Brian Kelly avoiding BCS politics

Brian Kelly walked into the Gug auditorium a few minutes late sporting a neutral brown tie, apologizing for the tardiness caused by his decision to participate in Election Day this morning.

"It's also Tuesday press conference day at Notre Dame," he cracked.

But Kelly won't be tapping into his political background to campaign this season as it relates to his team's undefeated record but No. 4 BCS standing. With three regular-season games remaining and three undefeated teams ahead of the Irish, it is very possible that a perfect Notre Dame team gets left out of the BCS title game.

Coaching an undefeated regular-season team at Cincinnati in 2009 makes Kelly well-versed in such situations, and he is handling this one the same way.

"I never went out in the media and tried to defend what we did," Kelly said. "Here's who we played. All we can do and all we can control is winning these football games. If the field goes awry against Nebraska against Texas [in the 2009 Big 12 title game], it changes things. And it could be the same situation again with Notre Dame three years later.

"I can't control any of that. What I can control is to make sure these guys play better against BC. So I think I've been consistent in answering the question in the way I've approached being where we are."

Kelly was later asked if the coaching move from the Bearcats to the Irish made a repeat situation seem less likely for him.

"If you told me that Alabama and Oregon are also undefeated, as well as Notre Dame, I'd say there's a chance, there's a chance," he said. "Those are teams that have been here and done that. Notre Dame hasn't done it in awhile, and those teams are undefeated, too. I'd say, well, there's a chance we might get left out."

Nichols likely done for season: Reserve tackle Tate Nichols' season is likely over because of a PCL injury, though Kelly said swelling needs to go down before further evaluation.