He knows this much: He almost certainly would have played at Indiana. And he wouldn't have a quarterback with four years of eligibility starting ahead of him at LSU.
But he wouldn't have been on Notre Dame's wild ride to Monday night's BCS national championship, either.
"I think about it a little bit," said Kiel, the nation's top-rated quarterback among last year's high school seniors, before the 42-14 loss to Alabama. "But at the same time, I'm happy where I'm at, and I'm more than happy to be with this team and to be in the national championship. Just to get the privilege to be here, it's second to none."
Kiel's ultimate decision, which came after he decommitted from IU, then failed to show up last January at LSU, rankled LSU coach Les Miles, who said Kiel didn't have the "chest" to play for the Tigers. Kiel shrugged it off this week, admitting he was "dumb" during recruiting and couldn't make up his mind.
Kiel now faces another decision. Once viewed as the future of Notre Dame football, the stud quarterback who was going to lead the Irish back to national prominence, Kiel watched from the sidelines on Monday night as Everett Golson -- a guy with three more seasons of eligibility ahead of him -- led the Irish against Alabama in the national championship game.
Barring something unusual, Kiel has to decide if he's willing to wait until his fifth-year senior season to start.
When asked if he was considering a transfer, Kiel said: "Not at the moment. ... We'll have to see down the road. Of course, I want to play. But I've just got to be patient and wait it out. Anything can happen in those three years."
Golson understands the awkward situation Kiel is in. And if Kiel sticks around, Golson wants to be as helpful to him as Tommy Rees was to Golson.
"I think Gunner has the same spirit that I do, of being a competitor," Golson said. "I think the guy that I am, I'm not going to have animosity toward Gunner just because he's competing for the spot. I want to help out the next man just as much as I could."