Where does Brian Kelly rank among Power 5 coaches?
Brian Kelly took a major gamble when he left Notre Dame, where he was the winningest coach in the program’s storied history, to come to LSU and try to capture his first career national title.
Though he didn’t do that in Year 1, it was a great start as the program won 10 games following back-to-back mediocre campaigns. Now, some see his 2023 team as one that can contend for a championship.
Kelly may not have his first title yet, but he’s accomplished most other accolades. He’s the third-winningest active coach in FBS, and in CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli’s ranking of Power Five coaches, Kelly came in at sixth — a one-spot.
Kelly won at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame. So, you probably shouldn’t have been surprised by Kelly winning the SEC West in his first season at LSU. It turns out the man is a good football coach. Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU because he believed it gave him a clearer path toward a national title, and nothing that happened in his first season at Death Valley suggests he has bad eyesight. 2022 rank: 7 (+1)
That’s an increase of one spot from last season for Kelly, and now he sits behind just Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, USC’s Lincoln Riley, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Georgia’s Kirby Smart and Alabama’s Nick Saban.
Three of those coaches — Swinney, Smart and Saban — have won national championships. Meanwhile, Kelly ranks ahead of two coaches who have titles in Jimbo Fisher and Mack Brown, though both were won at other schools.
LSU is seen as a dark-horse SEC and College Football Playoff contender in 2023. If that potential is realized, you can expect Kelly will rank even higher on lists like this next offseason.
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