It can’t be stressed enough: Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame for LSU is a huge win for the discourse.
It’s a shakeup that manages to check just about every possible “what the fuck” box. Notre Dame has their faux-excepitionalism punctured by a coach not only leaving for another college job but doing so midseason when they’re still alive for a playoff spot. This morning we learned Kelly also wants to take Notre Dame’s top interim option/current defensive coordinator/potential replacement head coach with him!
Source: LSU head coach Brian Kelly reached out to Notre Dame defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman on Monday in an effort to bring him to Baton Rouge. Kelly would intend to make Freeman the highest paid defensive coordinator in college football.
— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) November 30, 2021
LSU, meanwhile, goes from firing a coach with plenty of baggage who won them a national championship to a coach with plenty of baggage who has not won a national championship, and who feels like an odd cultural fit as well. It’s glorious all around.
We got our first taste of just how entertaining this move might be today when LSU confirmed the hire with a welcome video, heavy on green screen and pundit pontification. Please watch and enjoy:
The epitome of a winner.
The next championship head coach at LSU pic.twitter.com/RCtjdE8V71
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) November 30, 2021
God that’s so perfect.
First, let’s note that while Brian Kelly certainly returned Notre Dame to prominence (thanks at least in part to the CFP committee’s thirst for Notre Dame), Brian Kelly is absolutely not the epitome of a winner. At Notre Dame, his teams lost an ACC championship game, two playoff games, a BCS national title, and a non-playoff Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2016. (They also lost a Champs Sports Bowl.) In the win column: Sun Bowl, Pinstripe Bowl, Music City Bowl, Camping World Bowl, and a Citrus Bowl. making Kelly 5-5 in bowl games at Notre Dame.
But, hey, that 5-5 record marked a clear uptick for Notre Dame, there’s no disputing that. And the program Twitter account isn’t going to equivocate about their new coach, it’s firm hyperbole territory. So let’s focus on the video itself, because it is something.
The green screen/CGI/filters/whatever involved are all perfectly cheap-looking. None of this is intended as a slight to whoever in the LSU comms department was tasked with throwing this together in less than twelve hours, to be clear. It’s not their fault. It was a hopeless assignment; at least the finished product is memorable. But it just looks so, so bad.
Then we get to the (dry, unseasoned) meat of the video, which is made up of clips from various talking heads and pundits (Desmond Howard, Joel Klatt, Mike Greenberg) discussing LSU’s prominence and desirability as a college job (fair) and Kelly’s stature and potential fit at LSU (more questionable but whatever.) We also get more shoddy effects work, with Kelly shopped in front of a sunset background that results in something straight out of Wave Race 64.
The whole thing ends with an intended mic drop moment setting up LSU’s return to the top of the college football world. An admirable stopping point, except for that it’s delivered by Colin Cowherd, a man whose entire professional identity is “willing to be loudly and publicly wrong for money.”
In short: it’s an absolutely perfect video given how this story has unfolded so far. 100/100, wouldn’t change a thing.