Brian Kelly went to Notre Dame and built it into a strong football program. The Fighting Irish have routinely been among the top-ranked schools in the country in recent years, even while playing as an independent program.

So, why would Kelly want to leave a successful Notre Dame team and head to LSU? Colin Cowherd believes he knows why, and the FOX Sports host shared his opinion on “The Herd” on Tuesday.

“Brian Kelly is 60. He has rebuilt 3 programs brilliantly,” Cowherd said. “Notre Dame is in the best shape since Lou Holtz was there. But every time he plays Alabama or Georgia or Clemson, he’s got by far the second-best roster. Cause there’s that academic thing and that cold-weather thing and that rural thing. It’s hard to coach at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly told me a decade ago in Texas. He said, ‘You can’t coach here 20 years.’

“At LSU, it is football 24/7. Brian Kelly recently said, ‘If you’re just into football, you can’t coach at Notre Dame.’ He wants to finally go up against Kirby Smart or Dabo Swinney. He wants to go up against Nick Saban, and have as many great NFL players. Because he went to a national final game and got blown out. And then he went to 2 other Playoff games and got blown out in both. And if he played Georgia in this year’s Playoff, he’d get smoked in that one, too. …

“He wants to challenge himself, He wants to be able to go toe-to-toe with the big dogs.”

Kelly will definitely be challenged, as he’s taking over an LSU team that has to battle with Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and others in a competitive SEC West.

But Kelly has been up to the challenges at his previous schools, and he will likely get plenty of talented players to join the Tigers. So perhaps he’ll soon be leading another program to success.

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