Notre Dame to interview Bearcats coach Kelly

Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly confirmed Monday that he will meet with Notre Dame officials about their open job, leaving the fourth-ranked Bearcats with a lot of uncertainty heading into their first Sugar Bowl appearance.


Kelly met with his players Monday afternoon and later confirmed his interest in the Notre Dame job on his Twitter feed.

"Just informed our team that Notre Dame has contacted me and I will listen to what they have to say," he wrote.

The New York Times reported Monday that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh also is being interviewed for the job. Harbaugh declined to talk about it, telling the newspaper, "Not now or not in the future will I talk about any other jobs or opportunities."

Notre Dame was lining up interviews with candidates this week.

ESPN first reported that Kelly would interview with Notre Dame today in New York, where the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame is having its annual awards dinner. Kelly didn't return a message left on his cell phone, but he told Dan Patrick on his radio show that he expects to decide his future by Saturday.

Cincinnati athletic director Mike Thomas said through a spokesman that the university is still negotiating with Kelly on an upgraded contract.

NOTRE DAME: Quarterback Jimmy Clausen and his favorite receiver, Golden Tate , will bypass their senior seasons and enter the NFL draft. They shared the team's most valuable player award.

Ex-coach Charlie Weis made his first public appearance since he was let go, sitting between Clausen and Tate during a news conference at the school's football facility, but he didn't take any questions.

Clausen is widely expected to be taken in the first round. The only knocks on the 5-foot-11 Tate are a lack of size and experience at wideout. Two weeks ago, Weis, a former offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, said Tate's speed will make up for any shortcomings.

TIDE EARLY FAVORITE: Early bettors are siding with No. 1 Alabama in the BCS national championship game, driving up point spreads across Las Vegas casinos, oddsmakers said.

Sports books expect gamblers to think highly of the four-point favorite Crimson Tide after they cruised in the Southeastern Conference championship game against defending national champion Florida, said Mike Seba of Las Vegas Sports Consultants.

Alabama faces No. 2 Texas in the title game Jan. 7. Texas struggled to beat Nebraska 13-12 for the Big 12 championship.

FLORIDA: Gov. Charlie Crist thinks Tim Tebow could be the answer to the Jacksonville Jaguars' attendance problems.

Crist said he's talked with the Jaguars ownership about taking the celebrated Gators quarterback in the NFL Draft in April as a means to sell more season tickets and keep the team from moving out of Jacksonville.

About 17,000 fans chose not to renew their season tickets this year, many citing the poor economic climate.

BUFFALO: The university's athletic department confirmed it had granted Kansas permission to interview coach Turner Gill regarding its open job.

Kansas is searching for a new coach after Mark Mangino resigned Thursday in the wake of an investigation into his treatment of players.



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