to Notre Dame will be a done deal by Friday, the day after the Bearcats' team banquet.
Although Kelly didn't officially meet with Notre Dame officials, as previously stated on his twitter page, he did have a meeting with Irish representatives last week before Cincinnatti's BCS-clinching win against Pittsburgh.
The same representatives contacted Kirk Ferentz about luring him out of Iowa City, but the interest was not mutual according to sources.
Before leaving on Monday for New York, Kelly informed his team that he would be in contact with Notre Dame about their head coaching position.
At this point, it would appear likely that the official announcement of Swarbrick's first hiring will come as early as Thursday night, or anytime after the Bearcats' banquet on Thursday afternoon. This would allow for Kelly to speak to his team for a final time and say his goodbyes accordingly in a fitting farewell setting.
If Kelly is indeed named the successor to Charlie Weis on Friday, it is believed that he will not coach in Cincinnati's Sugar Bowl matchup with Florida on New Year's Day. Kelly has led his team to an undefeated season at 12-0, finishing first in the Big East and No. 3 in the final BCS rankings.
In addition to his team accomplishments this season, Kelly was named the Home Depot Coach of the Year today.
*Thanks to David Haugh from the Chicago Tribune.