While speculation has turned to the University of Oregon’s Chip Kelly as a candidate for the head coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles, the man who defeated Kelly’s Ducks on Saturday should also get some consideration.
Stanford head coach David Shaw took over the Cardinal in 2011 when Jim Harbaugh went north to coach the 49ers. Shaw led Stanford to an 11-2 mark and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl, which is a BCS game. Granted, Shaw inherited Andrew Luck, but the head coach has gone 9-2 with Josh Nunes and, after he struggled, freshman Kevin Hogan.
In fact it was Hogan who beat No. 13 Oregon State in his first college start on November 10 and then led the Cardinal over the undefeated No. 1 Ducks in Eugene.
Oregon came into the game with a 10-0 record, having scored no fewer than 42 points in any game and averaging more than 50 per contest. In their three preceding games, Oregon put up 70, 62 and 59.
David Shaw’s defense, 10th best in Division I, held Oregon to a pair of touchdowns, and that should appeal most to Eagles fans. After all, the Eagles play in the tough, smashmouth NFC East. It is defense that has defined the franchise from Buddy Ryan to Bud Carson to Jim Johnson.
Chip Kelly may be an offensive wizard in college, with his spread offense taxing the scoreboard. However, he seems like the type of coach who will last two or three seasons before taking his gimmicks back to the college game (see Saban, Nick and Spurrier, Steve).
The last time the Eagles looked to the Pac-12 Conference (then the Pac-8) for a head coach, they ended up with Dick Vermeil. He took over a franchise that hadn’t had a winning season in a decade and got them to the playoffs in three seasons and to the Super Bowl in five without having a first-round draft pick or free agency in his first two years. Something to consider.