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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Kelly not a Bear Bryant award finalist

By Matt Fortuna

Riddle me this: Brian Kelly is not one of six finalists for the Paul Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Award.

OK, maybe the fact he is facing Bryant's old team, Alabama, next month has something to do with it. (But probably not.)

Kelly was left off the list that features Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Penn State's Bill O'Brien, Stanford's David Shaw, Kansas State's Bill Snyder, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and Vanderbilt's James Franklin.

Yes, James Franklin. The James Franklin who coaches an unranked Commodores team and voted Notre Dame No. 4 in his final Top 25 ballot this season.

Kelly has won this year's Eddie Robinson and Home Depot coach of the year awards, becoming the first coach to win the latter award twice (Cincinnati, 2009). He is also a finalist for the Maxwell and Liberty Mutual coach of the year awards.