NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - The Notre Dame football season ended in disappointment Saturday at the Cotton Bowl, but that doesn't mean there's still not interest in the program, especially in the man running it.
A report from 670 The Score, a radio station in Chicago, came out Wednesday saying Brian Kelly is a "coach of interest" for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who fired their head coach Sunday.
This time of year is known as the silly season, because of how ridiculous some of these coaching rumors are, and how crazy people get about them.
We've seen this story before, though, with Kelly. After the 2012 undefeated season, he interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles before that job went to former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly.
After the disastrous 4-8 campaign in 2016, we were tracking flights from South Bend to Oregon. Now, here we are again, with more rumors about possible interest in the Notre Dame head coach.
Here's why the move doesn't make sense:
The first reason is also why there's interest in the first place: Notre Dame is good. But that's also why he should want to stay.
After the 4-8 season, Kelly has completely rebuilt his program, going 22-4 since, including this year's undefeated season and berth in the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame has never been as consistent under Brian Kelly as they are now, and the program seems to still be on the ascent. It simply doesn't make sense for Kelly to pack up shop now when the program is finally experiencing the fruits of all his labor.
Which leads me to my next point: This is coach Kelly's team.
This team is built in his image, exactly how he wants it. In the past, Kelly has called himself the CEO of the program, and that's exactly what he is.
He controls every aspect of Notre Dame football, and that is something that is exceedingly rare in the NFL. If he were to go to the pros, he would likely have to deal with a general manager that plays a large part in the construction of the team.
There aren't any GMs in college, no president of football operations -- the buck stops with the head coach, and Brian Kelly likes that.
Finally, there's his job security.
Kelly has been Notre Dame's head coach for the past nine years, has signed multiple contract extensions and has a good relationship with athletic director Jack Swarbrick. He's got a pretty sweet deal here in South Bend, one that doesn't exist in many other places, especially the NFL.
The old adage is the that NFL stands for "Not For Long" - usually that's used when talking about players, but it applies to coaches, as well.
According to a 2016 article from Business Insider, the average tenure of an NFL head coach is 4.3 years -- less than half Kelly's tenure under the Dome.
Of the 32 head coaches in the league, only four have been with their team longer than Kelly has been at Notre Dame: New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, the Pittsburgh Steelers' Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens, and then some guy named Bill Belichick up in New England.
All four have won Super Bowls. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has been in Seattle for as long as Kelly has been at ND, and he too has a ring.
Another saying popular across the league: "Coaches get hired just to get fired."
The one thing that made me think this is a possibility is the money.
The report states that the Bucs could offer Kelly more than $10 million per year. All the reasons I listed above about why he should stay are all well and good, but money talks, and $10 million practically shouts.
In the end, though, coach Kelly is likely to take a page out of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley's playbook and use this NFL interest as leverage to get a nice raise from Notre Dame.
And if you need any more indication Kelly isn't going anywhere, his son tweeted the laughing face emoji in reaction to the report.
For better or worse, Irish fans, expect to see Brian Kelly roaming the Notre Dame sidelines for the foreseeable future.