Chip Kelly to the SEC? Odds placed on where his next coaching stop could be
The Philadelphia Eagles’ unexpected 0-2 start has ignited rampant speculation that head coach Chip Kelly could return to college football next season.
The offensive mastermind and former Oregon coach who led the Ducks to three conference championships and a berth in the national title game in four seasons would be a big-name hire at any of a handful of programs who could be looking for a new leader at season’s end.
Yahoo! Sports columnist Pat Forde touched on the possibility Tuesday and set odds on where he would land. Two SEC programs were mentioned as ideal fits:
South Carolina (15-1; front-runner)
Off to an ugly 1-2 start, the Head Ball Coach looks more and more like a man staggering toward retirement. Steve Spurrier has already blazed a trail from NFC East failure to SEC East success, and the school should have the financial wherewithal to make Kelly a suitably massive offer. And if Kelly wants to try the SEC, better to land in the East than the West.
Tennessee (75-1; long-shot)
This is a program badly in need of continuity, so getting rid of Butch Jones after three years would qualify as unlikely and probably unwise. But if Jones can’t take a major step forward with the current roster, it might be time to wonder whether he can ever do it. And if Chip Kelly sends signals that he’d be available, you never know. Unless, of course, Jon Gruden decides he wants it first.
Other programs Forde mentioned include Arizona State, USC and Oklahoma among several others.
In the era of knee-jerk overreactions, we’re jumping the gun a bit to think Spurrier’s going to resign at the end of the season, but certainly the Gamecocks’ unimpressive 1-2 start isn’t a good sign. And Kelly would be an A-grade coach for a program in need of a splash hire.
If he had the option of South Carolina or Tennessee however, I’d lean toward him choosing the Vols with a better ‘win-now’ likelihood.
At this point, Kelly to the SEC chatter is all social media speculation, but if the opportunity arose, would you welcome him to the SEC?
After all, he just cut Tim Tebow.