LSU Football: Brian Kelly proved on Wednesday he has more class than Lincoln Riley

Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports /

Before LSU football hired Brian Kelly away from Notre Dame, there were rumblings that the Tigers were interested in poaching Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma.

We may never know exactly how true those rumors were. Riley surprisingly left the Sooners for the USC job.

24 hours later, LSU hired Kelly.

Was Kelly higher on the Tigers’ list all along? That probably depends on who you ask.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. LSU got a winner. And they should be extremely happy they landed Kelly over Riley.

The new LSU head coach is going to win big in Baton Rouge. And he’s going to win with class — unlike Riley.

Brian Kelly proved he has more class than Lincoln Riley

Not long after Riley took the job at USC, numerous Oklahoma players hit the transfer portal. And several Sooners commits decommitted.

The Oklahoma compliance account sent out a tweet that essentially suggested something fishy was going on.

Interpret that tweet how you wish, but the timing certainly makes it extremely likely that it was directed at Riley.

And considering Riley’s history (he grabbed three players from Tennessee last winter after the Volunteers fired Jeremy Pruitt), it wouldn’t be a surprise if Oklahoma’s compliance department had some inside information on shady happenings under Riley.

What happened at Oklahoma isn’t happening at Notre Dame. That’s because Kelly made it clear that he won’t be going after Notre Dame commits/players.

During an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday, Kelly was asked if he’d utilize the same recruiting methods as Riley (going after commits at his old program).

“Of course not, Dan,” replied Kelly. “Of course not.”

“Well, Lincoln can do what Lincoln wants to do. Brian Kelly is going to do what he does,” added Kelly.

Next. The move Brian Kelly needs to make ASAP. dark

I know there are some folks who aren’t thrilled with the way Kelly left Notre Dame (though I’m not sure what the issue is — coaches leave programs for better jobs all the time), but it’s at least clear that Brian Kelly has a level of class that isn’t present with Lincoln Riley.

And LSU fans should appreciate that.