Brian Kelly Leaving Notre Dame for LSU: Rapid Reaction

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(Update: Six leading coaching candidates for Notre Dame)

On this Monday night, football is on the minds of the Notre Dame faithful, and not the somewhat relevant game their basketball team is about to commence. Brian Kelly, the winningest coach in the entire storied history of the biggest brand name college football program of all, is leaving for LSU.

Kelly, who passed up Knute Rockne for most all-time wins at ND just two months ago, will replace Ed Orgeron, and seek his first ever national title in Baton Rouge. Multiple outlets have reported this development, with an official outlet expected to come, potentially, as early as tomorrow.

The Big Ten/ACC Challenge is what it is, but it’s not a “big event” no matter how much ESPN tries to tell you it is. The so-called world wide leader promotes those slate of game with the same desperation of a guy who’s never been laid and is drunk on a first date.

Sorry, but the Brian Kelly news is what matters in the sports world right now, so let’s take a moment to soak in what this all means in South Bend. Pretty much no one, ever, leaves ND unless they are forced to, so this is really a seismic sports news development.

Biggest Wins and Losses of the Brian Kelly era

2010-2012,   2013-2017,   2018-present

It has certainly been a roller coaster ride for Brian Kelly at Notre Dame. His first year was plagued by the deaths of Declan Sullivan  and Lizzy Seeberg. The decade that was saw plenty of other off-the-field drama and scandal, certainly much less severe than the two aforementioned metaphorical black eyes.

Kelly flirted with leaving for the NFL at least twice, with strong links one offseason to the Philadelphia Eagles. Yet he also came close to getting fired after the 2016 season, with his decision to dismiss defensive coordinator Brian Van Gorder likely saving his job.

He also led the Fighting Irish to three undefeated regular seasons, resulting in a BCS title game appearance in 2013, and College Football Playoff appearances in 2018 and 2020.

The current team just completed its fifth straight double digit win campaign, and another CFP appearance is a very distinct possibility.

Kelly, just last week, addressed the idea of leaving Notre Dame for another gig, telling the assembled media: “No. I mean, Mike Tomlin had the best line, right? Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that $250 million check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her.”

Well, it appears the fairy has now flown in, as the Pittsburgh Steelers are a top trending term on Twitter right now.

So who will replace Brian Kelly? We’ll cover that shortly in another post.

Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”

He has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and co-hosts the After Extra Time podcastFollow him on Twitter and Instagram

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