Posted by BrianBoru at 12/10/2009 12:50 AM EST
Should Notre Dame eventually hire Randy Edsall, I would suggest that each and every Fighting Irish fan find something else better to do with their Saturday afternoons.
Suddenly, the announcement of Brian Kelly would appear to be a home run for the football program.
With the program toiling in mediocrity since the departure of Lou Holtz some 13 years ago, one wonders how much more mismanagement this fragile football vessel can take before its final plunge into the depths of obscurity.
Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, rumored to have had a genuine interest in the Notre Dame job, will not be the next head coach. Nor will Jon Gruden — a man whom I believe would be a perfect match for the Irish. After all, his father was an assistant under former Notre Dame head coach Dan Devine and he attended Clay High School, a short jaunt from the Notre Dame campus. Gruden's dynamic personality would suit him well on the recruiting trail, and at only 46, he is certainly young enough to stick around campus and forge his very own coaching legacy alongside Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian and Holtz.
Yet, it would seem, Gruden is not and never has been a legitimate candidate.
It's almost as though his NFL experience is being held against him, particularly in light of the failed Charlie Weis experiment. However, Weis was an administrator. His strong suit was not in his leadership skills or his ability to motivate young men, instead Charlie was solid at offensive game-planning and quarterback development. And for all the credit Charlie received for his recruiting prowess, he left a gaping hole along both lines, leaving the Irish a one-dimensional football team rife with running backs and receivers and short on beef in the trenches.
The Weis template should not factor against Gruden. He was the head honcho of the Super Bowl Champion Buccaneers. Though I might argue that his time with the Oakland Raiders, where he transformed the culture of an underachieving franchise, was even more impressive. Incidentally, future NFL Hall of Famer, and Notre Dame's last Heisman Trophy Award winner, Tim Brown recently stated that he believed Gruden would become a legend at Notre Dame should he be hired.
Conspicuously absent from most Notre Dame coaching rumors is the name of Florida head coach Urban Meyer. He, obviously, represents the dream coach for just about every Notre Dame fan.
At the other end of the spectrum would appear the head coach of the Connecticut Huskies: Randy Edsall. Edsall boasts a career record of 65-65.
How on earth does achieving a .500 career record impress Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick enough to merit an interview for the vacant head coaching position of The University of Notre Dame?
Randy Edsall would signal that the people running Notre Dame are through with the charade of big-time college football. It would be a bold move, risking the school's financial backbone.
Let's all hope the Edsall rumors are but a smoke screen for a more qualified candidate.
Happy Earth Day! Ireland sure looks gorgeous from outer space