Kelly still the favorite in Notre Dame, but ‘mystery candidate’ surfacing?

Just as everyone (media, Golden Domers, Bearcats fans) seemed to be settling on the idea that Brian Kelly was the sure-fire next coach at Notre Dame, a report of rumors of a “mystery candidate” are spreading in Chicago.
Neil Hayes of The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting today that there is an “educated theory among a wide-range of sources about a mystery candidate lurking in the snow-swept shadows gained momentum.”
Hayes writes that “the mystery-candidate theory is rooted in the criteria Swarbrick initially laid out: He would prefer a defensive-oriented coach with a proven track record of success at the college level.”
Several other issues bother Hayes about Kelly as the possible all-but-signed coach.
First, what happened with the cancelled face-to-face interview between Kelly and Jack Swarbrick? Hayes writes:
It doesn’t make sense. This is the decision that will define Swarbrick’s legacy as Notre Dame’s athletic director, but if a Tribune report is true he doesn’t want to shake Kelly’s hand and look into his eye before hiring him. He would rather let university representatives and an Atlanta search firm tell him what his first impression should be of a man he will forever be linked with.