I can’t help it. I’ve been trying to keep it to myself, but I know others are thinking it, too. Well, I think they are.
Hell, I just have to say it. Chip Kelly is going to be an Oregon legend.
The 2000s have essentially been Oregon’s teenage years. Amazing highs, head-slapping lows and enough realization of potential to make you excited to see what they do with adulthood. There have been years where you thought it would never happen and others where you were sure it already had.
Chip Kelly’s reign as coach isn’t so much the beginning of a new era but the natural growth of what has been building for two decades. It started with Rich Brooks before Mike Bellotti raised the profile of the program to where it is today (really, enough can’t be said of what Bellotti did over his 13 seasons, but this is a Chip Kelly puff piece of admiration, dammit!).
Kelly is the right guy at the right time for a program ready to move into another dimension. He’s the leader Oregon needs for its ascension into the upper-echelon of college football. He has the youthful energy that Pete Carroll has proven is such a magnet for greatness at USC. He possesses strong leadership skills (the guy has his whole year planned out!). He demands excellence and nothing short of it (there is no “Hall of Average”). He’s an obsessive innovator responsible for the two best statistical offenses in Oregon history. And the confidence…let’s just say any first year college coach willing to offer Jon Gruden his offensive coordinator position has plenty of it.
Yeah, the facts are slapping me in the face as I right this. He’s had two years as an offensive coordinator at the FBS level. His all-time record is 0-0. Never had to run his own program. Spare me. Sometimes, the facts are yet to be written.
Oregon State fans (and probably everyone else, too) probably have a little throw-up in their mouth right now. That’s probably the right reaction and I’m sure they’ll be happy to follow up with me at the first sign of weakness this season. That’s ok. I can take it because even if I have to wait, I’m sure the time will come where I can say, “Told ya’ so.”