Plenty of writers wrong about Brian Kelly

Welcome to Bad Takes on First-Year College Football Coaches 101.

With LSU’s 32-31 victory over Alabama Saturday, I think it’s prudent to go ahead and begin our Brian Kelly Unit.

Josh, with SBNation’s “Roll Bama Roll,” will you start us off with your effort on December 1, 2021, titled “Brian Kelly is going to be a disaster at LSU.” The one where you go on about BK being an “odd cultural fit.”

That one certainly didn’t age well, did it, Josh? Happens to the worst of us. 

Class, next we have Zach Ragan with A to Z Sports. He is going to read to us from his “How Brian Kelly further proved this week that he’s a terrible fit at LSU” back in late March. 

It seems Mr. Ragan didn’t appreciate Kelly’s response when a reporter asked him about LSU wide receiver Keyshon Boutte. Kelly answered with “I know his last name” and Zach equated Kelly’s press conference answer to being a bad fit. Right, Zach?

I know those two publications are a bit obscure. Let’s step up in class with a column from USA Today.

Blake Toppmeyer, will you read to us a graph or two from the column you wrote in late November? The one titled “LSU Football hires a big-name coach in Brian Kelly, but Nick Saban shouldn’t worry.”

Who is that laughing in the back? You sir, what’s your name? 

Scott Woodward?

I don’t have you on my roll. Let me see your schedule, Mr. Woodward. You are in the wrong class. You have Big-Time Athletic Directors 202 during this time block. That class is down the hall to your right.

Class, now that Mr. Woodward and his distracting laughter is out of the room, we can discuss what we have learned thus far.

Remember the quote from Abraham Lincoln we talked about last week? “It’s better to have people to think you are a fool, than to blog about a new college football hire and remove all doubt”?

What’s that? Do I think Brian Kelly is a better football coach than Alabama’s Nick Saban? He certainly was Saturday night, but in the grand scheme of things … of course not. 

Kelly had a packed Tiger Stadium, an environment so raucous that even Kirk Herbstreit took to Twitter to thank the LSU faithful, but Saban had a sideline full of five-star football players. Kelly? The best team Gordon McKernan could buy. 

Overall, I’m not here to argue Brian Kelly’s placement in College Football’s Mt. Rushmore; I’m just here passing out the receipts I’ve been holding on to since Mt. Rush to Judgement.  

Les Miles famously said that Tiger Stadium is a place where opponents’ dreams go to die. Alabama’s dream of winning a national title died Saturday night just after 10 p.m. when Mason Taylor went in motion, circled back and then made a diving catch on a pass from Jaylen Daniels just past the front pylon.

Or did it?

That’s a discussion for another class. 

For homework, I want everyone to read Connor O’Gara’s “Hey Brian Kelly haters: Here’s why you need to start giving Brian Kelly the credit he deserves” from Saturday Down South. Good stuff, Connor. 

And remember class, if you’ve learned one thing today – your readers are going to hold receipts on what you write. 

Contact Jerry at