It seemed that nobody in Louisiana knew. And then everybody in Louisiana knew.

It's hard to remember any story that spread so rapidly across Louisiana. The news of Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly's taking the reins of LSU's football team carried so quickly to almost every man, woman and child in the state...well, let's just call it the Kelly variant.

No doubt that the 60-year-old coaching vet takes over a football program that's floundering. Two straight .500 seasons, even with someone as beloved as Ed Orgeron at the helm, were unacceptable. So the Tigers went hunting for a coach.

And after being turned down or turned away by everybody on Athletic Director Scott Woodward's "A List," Kelly, a top ten college coach by anyone's standard, just appeared.

His salary to take over the Tigers is pretty substantial, somewhere between $9 million and $12 million a year (some even say $15 million!). But most likely, that's not why the Kelly coterie is headed south. Brian Kelly wanted to play the best and finally have the best on his team, too.

Notre Dame is a legendary place, football and otherwise. But Kelly, in his 12-year tenure in South Bend, had to overcome rigorous academic standards, cold and snowy Indiana winters and a campus in a tiny town to attract a limited number of top players.

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He'd win his annual 10 or 11, get into a big bowl or playoff game against an SEC powerhouse, look across the field at an opponent with half-a-dozen future NFL starters and know his team didn't have much of a chance.

And now all that has changed.

So, if anybody wants to know the real reason Brian Kelly is donning the purple and gold, it's not the millions and millions (although that is pretty nice), it's a chance to finally take on the Sabans and the Sweeneys and the Smarts on equal footing and say, "Let's see how good I really am."

And LSU fans ought to love that.

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