After it was announced Coach O would not be returning after two subpar seasons, rumors were flying about his replacement. Jimbo Fisher? Would have to be the “biggest idiot alive” to leave A&M. Lincoln Riley? Nope, said he wasn’t leaving Oklahoma is going to USC. Urban Meyer? Too busy chasing Jax Beach girls Isn’t interested in going back to college. With options running out, their savior came out of left field (aka Indiana): Brian Kelly. But is he the right choice?

“‘Just Win Baby Win’- Al Davis”- Brian Kelly

Say what you want about Brian Kelly, the man wins. He has one losing season at Notre Dame (not counting 2012 and 2013, with 21 wins vacated). Kelly has more wins at Notre Dame than Knute Rockne, while posting a .743 win percentage. He’s also 5-4 in bowl games, which isn’t great. But, for a team that had to win their final game to become bowl eligible, this would be a welcomed change.

Struggles to Win Big Games

Can Brian Kelly save LSU?
Photo Credits: John David Mercer/USA Today Sports

As much as Brian Kelly wins, he has struggled against top teams and, more specifically, the SEC. Kelly is 3-9 against top ten opponents, with a majority of those being by two scores. This includes being a combined 0-6 against Georgia, Alabama, and Jimbo Fisher (at Florida State.) Brian needs to beat all three to make the College Football Playoffs. Can he turn this around with looser academic recruiting rules? Perhaps, but history isn’t on his side.

A Return to Normalcy for LSU

Frankly, LSU has been a dumpster fire lately. Les Miles was found to have acted inappropriately towards female students and was forbade from contacting them in any capacity and Ed Orgeron allegedly paraded around with students after his divorce. On top of that, countless former players have been accused of sexual assault, with Title IX violations found, and a booster paid athletes’ families with money he embezzled from a hospital.

That’s… a lot. Outside of academic violations, Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame teams haven’t really had many scandals*. This return to normalcy will bring the attention back to LSU football, and not what the team is doing after the game.

*Notre Dame was found at fault in a student’s death due to having him on a scissor lift during practice in high winds. This was a tragic situation, and Notre Dame admitted that they messed up. It was a terrible situation, but not caused by malice on the part of Notre Dame, but recklessness nonetheless.

So, Is Brian Kelly the Right Move?

I am torn on this. A 10 year, $95 million contract is a lot, but Brian Kelly might be worth it. However, it would take time for him to fix the dumpster fire in Baton Rouge. If they are patient, and Kelly can solve his SEC issues, this will be a great move. However, I don’t think LSU fans will be patient.

How do you think Brian Kelly will work out at LSU? Let me know on Twitter, and check out Belly Up to stay up to date on the college football playoffs. Or if you don’t like reading, check out Tailgate on the Quad, with new episodes dropping Thursday morning.

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About Author


Growing up in the northeast, college football wasn't exactly played in my house. That all changed when I went to the University of Alabama. I immediately fell in love with college football, and took that love to Belly Up Sports where I became the college football department head. One upside of being from Massachusetts is I have seen a lot of success in terms of sports, and fell in love with all sports at a young age, so I will dip my pen about pretty much anything. I also make graphic content for the site.

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