SOUTH BEND – We all know how these things usually end. Unless Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick has a refreshingly candid, politically incorrect script, Notre Dame will unveil its successor to discarded head football coach Charlie Weis in the coming days – perhaps hours – spun as the school’s first choice all along.
Even if it turns out to be a guy named Edsall.
According to sources involved in the search process, both Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly and the aforementioned Edsall, as in Randy from Connecticut, met with Notre Dame officials Wednesday about the coaching vacancy.
Hopefully, Swarbrick wasn’t the only one asking the questions in the meetings.
The questions start with the litany of some in-your-face reality: It’s been 16 years since the program sniffed a No. 1 ranking. … The last three head coaches have all left with bulges in their wallets and stains on their résumés. … The national media has been more motivated to write about the train wrecks sprinkled through the past three regimes than the triumphs.
So in other words, Notre Dame had some ‘splaining to do to both Kelly and Edsall.
If you’re either of these men, it figures that you would want to know why Florida’s Urban Meyer pushed his “dream job” away the last time it came open.
It figures they’d want to know why Swarbrick thinks the last three coaches fell through a trap door with almost identically pedestrian winning percentages.
It figures they’d want to know if Swarbrick was actually going to be their boss for the long term or if the rumors he may be aligning himself to be the next NCAA grand poobah have legs?
It figures Kelly and Edsall would have questions about the relationship between the admissions office and the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, even though Weis himself had nothing but praise about his relationship with it during his parting interview last Saturday.
And if you’re anyone but Kelly and Edsall, wouldn’t you want to know why Tommy Tuberville isn’t in this snapshot?
Sources close to the search process and some powerful alumni with heavy checkbooks have tried to introduce the former Auburn head coach into the core of the search, but so far he sits on the periphery.
Tuberville, when reached at his home in Auburn, Ala. on Wednesday afternoon, acknowledged as much, but would welcome the process taking an 11th-hour, wide left turn in his direction.