Despite the fact that USA Today has reported that Tom Clements is the leading candidate to replace Joe Paterno, people around the Eugene campus are scared that Chip Kelly may be interested in going to Penn State.
Now, it could be that we are all just bored waiting for the Rose Bowl. What the heck is it that we do on Saturdays when the Ducks aren't playing, anyway? Perhaps we speculate on how our very lives would be diminished if Chip leaves us. Here is the so-called evidence:
1. He is, at heart, an east coast guy. We know we're mellow, Chip, and we're stuck up here in the far left corner, but the east coast—except, most likely, for your parents—doesn't love you as much as we do. We know the east coast bias in your profession is real, but College GameDay is doing what they can to even that out for you.
2. Chip is a man of high moral character and integrity. In the face of adversity, he doesn't hesitate to do the right thing. Blount punch—you're suspended, Masoli theft—you're outta here, Harris "we smoked it all"—bye bye. Chip would not be afraid of the challenge that is ahead at Penn State, and they would be lucky to get him to help right the ship.
3. Nike connection to Penn State. There is a building on the Nike campus named the Joe Paterno Child Development Center—I know. Nike President Mark Parker is a Penn State alum. Most people assume that Uncle Phil would just add a zero to Chip's compensation package to insure Chip stays at Oregon, but there are Nike ties to Penn State as well, and guys talk. I'm just saying.
4. Potential Oregon NCAA sanctions. Most Ducks assume Oregon is going to get a slight wrist-slap for the Willie Lyles debacle, but there are undercurrents that it might be worse than that. Maybe Chip knows what's coming, and wants to get away before it hits the fan. Of course, the prospect of NCAA ickies at Penn State is ginormous, so why would he trade bad for probably even worse? Maybe because at Oregon he would be the black hat, and at Penn State he would be the white hat.
5. Or, maybe it's time to jump to the NFL and let the NCAA eat his dust. See "Pete Carroll." Chip's stock is very high right now, and he is rumored to be on Miami's short list.
Let's just play this Rose Bowl and try not to worry. And, if you're Penn State reading this, please hire Chris Peterson.