Chip Kelly is currently in the middle of what will surely be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Down 38-7, I would suggest that Chip stop coaching the game and tell his agent to find some landing spots for next year. I doubt he will step down to coordinator at another professional team. He will probably end up coaching a college team considering his success at that level. Fortunately for him, there are quite a few top-tier jobs that need filling.
Let’s start with what would basically be my nightmare. USC fired Sarkisian earlier this season and is still trying to pick up the pieces from Pete Carroll leaving combined with Reggie Bush’s NCAA violations. USC desperately wants a highlight coach who can bring the Trojans back to supremacy, especially since their crosstown rival, UCLA, is dominating Los Angeles.
If you think about it, Chip probably has recruitment pipelines still alive. He would be in the dead center of one of the hottest recruitment beds and would be able to get to Texas easier than when he worked in Eugene, Oregon. While Oregon and Stanford are major players in recruitment, teams like Utah and Washington State are making impacts in California, and UCLA is king of the town, some schools will always remain relevant in football. USC is one of those schools.
This one seems more realistic as the season goes on. Analysts always pointed that Chip never had an offensive line that could push around the all-world defensive lines that he inevitably faced in the bowl season. If he coached in the SEC (and one of the most iconic programs in the SEC, to boot), he could recruit straight out of the south and attract some of the biggest names and biggest bodies. If there’s a region that’s better than California, it’s the southeast.
With the speed and size that comes out of the southeast region, Chip could easily recreate his warp-speed offense. I imagine he could have the effect that Jim Harbaugh had on Michigan this season. Imagine what Leonard Fournette could do in Chip’s college offense. Perhaps Saban’s Tide won’t be automatic favorites for their division anymore.
This one makes the most sense to me, personally. Miami is in a similar boat as USC. They were once the most feared and dominant program in college football. After a few violations and coaching changes, they have found themselves as a mediocre team year in and year out. Like USC, this program will always be “The U” and could recruit top talent at any time. However, recent coaches haven’t been able to harness that power.
This is another program that is planted in the middle of the most fertile high school football regions. Miami’s location in the past allowed them to be able to hand-pick talent from the state and didn’t have to try very hard to get kids to commit. I heard through friends involved in Oregon’s athletic department that Chip hated recruiting. The idea of going to a 17-year old kid’s house and essentially beg him to play for you didn’t appeal to him. If that is the case, then Miami might be the best case scenario. The ACC doesn’t have many competitors (unlike the Pac-12 and SEC). Clemson and Florida State are routinely the favorites. Even then, they appear in a fragile state. The state of Florida is also experiencing a power vacuum in terms of recruitment as well. The Gators are having a great season, but suspensions and injuries have made their teeth a little less sharp. They also haven’t been incredibly successful in the time that Urban Meyer has been gone.
It is possible that Chip takes a coordinator spot in the pros, but he seems to enjoy having control over an organization. It’s also possible he takes a spot at a smaller school, but he’d be crazy to pass these top three candidates up. If he were to take the offers here (and I guarantee you their athletic departments are already looking at the financials) he could have the Midas touch these programs have been looking for.