The voices of Notre Dame fans calling for Brian Kelly's ousting have only grown louder with the passing weeks, as an Irish team that began the season ranked in the top 10 with College Football Playoff aspirations has sputtered to a 2-5 start, but there's only one voice that matters, and it's singing a different tune.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick didn't just throw his support behind his coach, but he straight up said Kelly would be back next season.

"Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year," Swarbrick told's Matt Fortuna.

Of course, as we've seen roughly a thousand times over the years, plenty of athletic directors have publicly voiced support for their coach only to cut bait a few weeks later, but I honestly don't believe that will be the case for Brian Kelly.

Notre Dame's 2016 season has been an absolute disaster so far, there's no getting around that, but it's important to remember where Notre Dame was before Kelly showed up in South Bend. It was a program with plenty of tradition, but was really struggling to find any traction on the national scene and maintain any success. Bob Davie, Ty Willingham and Charlie Weis all had a successful season or two during their tenures, but they couldn't keep winning.

Since Kelly took over in 2010, he's yet to have a losing season, played for a national title in 2012, and took Notre Dame to a Fiesta Bowl last season. He's going to be afforded a losing season, even one as ugly as 2016 has been, and still could be.

Now, having said that, while I firmly believe Kelly is safe this season, that's not to say he may not consider leaving for another job if the right offer comes around this winter, and if he doesn't leave, he'll be heading into the 2017 season with the thermostat on his seat turned up.