It’s that time of year for publications and college football “people” in general to start dropping list after list. Most of these lists are some type of ranking, and Athlon published its rankings for every coach at the FBS level.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach, Brian Kelly, came in at #25:
Kelly enters 2017 at a critical point in his tenure with the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame slumped to 4-8 last fall, which was the program’s first losing mark under Kelly and the lowest win total since 2007. Can Kelly get this program (and his tenure) back on track in 2017? The smart money says yes. The Fighting Irish upgraded at coordinator with the additions of Chip Long (offense) and Mike Elko (defense) and lost six games last fall by eight points or less. Needless to say, there’s potential for a quick turnaround in 2017. Kelly is 59-31 overall and guided the program to three finishes in the Associated Press top 25 since taking over at Notre Dame in 2010. He also went 34-6 in a three-year stint at Cincinnati, guided Central Michigan to a 19-16 mark from 2004-06 and compiled an impressive 118-35-2 mark at Grand Valley State from 1991-03.
While that’s a somewhat respectable ranking (if you’re the Illinois Fighting Illini), for the head coach of Notre Dame heading into his 8th year at the school... it’s pretty awful. Like, that should normally be at least 10 spots higher to retain for a 9th year- right?
Some interesting names surround Kelly here:
- #24 Kirk Ferentz Iowa Hawkeyes
- #26 Paul Johnson Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
- #30 Butch Jones Tennessee Volunteers
- #16 David Cutcliffe Duke Blue Devils
- #7 David Shaw Stanford Cardinal
- #5 Dabo Swinney Clemson Tigers
- #3 Jim Harbaugh Michigan Wolverines
Honestly, I’m not sure how much credence I would give a list that ranks the defending national champion head coach at #5, and Jim Harbaugh WHO HAS WON ABSOLUTELY NOTHING NOT EVEN HIS OWN DAMN CONFERENCE at #3.