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Cincinnati's Luke Fickell Asked to Address Notre Dame Opening

Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell said he is not paying much attention to rumors linking him with the vacant Notre Dame job ahead of one of the biggest games in his program's history.

On Saturday, No. 4 Cincinnati will face No. 24 Houston in the AAC championship with a chance to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff. But with Brian Kelly leaving South Bend for LSU, Fickell has emerged as a potential candidate to succeed Kelly at Notre Dame.

"I don’t know what there is to address,” Fickell said during a press conference Tuesday. "Like I said or a guy who keeps his head down and very rarely answers his phone, I don't talk to a lot of people, so there is nothing. That's the crazy thing ... there is no speculation."

"Is the [Notre Dame] job open? I guess it is. But I wouldn’t know if somebody didn’t tell me ... Most importantly, all I care about are the guys that sit in these seats, to be honest with you, to make sure they know what's most important to all of us. And to make sure we've all got to find ways to keep our minds focused on the things we've got to be able to do."

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Fickell has gone 47–14 since leaving his alma mater of Ohio State to take the head coach position at Cincinnati in 2017. As has been reported extensively over the last 24 hours, Fickell is also Catholic, which has led to an easy connection with Notre Dame. 

On Tuesday, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the program may take a different approach to appointing an interim coach while the search for Kelly's replacement begins. 

Swarbrick also said that he does not keep a list of potential head-coach replacements like some athletic directors do across the country. While several people reached out to Swarbrick today, the AD said that he has not yet been in contact with any potential candidates. 

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