The Fighting Irish head coach could be coaching for his job this season.
Is Brian Kelly coaching for his job in South Bend, Ind. this season?
After an incredibly disappointing 4-8 campaign in 2016, the answer to that question might be yes.
Fox Sports certainly seems to think so. They’ve listed Kelly on their five coaches on the hot seat list heading into the 2017 season.
Kelly could be “doomed” by Notre Dame’s schedule.
In an absolute best-case scenario, the Irish will face a minimum of four teams that will likely begin the season in the Top 25: USC and Georgia at home, with Miami (FL) and Stanford on the road. (NC State could be ranked in the preseason as well). And from there, there are landmines all over, from an opener against Temple (which won 10 games each of the last two seasons) to Navy (which beat the Irish last year) and at Michigan State, which should bounce back after a 3-9 campaign a season ago.
It isn’t unimaginable that Kelly could be 9-3 or 10-2 and comfortably off the hot seat by the conclusion of the regular season. It also isn’t impossible to see him at 7-4 and coaching for his job against Stanford in the final week of the season.
Does a 7-5 or 8-4 season keep Kelly around for another season? Or does he need something a win or two better than that?