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#pounditTuesday, November 30, 2021

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Brian Kelly changes Twitter bio before LSU announcement

LSU has yet to announce that Brian Kelly will be the school’s next head football coach, but Kelly went ahead and made the move Twitter official.

Kelly (or whoever runs the coach’s social media pages) has already made major changes to his Twitter bio. The profile features several references to LSU and photoshopped images of Kelly in Tigers gear.

LSU is expected to introduce Kelly as head coach on Tuesday, so he probably figured there was no reason to wait.

Kelly has faced some criticism for the way he handled leaving Notre Dame. The news leaked through the media before he had a chance to inform his players. Kelly then sent out a text message to players apologizing for the way things went down.

There were also questions about whether Kelly took the appropriate steps with his staff.

Hard feelings are expected when a coach leaves one top program for another. It seems like there will be plenty of them with Kelly.

Seahawks lose critical onside kick due to illegal formation penalty

The Seattle Seahawks nearly pulled off an improbable comeback against Washington on Monday night, but one pesky penalty at the end interfered.

Russell Wilson threw a touchdown pass to Freddie Swain with 15 seconds left in the game to make it 17-15 Washington. Seattle attempted a 2-point conversion to tie the game but Wilson’s pass attempt went incomplete.

Seattle’s next chance was trying an onside kick and hoping to recover and then kick a winning field goal. They actually recovered the onside kick attempt, but it was undone by an illegal formation penalty.

Here is video of the kick:

And this shows the illegal formation, which involved a player lining up inside the hashmarks instead of outside it.

The hashmark rule is in place to try and spread players out on onside kick attempts for player safety purposes. That player’s position had no bearing on the kick recovery, but the penalty was called nonetheless.

It’s a shame for Seattle to lose that way, but you can’t say they haven’t benefited from bogus calls in the past.

Brian Kelly’s final text message to his Notre Dame players leaked

Brian Kelly’s final text message to his Notre Dame football players leaked on Monday night.

Pete Sampson, who covers the Fighting Irish for The Athletic, shared a screenshot of the message, which Kelly apparently sent to his players through the Teamworks app.

In the message, Kelly apologized to his players that they learned about his impending move to LSU via the media. He said he would be sharing more information with them during a 7:00 a.m. meeting on Tuesday.

“Men…Let me first apologize for the late night text and, more importantly, for not being able to share the news with you in person that I will be leaving Notre Dame,” Kelly wrote. “I am flying back to South Bend tonight to be able to meet with you in the morning but the news broke late today and I am sorry you found out through social media or news reporters. I will have more to share when we meet tomorrow at 7 a.m. but for now, just know my love for you is limitless and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished.

“Our program is elite because of your hard work and commitment and I know that will continue. I will share more in the morning when we meet. Again, my sincere apologies for not being able to be the one to share the news directly with you. Coach Kelly.”

Kelly is taking the LSU job and reportedly set to make over $100 million on a 10-year deal.

The 60-year-old has coached at Notre Dame the last 12 seasons, winning double-digit games for five years in a row. His Irish are 11-1 this season and in contention to make the College Football Playoff.

Hopefully Kelly also had a message for his coaching staff, which apparently felt left in the dark.

Photo: Sep 28, 2019; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly waves to fans as he enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Virginia Cavaliers. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Video: FedEx Field experiences water disaster in luxury suite

The WFT had another WTF moment during their game against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday.

As it was hosting the Washington Football Team’s Week 12 contest, FedEx Field unfortunately experienced a new water-related issue. Video circulated on social media of an apparent leakage in one of the stadium’s luxury suites. The leakage was visible from press row.

Darren M. Haynes of WUSA9 was quick to clarify though that the suspect liquid was actually the result of a sprinkler going off in the suite, not a sewage leak as many had initially thought.

Here are a couple of other angles of the mishap, including one from inside the suite in question.

During a WFT game earlier this year, FedEx Field also experienced another leakage problem where many fans believed that sewage was pouring down. Fortunately though, that was not the case then either. Still however, it appears that the stadium badly needs to get its act together.

Photo: Nov 25, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; A general view outside of FedEx Field prior to the game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Washington Redskins. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Could Dodgers sign beloved Braves star?

