Brian Kelly and LSU throttled by No. 8 Tennessee: The best Twitter reactions

At least the dining hall is top notch, right coach?

Ask a Notre Dame fan what the Irish did under Brian Kelly in just about any big game and be ready to be greeted with a long sigh or something of the sort.  Yes, he led Notre Dame to a win over No. 1 Clemson in 2020 (as the Tigers played without college football’s best quarterback that year in Trevor Lawrence and three of their regular defensive starters), but beyond that there is the 2012 road win over Oklahoma and that’s pretty much it.

Kelly had his first really big game at LSU on Saturday as the Tigers played host to No. 8 Tennessee.  After a special teams debacle to start the game (another shocker), the boat race on the Bayou was on as the Vols sent the home crowd to their cars early in a 40-13 rout.

As you can imagine, Notre Dame and college football fans alike reacted to a team coached by Kelly failing to show up in a big game.  Here are just a few of the best reactions.

Shocker: LSU special teams struggle again

Color us shocked: LSU special teams a no-show in big game.

Shake me and wake me if you’re a Notre Dame fan and have heard this before:

A Brian Polian led special teams unit is performing at a Pop Warner level at very best.

LSU is playing host to No. 8 Tennessee in a rare 11 a.m. CT kickoff at Tiger Stadium and it’s safe to say the Bayou Bengals special teams unit which is led by former Notre Dame assistant coach Brian Polian, failed to hear their alarm clocks this morning.

It started as LSU fumbled and lost the opening kickoff which resulted in a Vols touchdown five plays later.

After LSU was forced to punt the following drive, a 58-yard punt return set up the Vols for a field goal to go up 10-0.

Credit to LSU’s defense for keeping Tennessee out of the end zone since (as we write this at 12:40 p.m. ET) but the Tigers can’t seem to get out of their own way on offense or special teams.

It’s almost like I’ve seen this from a Brian Kelly coached team against a top ten team a time or two before.

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College football in a hurricane: Notre Dame tries throwing 31 times in middle of literal hurricane

What is your pick for all-time most memorable “weather game” in Notre Dame history?

This week ESPN’s “College Gameday” travels to Clemson, South Carolina for a battle between a couple of unbeaten squads as the host Tigers take on North Carolina State.  Notre Dame is off for their bye this week but with the weather that is expected it’s seemingly fitting from a Fighting Irish fan’s perspective that these two are meeting up.

Hurricane Ian is making landfall on Wednesday on Florida’s gulf coast and with it is bringing an incredible amount of rain and dangerously high winds.  In all seriousness, far beyond the importance of a silly football game this weekend or from years ago now, all the best to those having to evacuate or ride this thing out.

Clemson playing host to North Carolina State on Saturday will be played in what should be a ridiculous amount of rain and probably wind, too.  With it being at Clemson it brings back memories for Notre Dame fans as in 2015, the unbeaten Fighting Irish and Tigers met in Clemson and played a classic while being poured on by the rains from Hurricane Joaquin.

We looked back at that memorable night with photos here.

For Notre Dame fans it also brings back memories of one of the ugliest games in Notre Dame football history, the 2016 game at North Carolina State as the rains from Hurricane Matthew took a toll on the east coast.

The game was only memorable for all the wrong reasons, especially for Notre Dame.  Brian Kelly’s questionable game plan that afternoon called for 31 passes (five of which resulted in sacks) in conditions that featured a constant downpour as well as wind gusts north of 50 miles per hour.

It’s no surprise that the teams combined to throw for less than 100 yards and the only touchdown came on a botched punt.

Said [autotag]Brian Kelly[/autotag] after the 10-3 defeat, “I think it was pretty evident to me that we were in need of throwing the football when we did throw it. We just weren’t as effective as I thought we could be.”

That one is still mind-numbing six years after the fact.

Perhaps it would have been wise to have pushed that one back a few weeks.

Then again, would anyone really look back on this meeting had it been played in sunny conditions?

Enjoy some incredible photos below from perhaps the most infamous weather game in the long history of Notre Dame football.

Lou Holtz says Brian Kelly ignored at least eight personal letters

When is the last time you sent an actual letter?

Quick — when was the last time you sat down, penned a letter, put it in a stamped envelope and dropped it in the mailbox?

It has to have been at least 10 years since I wrote a letter, and I’m guessing it’d be closer to 20. However, former Notre Dame head coach [autotag]Lou Holtz[/autotag] comes from an era where letter-writing was much more the norm.

Holtz spoke last week at the “Win Without Losses” dinner in Birmingham, Alabama, and shared a story about how he wrote [autotag]Brian Kelly[/autotag] at least eight letters during Kelly’s time at Notre Dame, but never received a response.

Holtz doesn’t seem overly upset about it but certainly didn’t sound thrilled, either. Personally the best part of this to me was how Holtz says he’d respond to mail from some of his naysayers during his coaching days. I think next time I get a less-than-positive e-mail at work I’m going to respond with something like that.

Related – Fighting Irish Wire staff’s game-by-game predictions for 2022 season

For whatever its worth, my money is on Kelly never saw any of those letters.

That or I’m giving the man too much credit.

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Brian Kelly shares thoughts about Notre Dame conference argument

The answer was about as good as you could have hoped for.

[autotag]Brian Kelly[/autotag] got a chance to speak on a variety of topics during SEC Media Days. It was inevitable that the LSU coach’s former employer, Notre Dame, would come up and whether it would join a conference. As it turns out, the Irish haven’t been on his mind much (big shock). However, he did offer these words about the program’s future:

This answer appears to be half-canned, half-improvised. Most canned responses wouldn’t or at least shouldn’t be talking about one’s golf game. Then again, wouldn’t you hit the course if you knew you only had a short time before all of your time and energy was focused on coaching? We’ve all been there.

