The FBS winner will be announced Jan. 7 before the Discover BCS National Championship.
According to the official website, the award recognizes coaches "who demonstrate sportsmanship, integrity, responsibility and excellence both on and off the field." The wining coach from each level -- FBS, FCS, Div. II and Div. II -- is given $50,000 to donate to a charity of his choice, along with a $20,000 grant to each school's alumni association.
Kelly is joined on the list by his Jan. 7 national title game opponent, Alabama's Nick Saban, along with notable names such as Georgia's Mark Richt, Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Kansas State's Bill Snyder.