The Los Angeles Dodgers could be coming up with their own version of a popular adage: if you can’t beat ’em, recruit ’em.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Monday that the possibility has now emerged of the Dodgers pursuing beloved Atlanta Braves star Freddie Freeman to be the top left-handed hitter in their lineup. Corey Seager, who had been playing that role for the Dodgers, just left to sign a massive deal with the Texas Rangers.

The five-time All-Star Freeman has been a Brave for his entire 11-year MLB career, so it would be pretty shocking to see him end up with the National League rival Dodgers. Rosenthal does add too that virtually everyone in the industry expects Freeman to return to Atlanta.

But opponents should always be wary of the Dodgers. They have a knack for landing marquee talent at every turn, and now have plenty of money to spend after losing both Seager and Max Scherzer in free agency. After winning this year’s World Series with the Braves, there are also some indications that Freeman would prefer getting paid over loyalty.

Photo: Jun 15, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) hits a RBI single against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Kelly reportedly has ghosted Notre Dame

Reports about Brian Kelly’s impending Notre Dame exit appear to have caught even the coach’s inner circle off-guard.

News abruptly broke Monday night about Kelly’s decision to leave Notre Dame for LSU. While there had been a few stories about LSU’s interest in Kelly, they generally were not taken seriously, especially in light of what Kelly said last week.

Kelly’s exit was so sudden that many at Notre Dame didn’t know about it. Not only that, but it does not appear they heard about it from Kelly himself. Despite the news spreading widely, multiple Notre Dame staffers told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that they have yet to hear from Kelly at all.

One Notre Dame assistant was actually out recruiting when the Kelly news broke.

High-level coaching departures tend to be messy. We heard similar stories coming out of Oklahoma just a day earlier. In that case, however, Lincoln Riley did meet with players and staff to inform them of his decision, even with how abrupt it was. It doesn’t appear Kelly did anything of the sort, and that’s going to leave a very sour taste in some people’s mouths.

Photo: Sep 28, 2019; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly waves to fans as he enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Virginia Cavaliers. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan OC Josh Gattis commits all-time dumb move

Michigan got its first football win over rival Ohio State in 10 years, and they’re acting like they want to go another 10 years before they get another win in the series.

First you had Jim Harbaugh taking a dig at Ryan Day after Michigan overpowered Ohio State 42-27 in the Big House on Saturday. Two days later, it was Josh Gattis talking trash.

Gattis, 37, is in his third season as Michigan’s offensive coordinator. He talked Monday on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show and shared some insight regarding the team’s strategy against the Buckeyes.

Gattis said Michigan viewed Ohio State as a “finesse team” and “not a tough team.”

“They’re a good team. They’re a finesse team, they’re not a tough team,” Gattis said, via the Detroit News’ Angelique S. Chengelis. “And we knew that going into the game that we can out-physical them, we can out-tough and that was going to be the key to the game, and that’s what we prepared for all year long.”

Gattis went even further, saying that Michigan saw Oregon overpower Ohio State and committed to the same gameplan.

“You saw earlier this year in the game they lost to Oregon, Oregon was the most physical team on the field,” Gattis said. “That’s the way they lost, and we committed to that recipe, and it paid off.”

Look, nothing Gattis said is incorrect. Anyone watching the game could see that Michigan just bullied Ohio State and pushed them around. We wrote about it. We gave credit to Gattis for his gameplan. He, Harbaugh, and Michigan’s players and coaches deserve all the credit for the win.

But you have to wonder what in the heck Gattis was thinking by saying that out loud? That’s the type of thing you keep to yourself and leave unsaid.

It was already widely recognized and known that Michigan pushed around the less physical Buckeyes. Did Gattis feel so strongly that he had to make sure people recognized his genius by saying it publicly?

Gattis essentially called Michigan’s biggest rival “soft.” That’s the kind of quote that stings, that sticks in your head, and that motivates you.

Between what Harbaugh did, and what Gattis has said, Ohio State has all the bulletin-board material they need for next year. They are going to be motivated to hang 100 points on Michigan next season, and the Wolverines can thank Harbaugh — and especially Gattis — for that.

