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Kelly’s First Year!


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It’s hard to find much fault in Brian Kelly’s Year 1 campaign at LSU.


It certainly wasn’t perfect, as frustrating losses to Florida State, Tennessee and Texas A&M all attest, but with an upset win over Alabama, an SEC West title and a 10-win season, things are certainly looking up on the bayou.

There were questions about fit when Kelly, who had never coached south of Cincinnati and had spent more than a decade at Notre Dame, was hired by the Tigers last offseason. But he quickly dispelled those concerns, and his first season received an “A” grade from Greg McElroy on ESPN’s Always College Football.


“Brian Kelly finishing the season 10-4 was ridiculous,” McElroy said on Always College Football. “Like a lot of people were poking fun at Brian Kelly a year ago this time. He’s not gonna fit, he’s got (saying) family (with a bizarre accent), all this other nonsense okay, but the guy can flat out coach football and we know this.

“Alright, they were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West in the preseason. They captured the division for the first time since 2019 and beat Alabama at Tiger Stadium for the first time since 2010. So, it’s been a while since they’ve taken care of business against the Tide. And LSU was one of those situations where they were this close and you look at how they finished, they might be poised to repeat this upcoming year with some of the pieces they brought in.


“Some of the guys that decided to return, they might be well positioned. This is not going to be a one year thing Brian Kelly’s about to have this thing rolling, or at least it feels that way. So he of course gets an ‘A.’”

As McElroy mentions, LSU did lose some talent but also returns quite a bit of production in addition to the nation’s best transfer class and a top-10 recruiting haul. What Kelly is building at LSU could be special, and it seems the national media is taking notice.

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