Brian Kelly will be the Notre Dame coach, ESPN declared about an hour ago. Gee thanks, ESPN, but we had that story first a long time ago – take a look.

Even the San Francisco Chronicle mentioned our reporting when, on Dec. 2, it had a piece about us saying:

"Briefly:, an independent site that reports on Notre Dame sports, cited sources saying Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly will replace fired coach Charlie Weis, although Notre Dame said it is just beginning the interview process."

Back on Dec. 2, before anyone else, I wrote the following:

Brian Kelly will be the next head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, informed sources tell IrishCentral.

The source, who is a well-informed person of influence at Notre Dame, says the Cincinnati coach is the preferred choice for the job, and that he is expected to eventually sign a deal.

Kelly is expected to see out the season with his Bowl Championship Series-bound team, and then report for duty at South Bend.

Kelly, a Massachusetts native and proud Irish American, is an obvious choice to take over from the outbound Charlie Weis, given his background and outstanding success with the Cincinnati program.

His name first surfaced at Notre Dame when the Fighting Irish lost to USC in a last-second cliffhanger. From that moment on, Weis' job was under scrutiny, says the source.

Well before that, on Oct. 18 to be exact, I predicted that Kelly would take over from Weis when I posted the following piece:

Brian Kelly should replace Charlie Weis as Notre Dame Coach.

That is the only conclusion I can reach after Weis once again failed to defeat USC, his fifth such loss to them.

Weis was unlucky, but luck has its own way of working out.

Weis has had enough chances - let's get Brian Kelly.

The Massachusetts native (48) has turned the Cincinnati program around in astonishing style, leading them to a first ever Big East title last year.

This year Cincinnati are contenders and give every appearance that they will win the title again.

Notre Dame should try and snap up Kelly before they let another great coach go.

Weis has to go and Kelly should replace him.

Not to lbeabor the point, but earlier this week I wrote:

Brian Kelly will be Notre Dame coach by Friday of this week, sources tell IrishCentral.

It appears that the Cincinnati coach will not coach his Bearcats in the Sugar Bowl against Florida.

Though Kelly did not meet with Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick today in New York, he did not need to.

The deal was done last week before the Bearcats mauled Pittsburgh with a last-second victory to win the Big East.

Kelly has made it clear to Notre Dame that he wanted to wait until after Thursday night's annual banquet for the Bearcat players before publicly announcing the Notre Dame job.

Back on Dec. 8 I wrote:

Brian Kelly was one of three top names on the original list drawn up by the University of Notre Dame. The others were Bob Stoops, coach of Oklahoma, and Urban Meyer of Florida.

Meyer took himself right out of consideration and Stoops, after brief consideration, also withdrew. That left Kelly as the clear front-runner.

So if you need the news first, find it with us.