All attention now surrounds Central Michigan head coach Brian Kelly, who twice denied that he had interviewed for the Michigan State head coaching job. Kelly now appears to have moved to the top of MSU's list.
However, certain published reports have Kelly also atop the vacant Iowa State coaching search. Those reports say he has interviewed at ISU once and is being asked to interview their a second time. However, CMU athletic director Dave Heeke has not given permission to conduct an interview -according to those reports - to Iowa State.
Kelly also has an offer for a four-year contract extension on the table at Central Michigan, but now that he's playing in the big leagues, CMU's offer will pale in comparison to what he could have in East Lansing or in Ames, IA.
Michigan State made John L. Smith the highest paid coach in the Big Ten and there's no way the Chippewas could match what MSU has in terms of resources and facilities.
Kelly also appears ready for the big leagues.
After piloting Division II Grand Valley to a National Championship, he has quickly turned around the Chippewas - who hadn't had a winning season since 1999 to the MAC West championship.
If Michigan State has indeed settled on Kelly, it should do all it can to prevent any trip to Ames, IA. As Green Bay Packers executive Ron Wolf wrote in his book the "Packer Way", once you find the right person, you do whatever it takes to get them.
Ferguson is quoted in the Oakland Press as saying that former leading candidates Todd Grantham and Pat Shurmur as "flavors of the week." Ferguson is a very influential player in the Michigan State coaching search and is very tuned into the temperature of the search committee. He also said the media is guessing and only "thinks" they know who the top candidates are.
Michigan State received permission to talk to Kelly and have reportedly now interviewed him twice, however Kelly has gone on the record to state he would not do anything until after Thursday's MAC Championship game, five days after the vital "open contact period" begin.
That would make Friday, December 1, the earliest that Kelly could be introduced as the next head coach of Michigan State.