Brian Kelly has plenty of work to be done now that both Marcus Freeman and Tommy Rees are staying with Notre Dame.
There were some reports, we even reported on, that Corey Raymond and Kevin Faulk were expected to be retained on the LSU staff. However, when he addressed the media Kelly stated that wasn’t the case.
“I have not made any decisions based upon who will stay and who may go,” Kelly said on Wednesday. “I haven’t had any individual conversations with any of them, so any narrative out there is not coming from any conversations that I’ve had with them. They are well-respected and I will get an opportunity to vet out all of those coaches. They’ve done a great job.
I know the business, they know the business. There are realities in this business. But we’ll get to all of those coaches because as I mentioned earlier, they have families, they have lives, and we have to get moving in that direction.”
For now we will look at potential offensive coordinators, none of these have been reported but five that are worth mentioning.
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The first name we will mention is the Cincinnati Bearcats offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock. He spent time on the Notre Dame staff under Brian Kelly from 2010-2016, Denbrock has served on the Cincinnati staff since 2017. His offense this year has averaged 39.6 points per game this year and led the AAC with 6.8 yards per play. LSU this year averaged 5.3.
Based on his history with Kelly, he might look Denbrock’s way.
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If they want to keep some continuity, Kelly should give offensive coordinator Jake Peetz a look. Outside of that part of the equation, keeping him doesn’t make much sense. In his first season as the playcaller, the offense looked outmatched against defenses. There was no rhythm to his offense.
Peetz averaged 27.1 points per game, the lowest number for LSU in over a decade. While other teams are catching up with the times, the Tigers went backwards.
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Auburn recently fired Mike Bobo after one season for the Tigers, he would be available if Brian Kelly wants to go that route. He has worked his alma mater Georgia, South Carolina, and Auburn of the SEC. Bobo’s offense this season averaged 29.6 points per game, only slightly better than Peetz.
The big draw for Bobo is that he knows the SEC landscape and that would help Kelly. However, his offense scored 30 points once over the last four games during the losing streak.
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The caveat for Seth Littrell is that this would only be if UNT decides to move on from him as head coach. It appeared that his team was headed to a third-straight losing season but has seemingly turned things in their favor. Quite possible that he doesn’t get removed from his post.
Littrell generated 33.2 and 40.7 points per game in the final two seasons as the OC for North Carolina. It would be interesting to see what he could dial up in Baton Rouge.
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Could Chip Long and Kelly reunite? Long is already in the state as he is the offensive coordinator for Tulane. He spent 2017-19 in South Bend as the Fighting Irish offensive coordinator and tight ends coach.
The offense scored over 30 points per game each year under Long. He very well could be on that short list for Brian Kelly.