H/T Eleven Warriors

Photo: Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Luke Fickell to Notre Dame rumors pick up steam after Brian Kelly news

The Notre Dame job opening up if Brian Kelly leaves for LSU as expected would create some major ripples in the coaching world.

Notre Dame remains a strong brand, strong program, and capable of competing at a national level, as Kelly recently demonstrated. The job will be desirable and should attract notable candidates. One name that is surfacing immediately as a possible fit is Luke Fickell.

Fickell, 48, played at Ohio State and spent most of his time coaching there as an assistant before taking the Cincinnati job. He is already familiar with recruiting the Midwest and he has proven his coaching chops with the Bearcats. He even handed Notre Dame its only loss this season, in a game at South Bend.

Fickell has gone 47-14 in five seasons at Cincinnati and is 12-0 this season. He has shown that he can coach at a high level. He has been desired by many programs but has remained at Cincinnati. It’s possible that the Notre Dame job is one that could entice him to make the move.

Consider this: Kelly coached at Cincinnati for three seasons before going to Notre Dame. Kelly went 34-6 at Cincinnati and went 12-0 in his final season with the Bearcats. Fickell is 47-14 in five seasons and 12-0 at Cincinnati this year. Maybe he would make the jump.

If not, Fickell isn’t the only big name being mentioned in connection with the ND job.

Photo: Sep 4, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bearcats coach Luke Fickell stands with his team prior to the game against the Miami (Oh) Redhawks at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Would Urban Meyer leave NFL for Notre Dame job?

Speculation immediately began on Monday regarding whom Notre Dame might look to after Brian Kelly’s shocking departure. One name came up more than any other: Urban Meyer.

Meyer is inevitably linked to most big college football jobs that open up, but the Notre Dame position is different. Like most big programs, the Fighting Irish have the resources to attract and pay a big name. For Meyer, however, there’s a personal angle to the Notre Dame job.

As long ago as 2008, Meyer, who was then coaching Florida, described the Notre Dame position as a “dream job.”

It wasn’t a one-off thing, either. In 2017, Meyer’s wife Shelley told “The Eleven Dubcast” podcast that Meyer had laid out three dream jobs when the couple first got together. One was Ohio State, which Meyer ultimately held from 2012 to 2018. Another was Michigan, which is no longer a consideration. The other was Notre Dame.

We already know, then, that Meyer has had strong feelings about Notre Dame. We also know that he’s struggled in his first year in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s had to deal with a very unflattering scandal. At least at certain points, he has not appeared to have the respect of his locker room.

If Meyer wants an out from the NFL, the Notre Dame job would represent the perfect opportunity. The Fighting Irish would likely want him, but even with his recent scandal in mind, there is nobody else potentially available with Meyer’s resume at the college level. One has to wonder if his position with Jacksonville is even all that secure.

If Meyer were to leave the NFL so quickly and after one bad season, he would have to endure that criticism and blemish on his resume. That happened to Nick Saban in Miami, but Saban has mostly rendered the label forgotten with his immense success at Alabama.

Meyer is already a controversial figure and might never be able to shake that reputation, even if he wins a lot at Notre Dame. That said, if he were ever going to be lured back to college football, this is probably the opportunity that would do it.

Photo: Joseph Maiorana-USA Today Sports

Recent Brian Kelly quote about leaving Notre Dame is going viral

A recent quote from Brian Kelly about leaving Notre Dame has gone viral now that he actually is poised to leave the school.

Kelly was asked last week about being mentioned in connection with rumors about the USC job, which eventually went to Lincoln Riley. Kelly was asked what it would take for him to leave Notre Dame, aside from retirement.

The 60-year-old coach offered a humorous quote, saying it would take $250 million for him to leave.

“No. I mean, look, I think Mike Tomlin had the best line, right? Unless that fairy godmother comes by with that $250M check, my wife would want to take a look at it first. I’d have to run it by her.”

The quote was funny because Kelly made it seem like it was a fantasy land concept for him to leave. But maybe LSU’s athletic director saw the quote and realized that Kelly might actually be willing to leave for the right price.

Now it looks like Kelly will be headed to Baton Rouge and leaving South Bend, where he has coached the last 12 years. Maybe the fairy godmother is bringing him a $150 million check.

As for the Mike Tomlin quote Kelly referenced, well, that line was much better than Kelly’s.