Oregon Football: Earth to Chip Kelly, It's Time for Cliff Harris to Start

Nate HansonCorrespondent IIOctober 11, 2011

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 6: Cornerback Cliff Harris #13 of the Oregon Ducks warms up before the game against the Washington Huskies at Autzen Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

All Oregon Ducks fans love Chip Kelly—or, at least, they should love him for making the Ducks a national title contender every season.

But, push is coming to shove for many Oregon fans. Every week Ducks fans must watch as teams consistently are able to pass over the top of the secondary. Anthony Gildon has struggled since he was a freshman in preventing the big plays. It is no coincidence that he is often covering receivers that seem to score a lot against the Ducks.

Wouldn't it be nice if Oregon had an All-American cornerback they could count on? Wouldn't it be nice if they had a cornerback who had six interceptions last season who still had two years of eligibility left? Wouldn't it be nice if they had a cornerback who was on ESPN's draft analyst Mel Keiper's "Big Board" for the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft as just a junior?

Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it?

Oregon does have that cornerback. His name is Cliff Harris. He is the self-appointed "cheese" on top of the nachos that is the Oregon Ducks football team.

He has found himself in Chip Kelly's proverbial dog house since he was cited driving 118 mph on Interstate 5 in the spring. He served his one-game suspension in the season opener against the LSU Tigers in the Cowboys Classic.

He has clearly been cleared to play by Chip Kelly, but now Cliff Harris is working to regain his starting job.

Oregon Ducks fans are being led to believe that he is being out-played by Anthony Gildon and Terrance Mitchell. Are you serious, Chip? You're not fooling any Oregon fan.

The whole team is suffering, not because of Cliff Harris anymore, but because of Chip Kelly's ego. He is trying to win a battle of the wills with Harris.

Cliff isn't going to change his personality. He practices hard, but ultimately is a "gamer," as they say. He can defend the big receivers in the Pac-12 and will be key for Oregon.

The is a message to Chip Kelly: It's over. The point you have been trying to prove to Cliff is either proven or unimportant. He did his time. He's your best defensive player. Start Cliff Harris or you're going to lose not just some fans, but a game.