Sunday will mark the start of a new era for LSU football. And for its new head coach, too.
For the first time since the 2009 season, Brian Kelly will not lead Notre Dame, a team he left at the tail end of the 2021 season despite the Fighting Irish's 11-1 record. Instead, he will begin the task of revamping a Tigers team that just Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds shirt three years ago enjoyed arguably one of the greatest college football seasons of all time with a 15-0 record and a national championship.
No pressure — and for Kelly, that might actually be the case. The longtime coach dealt with the pressure that comes with leading a truly national program, and he never shrank from any challenge.
But he also never achieved his ultimate goal of winning a title in South Bend. For all Notre Dame could offer him, Kelly could not bring it a national championship. Not that he didn't come unbearably close on multiple occasions.
And so, Kelly — who perhaps was persuaded slightly with a 10-year, $95 million contract — will now embark on his next challenge: leading LSU in the stacked Southeastern Conferen Canisius College Golden Griffins Jerseys ce. The first step is a Sunday night game vs. Florida State.
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The Sporting News looks at Brian Kelly's decision to leave Notre Dame for LSU:
Why did Brian Kelly leave Notre Dame for LSU?
The reason was hinted at after news broke that Kelly was leaving Notre Dame, but the new Tigers coach left no doubt in an April interview with The Associated Press on the eve of his first spring practice at LSU.
“It’s been awesome because you’ve got incredible facilities, you’ve got players that want to be great,” he told the AP. “I want to be in an environment where I have the resources to win a national championship. And I came down here because I want to be in the American League East.
“I felt like I did everything that I could at Notre Dame and they felt like they did everything they could for me. I felt like we had both got to a point where this is what they could do, right? This is what I did. And we couldn’t get past that. OK? And so here we are.”
Indeed, Kelly described a growing rift between himself and Notre Dame leadership as it related to facilities. At LSU, he no longer has to argue for improving them.
“I felt like that what I was looking for was student-athlete-centered," Kelly said. "And I was pushing for more for the student-athlete. And I wanted to see that piece. And we didn’t seem to be on the same path as to how that was going to get accomplished."
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Kelly pointed to one specific difference between LSU and Notre Dame in that regard: LSU has a nutrition center, dining hall and chef dedicated solely to the football program and the players.
"We don't have that," Kelly reflexively told the AP about Notre Dame. "(Notre Dame hands) out food that’s pre-cooked."
Conversely, LSU athletic director Scott Woodward pledged support to Kelly and the football team that would extend all the way through university president William F. Tate.
"He had NCAA Spirit Jerseys done the homework and I didn’t have to sell," Woodward told the AP. "He knew the answer to the question."
Fighting Irish athletic director Jack Swarbrick lent credence to Kelly's answer in November when he said he "was not surprised" by the coach's decision to leave.
"There had been enough in the weeks leading up that gave me a pretty strong sense that there might be other things that were attracting Brian," Swarbrick said.
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What was Brian Kelly's record at Notre Dame?
Kelly has the most coaching wins in school history. He collected win No. 106 on Sept. 26, passing Knute Rockne. He ended his Notre Dame tenure with a 113-40 record.
That includes an 11-1 campaign in 2021 where the Fighting Irish were a fringe Playoff team. That Kelly would leave the school in the midst of sustained success — and on the cusp of another potential Playoff berth — illustrates his belief that he could a WVU vs. Pitt Rivalry Jerseys dvance no further in South Bend.
Kelly's year-by-year records at Notre Dame:
|Year||Record||Final AP rank||Bowl (result)|
|2010||8-5||—||Sun Bowl (win)|
|2011||8-5||—||Champs Sports Bowl (loss)|
|2012||12-1||4||BCS Bethel Wildcats clothes championship (loss)|
|2013||9-4||20||Pinstripe Bowl (win)|
|2014||8-5||—||Music City Bowl (win)|
|2015||10-3||11||Fiesta Bowl (loss)|
|2017||10-3||11||Citrus Bowl (win)|
|2018||12-1||5||Cotton Bowl (loss)|
|2019||11-2||12||Camping World Bowl (win)|
|2020||10-2||5||Rose Bowl semifinal (loss)|
|2021||11-1||8||Fiesta Bowl (loss)|
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When was Not George Mason Patriots clothes re Dame's last football national championship?
Notre Dame has not won a national title since 1988, with its closest postseas Dickinson College Red Devils clothes on ranking coming in 1993 when it second behind Florida State, a team it had beaten in the regular season.
Kelly led the Fighting Irish to the cusp of three national championships but the team fell flat against the eventual national champion each time:
- 2013 BCS championship (42-14 loss to Alabama)
- 2018 College Football Playoff semifinal (30-3 loss to Clemson)
- 2020 College Football Playoff semifinal (31-14 loss to Alabama)
Notre Dame's struggles on the big stage predate Kelly, however. Below is the team's record in New Year's Day 6-equivalent bowl games since 1988, Notre Dame's last title-winning season:
|Bowl||Result||Final record||Final AP rank|
|2022 Fiesta Bowl||No. 9 Oklahoma State 37, No. 5 Notre Dame 35||11-2||8|
|2021 Rose Bowl (CFP semifinal)||No. 1 Alabama 31, No. 4 Notre Dame 14||10-2||5|
|2018 Cotton Bowl (CFP semifinal)||No. 2 Clemson 30, No. 3 Notre Dame 3||12-1||5|
|2016 Fiesta Bowl||No. 7 Ohio State 44, No. 8 Notre Dame 28||10-3||11|
|2013 BCS championship game||No. 2 Alabama 42, No. 1 Notre Dame 14||12-1||4|
|2007 Sugar Bowl||No. 4 LSU 41, No. 14 Notre Dame 14||10-3||17|
|2006 Fiesta Bowl||No. 4 Ohio State 34, No. 5 Notre Dame 20||9-3||9|
|2001 Fiesta Bowl||No. 5 Oregon State 41, No. 10 Notre Dame 9||9-3||15|
|1996 Orange Bowl||No. 8 Florida State 31, No. 6 Notre Dame 26||9-3||11|
|1995 Fiesta Bowl||No. 4 Colorado 41, Notre Dame 24||6-5-1||N/A|
|1994 Cotton Bowl||No. 4 Notre Dame 24, No. 7 Texas A&M 21||11-1||2|
Notre Dame employed three lackluster coaches after its last national title and before Kelly arrived: Bob Davie (35-25), Tyrone Willingham (21-15) and Charlie Weis (35-27) lasted five, three and five seasons, respectively.
To compare, LSU has won three national championships in the last 20 years: in 2003 under current Alabama coach Nick Saban; in 2007 under Les Miles; and in 2019 under Ed Orgeron.
Kelly will aim to become the fourth consecutive LSU coach to reach that zen College Lacrosse shirt ith.