Will Brian Kelly be the head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next year? The Campus Insiders team discusses in this roundtable.
I don’t love seeing red-faced Brian Kelly on the sideline yelling and screaming at players, and I don’t think he has taken ownership of this team in the disaster that is the 2016 season. The fact is, though, that the Irish have a lot of youth and inexperience in key areas that are getting exposed. There shouldn’t be this much dropoff from last season, but Kelly isn’t going to get fired. Does he love some of the limitations that are placed on him in South Bend? No, which is why I could see him at one or two other schools if he was offered a gig. But I think the next step is the NFL, as I have been told by a few people familiar with his career arc that he would like to test those pro waters. If there is not an NFL fit this coming offseason, Kelly is back in South Bend next fall.
In a perfect world, Ohio State would win the title, Chuck Pagano would get fired, Kelly would leave Notre Dame to coach the Colts, Meyer would leave Ohio State on top, go to Notre Dame and then win a title there within the next three years. From a sportswriter’s position, there are angles and writing prompts for days. Alas, Brian Kelly will still be at Notre Dame next year so consider this one giant pipe dream.
If he’s smart, he won’t be in South Bend next year. The Notre Dame offense is going to take a hit. DeShone Kizer is going to be a top-five pick. Kelly could sweep this season under the rug and ride the coattails of Kizer’s NFL draft stock. There could be a few NFL teams in the market for a new head coach next season: Buffalo, Detroit, Indianapolis and San Diego. Why not take a crack at the pros, see if you can hack it for a few years, and if not, return to the college ranks? Plenty of head coaches do it. Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier, etc. Granted, Kelly isn’t even close to Saban’s and Spurrier’s level, but it’s worth a shot. Sometimes you have to spit on your glasses, wipe ‘em clean, and read the writing on the wall. Guess what, if the Irish are playing like this next season, we could be talking about him legitimately getting fired. Take the exit ramp, coach.
I couldn’t be happier that Notre Dame absolutely stinks. Brian Kelly can’t seem to accept even a shred of responsibility for the Fighting Irish’s slide into mediocrity over his seven-year tenure. This is the fifth season that he’s lost at least four games, something that should be beyond unacceptable for a school like Notre Dame, which fired Tyrone Willingham before the end of his third season for “underperforming.” Kelly is too proud to let himself be fired either this year or next, so he’ll jump on the first opportunity when some NFL team is foolish enough to offer him a job. And if that doesn’t happen, he’ll resign so that some other college team can be foolish enough to give him a gig.
No. Brian Kelly will end up resigning from Notre Dame because “that is the right thing to do” and then go on a public speaking tour where Notre Dame “fans” will pay $250 a piece to listen to him talk about that time he got the Irish to the BCS National Championship Game and how he brought Notre Dame back to the glory days. The speaking tour will suddenly be canceled when a waiter brings Kelly his steak a little more done than he would prefer and the coach turns beet red while going off on the poor waiter making $9/hour. Notre Dame officials will ask Kelly to stop using his connection to the university due to “embarrassment to the Notre Dame brand” despite the fact Lou Holtz is still out there drunkenly spitting at people.