Chip Kelly has been the driving force behind the Oregon Ducks becoming one of the top programs in college football. Kelly has flirted with the NFL in recent years, although he has remained in Eugene until now. As the Ducks continue to be in the hunt for a national championship, some of those close to him believe the NFL is a sure thing for the 48-year-old coach.
"It's just inevitable that he will eventually be in the NFL," Bellotti told Dennis Dodd of CBS. "Chip is one of the ultimate competitors and he sees that. It actually surprised me he changed his mind [with the Bucs] last year. Whether they get to the national championship and whether they win the national championship, I don't know. To think he'll stay there when ultimately his idea of top jobs is to get to the Super Bowl, it won't happen, unfortunately, at the college level."
One other source in the same story said that there was a "nine chances in 10" Kelly would bolt for the NFL this year if Oregon wins out.
The news of Kelly's interest in the NFL cannot be a comforting one for Oregon, although it's not hard to blame him. All coaches want to reach the highest of levels and that's what professional football would bring. And given that UO is so heavily backed by Nike, it seems unlikely the program would stumble all that much as it transitions to a new head coach.
No. 3 Oregon is set to take on the California Golden Bears this weekend in Berkeley, Calif.