Notre Dame's Brian Kelly is one of 18 head coaches on the watch list for the Paul Bear Bryant Award, given to the national coach of the year.
A list of five to 10 finalists will be revealed in early December, with the winner being announced Jan. 17, 2013, in Houston.
Kansas State's Bill Snyder, Oregon's Chip Kelly and Ohio State's Urban Meyer are some of the other names on the watch list.
Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy won the award last year.
The Bryant Awards honor coaching excellence while raising money to fight heart disease and stroke.