As the Oregon Ducks prepare for Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, rumors are starting to swirl regarding Chip Kelly being a target for more than one NFL team. Whether or not Kelly leaves remains to be seen, but even if he leaves, the Oregon program will be fine next year and in the future.
Kelly has a 45-7 record during his four seasons at Oregon, and is best known for running a spread offense that is one of the most difficult in the country to stop.
How well the spread offense would work in the NFL is not the question at hand, however. The real question is whether or not Oregon will remain a national power if Kelly jumps for a job in Cleveland, Philadelphia or somewhere else. The answer to that is an absolute yes.
Before Kelly became head coach at Oregon in 2009, he was the offensive coordinator from 2007-2008. Even before Kelly arrived, Oregon football was doing quite well under former head coach Mike Bellotti.
The Ducks were a top 10 team in both 2000 and 2001. The program has only had one losing season since 1994.
Kelly was not a part of most of that success, as the program became a national power before he arrived. If he did leave, with the shape the program is in right now, Oregon is not going to miss a beat.
There is youth on both sides of the ball for the Ducks as the team could return as many as 15 or 16 starters next season.
These are not just guys who contribute, but big-name players like quarterback Marcus Mariota and running back De'Anthony Thomas.
Will Chip Kelly leave Oregon for the NFL?
Another reason the Oregon program would be fine without Kelly is the fact that it is now a destination job. This was not the always the case years ago, but with what Kelly has done with the program, many big-name coaches will be interested in the position.
Kelly makes $3.5 million a year, and while a new coach would not likely warrant that type of money, the fact that the job is one of the 10 highest paid in college football makes it very desirable.
The university has a lot to offer from a recruiting aspect as well, now that there is a pipeline for recruits in California, including Los Angeles.
With talent and the ability to recruit, the Oregon football program also brings some outstanding facilities to the table.
A new football operations center is under construction and set to open up next fall. The $68 million facility will be a state-of-the-art building hard to find at not only the college, but also the pro level.
The combination of top-notch facilities, superior talent and everything necessary to bring high-level recruits to Eugene make the Oregon coaching job one of the most sought after in the country.
For all of these reasons, the Oregon football program will be fine, if and when Chip Kelly decides to bolt for greener pastures in the NFL.