Just when you thought campaign season was over, here comes the BCS. Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame currently sit atop the BCS standings with perfect 10-0 records, and while there is plenty of football left to be played, it is foreseeable that all three teams could finish the season with undefeated records. Should that happen, we will almost certainly see these coaches (well, maybe not Kansas State’s Bill Snyder) engage in another round of campaign schmoozing in hopes of securing more votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll, which accounts for a third of a team’s BCS ranking. According to Yahoo! Sports, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly already has his “campaign strategy” together:
“I’m just not good enough to be able to do both,” Kelly said of campaigning and coaching. “I’m challenged enough on a day-to-day basis to keep my guys focused on Wake Forest. The rest of the stuff, let’s see how Notre Dame does. Let’s take Wake Forest, see what happens there, and then USC. Then, if we get to the point after USC that we’re undefeated, I’ll go on ‘Oprah’ if I have to.”
Hey, I can’t knock Kelly’s hustle. The consensus seems to be that Notre Dame would miss out on a BCS title bid if Kansas State and Oregon also finish undefeated. Whether you love Notre Dame or hate them (there is no in between category with most sports fans on this one), you have to respect Brian Kelly and what he has done with this program. Kelly presents himself very well, and is good for a witty sound bite or two if you watch any of his press conferences. This isn’t your father’s Notre Dame squad either. Players like Everrett Golson, Manti Te’o, T.J. Jones, and Kapron Lewis-Moore have flourished under Kelly and added some much-needed swagger to the Irish. Brian Kelly may not actually visit Oprah, but he just may be convincing enough to sway a couple of pollsters’ votes his team’s way if he needs to.