Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chip flirting with NFL could have created a disaster for Oregon

This past Sunday afternoon I was playing Super Smash Bros with my roommates and friends on Nintendo 64.  I was in a battle with three of my roommates when one of them checked their phone and broke the news that Chip Kelly was in contract negotiations to become the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  At the exact time I heard these words, I was struck by a bomb in the video game and blown off the map. Ironic? I'd say so. For Duck fans, the start of the off-season couldn't get much worse; Heisman finalist, LaMichael James, and starting quarterback, Darron Thomas, declared for the NFL draft, and now the head coach who led the Ducks to three straight BCS bowl games in his first three years was leaving. Luckily, Chip's heart was still in college football, citing that he had "unfinished business" left at Oregon.

Let's take a second to ponder the aftermath that he would have left behind in Oregon.  Although it seems Oregon home football games sell out with ease, I can see where the ticket market would decline with Kelly leaving. Fans who have become accustomed to Oregon's fast paced tempo that often leaves teams completely exhausted by the fourth quarter begins with Kelly's coaching style and philosophies. You cannot expect to bring in a coach that will have the same type of offense that has made Oregon's so unique.  Just ask the teams in the NCAA who have tried this style offense but lack Oregon's sense of creativity within it.

Another area that would have harmed Oregon football with Kelly's departure is recruiting.  All of the recruits that were on-the-fence about coming to Oregon would have most likely taken their talents elsewhere.  The reports about Kelly cancelling recruiting trips to visit with five-star recruits considering Oregon were devastating in themselves.  Those recruits could then wind up in places that could harm Oregon in the future, such as the University of Washington or University of California Berkeley.

I was hoping this was just a bad dream and, fortunately, it was. I woke up to text messages Monday morning asserting that Chip was staying in Oregon.  The world isn't ending in Oregon after all, for another year at least.


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