LSU football: What Brian Kelly would do if offered the Michigan head coaching job

Late last week, the internet was buzzing over speculation that Brian Kelly would leave LSU football for Michigan if offered. Believe it or not, such is not as crazy as it seems.
Nov 18, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly before their matchup
Nov 18, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly before their matchup / Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

We are at the point of every year in which Jim Harbaugh is linked to NFL head coaching vacancies. This time around, Harbaugh's potential return to pro football could affect LSU football. Suffice it to say that there is a belief a Harbaugh departure would result in the Wolverines backing the Brinks truck up to Brian Kelly's residence.

Matt Moscona is a trusted LSU football insider who said that Kelly would leave Baton Rouge for Ann Arbor if he were offered Michigan's head coaching position.

But, of course, many LSU football fans are upset with Moscona's prediction. I don't blame them. The idea of losing Brian Kelly to another college football program after two seasons is frustrating, but it's not unbelievable.

A month ago, Kelly swore his allegiance to Baton Rouge. He sounded confident and convincing, but we're not stupid. Once upon a time, Nick Saban declared he was not leaving the Miami Dolphins for Alabama just before leaving South Beach for Tuscaloosa. In other words, veteran head coaches know how to speak to the media.

Did we expect Kelly to admit he was sticking with LSU football unless a more marquee job becomes available?

Kelly migrating to Michigan to replace Harbaugh would put the LSU Tigers in a tough spot. Replacing a head coach in January is difficult but not impossible. One must remember that LSU athletic director Scott Woodward is known for poaching big names from other programs. However, the most significant blow to Baton Rouge would be to the ego.

Remember how upset Notre Dame fans were (and still are) that Kelly left their program for a better job? Yeah, that stings. It's a sting that would be felt across Tiger faithful.

I expect most LSU football fans to dismiss the idea that Michigan is a better job. However, for a college football head coach, it is. The Wolverines haven't won a national championship since Charles Woodson, but they're one of the biggest programs in the country.

Indeed, it would be difficult for a head coach born in the North and familiar with Michigan to decline Wolverine overtures. It would also be difficult for Brian Kelly to turn down the amount of money Michigan would throw his way.

But of course, all this Kelly to Michigan talk hinges on the Wolverines needing a new head coach. Until such happens, all the talk is moot. But LSU football fans dismissing the possibility of Kelly taking another job are lying to themselves. Conversely, some Tigers fans remain turned off by the current LSU head coach.

It was reported Michigan offered Harbaugh a 10-year, $125 million contract to stiff-arm NFL offers and remain in Ann Arbor. It's also being reported that the Los Angeles Charges have an interest in Harbaugh.

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Regardless, we don't expect any movement on the Harbaugh front until after Michigan's College Football Playoff venture ends.