Can LSU Fire Underperforming Head Coach Brian Kelly With $75 Million Buyout?

brian kelly sad

College football is a high stakes sport. LSU and head coach Brian Kelly are not immune to the stakes. Hired with the hope of propelling the Tigers to the pinnacle of college football, Kelly now finds himself in turbulent waters following a rocky start to the 2023/24 season. With a hefty $75 million buyout clause tethered to his contract, the question arises – can LSU feasibly part ways with the underperforming head coach?

The 2023/24 season unfurled with grand aspirations for LSU, largely pinned on the leadership of Brian Kelly, who signed a $100 million deal in 2022. However, a string of disappointing performances have cast a long shadow over Kelly’s tenure, igniting discussions regarding his position.

Pressure on Brian Kelly as LSU Faces Another Season of Disappointment

The recent loss to Ole Miss ended in dismay for the Tigers, further fueling the discourse surrounding Kelly’s capability to steer the team to victory. Now, with two losses on the season, and another year where they will miss out on the College Football Playoff, the pressure is ratcheting up with Tiger fans calling for Brian Kelly to be fired.

Amidst this backdrop, the colossal $75 million buyout clause in Kelly’s contract emerges as a significant roadblock, potentially deterring LSU from making a swift coaching change. The financial ramifications intertwined with the decision to retain or dismiss Kelly are profound, unfolding a complex scenario that LSU must navigate.

Financial Implications

The thought of triggering a $75 million buyout clause is nothing short of a fiscal nightmare for LSU. Such a monumental financial commitment reflects the high stakes and expectations placed on Brian Kelly’s shoulders when he was brought on board.

Unraveling this financial knot is a complex endeavor; the university would need to weigh the immediate monetary loss against the potential long-term gains of bringing a new vision to the football program.

The scenario demands a meticulous financial analysis and strategic foresight to ensure the continuity and competitiveness of LSU’s football program while safeguarding the institution’s broader financial health.

Potential Replacements for Brian Kelly

There is also the dilemma of who would come onboard to replace Kelly. LSU could look in the direction of somebody like Mark Stoops, who has dragged Kentucky from the laughingstock of the SEC to a top-25 program.

Alternatively, the Tigers could look at an up and coming coordinator, who has head coaching potential. They would likely be looking in the direction of Clemson OC Garrett Riley or Florida State OC Alex Atkins if this is the route they chose.

Regardless, it would be more cash out of the LSU coffers. In all likelihood, Brian Kelly’s contract means he will have more time at the Tigers, but his seat is not cooling down anytime soon.

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