At least Kelly is giving the impression that he thinks the Irish will be all right. It certainly wouldn’t have been a good look if he talked badly about them and thus incur the wrath of the entire fan base. Props to him for choosing his words wisely.

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Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Brian Kelly: ‘I want to beat Nick Saban’

Guess who’s speaking again?

We get it. You want to move on from [autotag]Brian Kelly[/autotag]. He did what he felt he needed to do, so why should we even bother discussing him anymore? Well, just humor us for a moment.

You see, Brian Kelly now coaches in the SEC, which means more opportunities to play Nick Saban and Alabama. He only could do that at Notre Dame when a national championship or a spot in the national championship was on the line. That happened twice, and it never went well for the Irish. Kelly said during a podcast interview with former Irish safety [autotag]Shaun Crawford[/autotag] that the opportunity to play Saban factored into his decision:

“I want to beat Nick Saban. Who doesn’t want to beat Nick Saban, you know what I mean? I want to play him in the regular season. I mean, that’s the standard, right? Now, he’s a conference opponent.”

Kelly also offered this on the differences between the Irish and LSU as far as national title chances:

Matt Fortuna: Only national title will justify Kelly leaving Notre Dame

Will Kelly win a national title in Louisiana?

With college football teams conducting spring practices, Brian Kelly departing Notre Dame for LSU is back at the forefront. Kelly has said the Tigers have better resources and facilities for winning a national championship than the Irish. Matt Fortuna of The Athletic says that’s the only way Kelly’s decision will be validated. In an editorial available only to subscribers, Fortuna makes it clear that now is the time for Kelly to put up or shut up.

In fact, how both LSU and Notre Dame look depends on Kelly’s success or failure to put the Tigers over the top. Fortuna says so in his lead:

“Here’s the thing about Brian Kelly, LSU and Notre Dame: Kelly needs to win a national title at the former to validate his decision to leave the latter. And the latter needs him to not to do that in order to validate its own approach to doing business.

Plain and simple.”

In the long history of college football, there surely have been rivalries between programs that haven’t even played each other. The Tigers are not a future Irish opponent, so this would qualify under that umbrella. Depending on what Kelly does in Baton Rogue, this could be an intense such rivalry. Fans on both sides will be wringing their hands in anticipation.

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Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Brian Kelly explains reasons for leaving Notre Dame

You cool with these explanations or nah?

Enough time has passed that we’ve seen the worst of the flak Brian Kelly took over leaving Notre Dame for LSU, at least theoretically. For the past few months, we never got a detailed answer as to why Kelly departed South Bend for the Bayou State. Now, Kelly is spilling the beans in a story from The Associated Press. It might not satisfy everybody or even anybody, but at least we have something now.

Kelly lays out a few reasons for his decision and also lauds the Tigers’ apparently superior cafeteria:

“It’s been awesome because you’ve got incredible facilities, you’ve got players that want to be great. 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.”

As for leaving Notre Dame, he had this to say:

“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.”

Here’s a more general answer:

“I felt like that what I was looking for was student-athlete centered. 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.”

So there it is. Is that going to make Irish fans more understanding? Probably not. Still, you have to give him credit for breaking his silence, even if he surely knows it won’t help his standing with his former employer.

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Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89

Lane Kiffin rightfully roasts Brian Kelly

Oh how things have changed in a decade…

If it wasn’t obvious before it certainly is now: Brian Kelly and the LSU administration believe that any publicity is good publicity in terms of him on the recruiting trail.

Kelly wasn’t above getting a little bit out of his comfort zone at Notre Dame as there are plenty of awkward photos and videos of him in blue and gold, but it was nothing compared to whatever he’s doing now.

Previously it was his sudden southern accent that swept the nation before his dance moves took center stage.

Friday night saw the committed tight end Danny White, Jr. release a video that instantly made the rounds on Twitter thanks to Kelly again looking like a fool.

This time one of his new SEC rivals didn’t let slide however as Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin roasted Kelly on Twitter.

Back in 2010 if you told me I’d be pulling for Lane Kiffin in a meeting with Brian Kelly I would have looked at you like you had three heads but here we are.

For whatever it’s worth, the video had over 2.1 million views on Twitter just four hours after it was originally posted.

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Follow Nick on Twitter: @nickshepkowski

Watch: Brian Kelly appears in cringey LSU commitment video

What is he doing now?

I’m sure Danny Lewis Jr. will have a fine career at LSU. If nothing else, he will emerge as a better person for the lessons college football will teach him. For his own sake, that better be the case because if he flames out, this commitment video with Brian Kelly will be all he’s known for:

If it wasn’t completely obvious by now, and it most definitely was, LSU Kelly is nothing like Notre Dame Kelly. First, he suddenly decides to talk like he’s spent his entire life in the southern part of the country. Now, he decides he’s cool enough to act like an experienced TikTok personality who’s on the same level as the generation that eats up the content on that platform like a Thanksgiving turkey.

What exactly changed about Kelly after he changed jobs? Was Notre Dame too stuffy of an institution for him to put on this persona? Is LSU the right amount of hip for him? All I know is Kelly and Geaux Tigers Nation deserve each other.

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Contact/Follow us @IrishWireND on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Notre Dame news, notes, and opinions.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter: @gfclark89