Brian Kelly and Notre Dame entered the 2016 season — his seventh at the school — with high expectations. That outlook became a little foggier in late August when six players were arrested over the course of two separate incidents — and resulted in the dismissal of starting senior safety Max Redfield.
The Fighting Irish have never won fewer than eight games in a season with Kelly at the helm; he’s 57-27 at the school. They’ve twice ended a season with double-figure wins, including a year ago when they went to the Fiesta Bowl. But 2016 has been the low point of Kelly’s tenure at the school; Notre Dame is 2-4, and has a point differential of just plus-25. This is far below what everyone around the program had in mind for this season, which has called Kelly’s job status into consideration. Two weeks ago the team fired their defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder.
It has to be noted that earlier this year — back in January — Kelly and the school came to terms on a six-year extension that runs through the 2021 season. Finances will be taken into account. Notre Dame has six more game remaining on their schedule, including four at some, so they have time to turn the season around, but it won’t be easy: Stanford, Miami, Navy, Virginia Tech and USC.