Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thank You Brian Kelly and Farewell

There has been quite a bit of hatred around Cincinnati recently with the announcement that Brian Kelly is the new head coach at Notre Dame. I will admit that I was also extremely upset, but I have moved on and feel that the rest of Cincinnati, barring the UC football team, should do so as well. This city needs to be grateful for what Brian Kelly has done to the University of Cincinnati's football program. Here are a couple reasons why.

1. Brian Kelly left for his dream job. Although most people are claiming that he chose to go to Notre Dame because of the money, I don't think he would have left for any other school even if they offered significantly more money. Because of his success he was a highly desired football coach. His negotiations with both Notre Dame and Cincinnati were rigorous. According to Cincinnati's Athletic Director Mike Thomas, every effort was made to keep Kelly here in Cincinnati. The final decision came down to the fact that Brian Kelly would rather be in Notre Dame. I think that even if Notre Dame offered the exact same amount of money that Cincinnati offered, he would still have picked Notre Dame.

2. Isn't it better that Kelly used Cincinnati as a stepping stone to Notre Dame than UConn or Louisville? This is my biggest point. It doesn't take much to see the impact that Brian Kelly has had on the Cincinnati football program. Would this have happened if he had never worked here? I doubt it. So why complain that he left so long as he left the program significantly better.

3. I can understand why people are upset, and I've been frustrated in the past couple days in which Kelly left Cincinnati. Especially considering that several of the players that are upset, have been classmates of mine at one point or another. However, Brian Kelly didn't do anything to me personally, and he really didn't hurt my "pride" in Cincinnati. If anything I am much more "proud" of Cincinnati and rub it into my Ohio State counterparts every chance I get. I wish he was still here, but he isn't and maybe it is just as good.

4. The last two schools that Kelly has left are still doing really well because of the way that he structured their systems for the future. The same has happened for Cincinnati. I will be highly surprised if Cincinnati goes back to being a "no-name" team in college football just because Kelly isn't here anymore. Because of the way Kelly left the program, we can get another good coach, continue to dominate the Big East, and stay in contention for the national title in years to come.

Cincinnati should be grateful that Kelly came. Stop beating the man up and let him move on to Notre Dame. The only people that shouldn't move on, at least not yet, are the football players that used to be under Kelly's guidance. He ditched them flat out. Take that anger and frustration and use it. Use it to destroy Florida! That kind of rage could tip the scales even more in favor of Cincinnati at the Sugar Bowl. Then when the Sugar Bowl is over, we can start working on next season with the new coach. For goodness sake, we still have Zach Collaros, DJ Woods, and Armon Binns. Let Cincinnati football continue on in greatness.

The one thing that has upset me the most about this whole BK to ND deal is that Notre Dame acts as if it is their right to pick anybody for the position. It also seems crazy that a program as dilapidated as Notre Dame's can still hold such a strong sway over a man as intelligent as Kelly. In this sense, maybe it is all about the money. In some sense, I wish Kelly would fall flat at Notre Dame, but not because I want Kelly to fail. I just want Notre Dame to be knocked down a couple more pride notches. I wish Kelly the best of luck in everything he does, mostly for the way he has positioned out football program for a magnificent future. I am not going to predict if Kelly will succeed or fail, I'm not that vested in the Fighting (and losing) Irish. Either way, I am looking forward to the new coach and the next chapter in UC football history. Bring on the Sugar Bowl!!

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