Notre Dame will likely give Florida coach Urban Meyer a call to see whether he would leave the Gators for what he once said was his dream job. But with it unlikely Meyer will pull a Roy Williams, who left Kansas for North Carolina after the Tar Heels asked a second time, here are five candidates to replace Charlie Weis:
Current school: Cincinnati
Coaching record: 159-54-2 (Football Bowl Subdivision)
The skinny: Kelly has won everywhere he has been. He guided Grand Valley State to two Division II championships, won the MAC championship at Central Michigan and, entering Saturday’s season finale against Pittsburgh, the Bearcats are 11-0. Kelly’s teams are offensive-oriented; the Bearcats averaged 472.7 yards (fourth in the nation) and 39.4 points (sixth in the nation) through Nov. 28.
Current school: Stanford
Coaching record: 46-25
The skinny: Harbaugh reportedly has an extension offer from Stanford, and he could hear from NFL teams this offseason. The former Michigan quarterback, who played 15 seasons in the NFL, is known for his hardnosed style and has two wins over USC in three years with the Cardinal.
Current school: TCU
Coaching record: 85-27
The skinny: Patterson has the Horned Frogs of the Mountain West Conference fourth in the BCS. He has no proven national recruiting track record. Of the 126 scholarship and non-scholarship players at TCU, 103 are from Texas. Patterson can coach defense. TCU was second in total defense (233.3 yards per game) through Nov. 28.
Current school: Boise State
Coaching record: 47-7
The skinny: Petersen is another successful coach from a non-BCS conference who busted into the big-money bowl system with his team currently sixth in the standings. He also produces strong defenses. The Broncos were 16th in total defense (308.7 yards per game) through Nov. 28.
Current school: Oklahoma
Coaching record: 118-27
The skinny: Stoops said Monday he plans to stay at Oklahoma hopefully for a good while and won’t be interviewing for any coaching positions after his worst regular season in 11 years with the Sooners. What I’m saying is I’m going to be at Oklahoma next year, so I can’t be in two places at once, Stoops said on a conference call. Stoops, who led the Sooners to the 2000 BCS championship, is a former Florida defensive coordinator and hasn’t forgotten his defensive roots. Oklahoma was seventh in total defense (273.5 yards per game) through Nov. 28.