Boise State Football: If Chip Kelly Leaves UO Will Chris Petersen Be in Play?

Martin Sondermann@@GamedayreporterAnalyst IIJanuary 5, 2013

Dec 22, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boise State Broncos coach Chris Petersen and cornerback Quaylon Ewing-Burton (26) react during the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sam Boyd Stadium. Boise State defeated Arizona State 56-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Do Boise State fans need to be nervous about their coach leaving for Oregon? Well, the short answer appears to be no.

The one job opening in college football that Boise State fans have feared for years is the head coaching job at the University of Oregon. Speculation around many circles is that it is the one place that the Bronco's head coach, Chris Petersen, would consider leaving Boise for.

However, there has never been an "official" word out of Petersen's mouth that has confirmed that possibility. Of course, anyone who has been around college football for any length of time knows that coaches are often tight lipped on such details.

Oregon is a great job, and Petersen did spend six years with the Ducks as a wide receivers coach. Before that, Petersen spent a season in Pittsburgh as the Panthers quarterbacks coach, and his alma mater UC Davis in various roles.

In 2001, Petersen became the offensive coordinator for the Broncos and was elevated to head coach in 2006, when then head coach Dan Hawkins bolted for Colorado.

The seamless transition of internal promotion helped the Broncos. In his first season, Petersen took Boise State to the "infamous" Tostitos Fiesta Bowl where they shocked Oklahoma and the rest of the college football world with a dramatic overtime victory over the Sooners.

In total, Petersen has been with Boise State for 12 seasons. That is twice the time that he spent at Oregon, and as much as people might think Petersen loved Eugene, he and his family sure seem to enjoy it in Boise.


Oregon seems to already have their man.

In saying all of that, it may be that Oregon will do what they and the Broncos have done in the past. They both have learned the value of promoting from within.

If Chip Kelly leaves for the NFL, it appears the Ducks may already have their man in place, and Petersen will never be a candidate.

According to George Schroder of USA Today Sports, Oregon has their Ducks in a row. Again, Boise State once promoted their offensive coordinator after a very successful coach departed, and it seems to have worked out nicely. That also seems to be Oregon's plan.

Schroder quotes an unnamed source as saying that the move would be about continuity. The article states:

"Conceptually, it's about continuity," the person said, adding that Helfrich could be named head coach within 72 hours of Kelly's departure.

If this is true, then the collective sigh of relief coming from the Boise area may actually register on the Richter scale. For years fans of the Broncos have felt threatened by this possibility. They love their coach, and it is something many fans have dreaded for quite some time.

However, if the story is correct, Bronco fans can worry about making a BCS bowl game in 2013 with coach Petersen leading the way.