Marcus Freeman Leads the List of Candidates to Be Notre Dame’s Next Head Coach
For the second time this week, we witnessed a shocking coach change in college football. Brian Kelly is leaving Notre Dame after 11 seasons with the team.
Kelly led the team to the National Championship Game in 2012 and College Football Playoff in 2019.
With Kelly heading to LSU, Notre Dame becomes one of the most desirable openings. Who is in line to replace Kelly? SportsBetting.ag has the odds.
Notre Dame Football Head Coach Odds
Brian Kelly will leave Notre Dame to become the Head Coach at LSU. Notre Dame Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman is the favorite to replace him.
Luke Fickell comes in just behind Freeman. Fickell is the favorite to replace Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma. There was some speculation that Fickell would leave Cincinnati for a prestigious school like Notre Dame, but it sounds like he has backed off that stance.
NFL Head Coaches Urban Meyer and Matt Rhule are intriguing options. Both have struggled in the NFL and could look to return to college.
For now, Freeman is a big favorite to replace Kelly. Let’s talk about Freeman’s background and why he is the favorite.
Why Is Freeman Favored to Be Notre Dame’s Next Head Coach?
The trend of younger head coaches has hit the NFL. Now, we’re starting to see it in college football. Marcus Freeman, 35, could be next in line.
Freeman was a two-time member of the All-Big Ten second team as a linebacker for Ohio State. He never played in the NFL and quickly made his way into coaching.
He spent one season as a Graduate Assistant with Ohio State before joining Kent State as a Linebackers Coach. Following two seasons, Freeman assumed the same role with Purdue. In 2016, Purdue promoted him to Co-Defensive Coordinator.
In 2017, Cincinnati hired Freeman as their Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers Coach. Combined with Luke Fickell, Freeman helped transform Cincinnati into a powerhouse.
Cincinnati struggled in his first season, but check out how their scoring defense improved.
- 2018: 17.2 (9th)
- 2019: 20.6 (24th)
- 2020: 16.8 (8th)
Following the 2020 season, Freeman assumed the same role with Notre Dame. This season, Notre Dame has allowed the 11th fewest points per game.
If Notre Dame wants an easy transition, promoting Freeman would be the way to go. Plus, they have a Bowl Game coming up.
It’s clear that Freeman has made his mark. In 2020, multiple college and NFL teams reached out to him to join their staff as a Linebackers Coach or Defensive Coordinator.
Notre Dame hasn’t promoted within since 1997, but maybe it’s time they change their philosophy. After all, they’ve fallen short in big games countless times.
Hiring Freeman could be their opportunity to do that.
The State of Notre Dame Football
When I think of Notre Dame, I think of a team that always falls short of expectations. They come into the season with National Championship hopes and have only made the College Football Playoff twice. In both seasons, they lost by 17+ points.
Was it an issue with Brian Kelly? Maybe, but I guess we’ll find out with their next head coach.
Right now, I think it makes sense to promote Marcus Freeman. Especially if Notre Dame somehow makes the College Football Playoff. He deserves an opportunity to show what he can do.
From there, they can decide what to do. Once the season is over, there’s no need to rush the decision.
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