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Where Are All the Naysayers of Coach Kelly?

Four wins.

Yes, some people know college football who predicted LSU to win four football games this year.

No, Stephan A. Smith does not count.

No, Skip Bayless does not count.

Did they pick LSU to win four games?

I don’t know; I can’t watch them.

But Russ Mitchell with College Football News did. And he’s still not a believer.

Before LSU beat Ole Miss Saturday, Mitchell said he still didn’t know where LSU’s wins were coming from the rest of the year.

Well, for starters, there’s Ole Miss.

But I have to admit, after LSU laid a massive egg in its season-opener against Florida State, I was beginning to believe them. I would have been better off believing in Brian Kelly.

“He’s not an LSU guy.”

“He shows no emotion.”

“He doesn’t get mad enough.”

“He’s fake.”

More negatives were thrown out about Kelly than Tom Brady and Gisele break-up stories.

Fast forward to the last week of October.

Guess who has six wins and is eligible for a bowl game?

Kelly took over a roster that included fewer than 40 available scholarship players and a receiver taking first-team snaps at quarterback.

Then he walked around the facility and saw offices that had been left empty for a year.

Kelly went about rebuilding, telling staff members to target the state of Louisiana. 

Of the 15 transfers the program signed, Kelly said LSU didn’t offer seven out of high school, went elsewhere and wanted to come back home. There were high schools in the northern part of the state Kelly said had been neglected by the previous staff.

Ajay Allen of Neville, who will be a star at Nebraska, comes to mind.

The addition of defensive coordinator Matt House, who came from the Kansas City Chiefs, is one of several key additions to the coaching staff. We all hated seeing Tommy Moffitt released as strength and conditioning coach. But Kelly “had a plan and is seeing it through.

And then he loses one of this top players in Maason Smith in the first game.

Doom and gloom in a place rocking when Garth Brooks was calling Baton Rouge in Tiger Stadium five months earlier.

Was that going to be the highlight of the 2022 football season?

Then the recruiting commitments started coming in.

OK, this guy can recruit.

Is LSU a possible top 5 in recruiting next year?

Isn’t that how Nick Saban got LSU to the promised land?

And then the win at Auburn. And then the win at Florida.

By now you know that no other coach has ever won in the same year.

Then there was the embarrassing loss to Tennessee, which deflated an early morning LSU crowd. Please, no more of those in Tiger Stadium.

LSU had its chances, even without it’s best offensive lineman in freshman Will Campbell.

Yes, freshman. The same as lineman Emery Jones.

And next season expects another freshman, Zalance Heard — Campbell’s former teammate at Neville — to start next season possibly.

Look at your power teams. They have solid offensive lines, and make the offense go. Brian Kelly knows that.

And look at what happens when Nick Saban loses “a” ballgame at Alabama.

After the Tennessee game I had a good friend and Alabama fan who used to cover the Tide tell me, “Saban should have run the ball more on their last drive and take more time off the clock so Tennessee would not have had time to kick the field goal at the end.”

Kelly will face more criticism as he continues to build LSU back to glory. It comes with the territory.

But for now we’ll enjoy the six wins and a bowl game where key team members are not bailing. 

I can see LSU on top of the college football world again shortly.

Maybe Russ Mitchell can be Grand Marshall at the celebration parade.