Programs on rise after Kelly's departure
The narrative that many thought was coming to pass a year ago -- and then two weeks ago -- with Chip Kelly moving from college coaching to the NFL, is now (finally) reality. Whether his act works on the professional level is a question that will be answered in the next, oh, three years.
But what about the Oregon Ducks? And an off-shoot of that question, what about the league?
During the past decade Oregon slowly gained a stranglehold on the Pac-10 (and then Pac-12), beginning the rise with Mike Bellotti and then reaching it with Kelly. Now what? The jerseys and offense aren't changing, but it's a bit of a leap to say there won't be any shift in the program's footing.
Presuming there is at the very least a slight drop -- precipitated perhaps by the NCAA's ultimate ruling in the Will Lyles case (see Rod Gilmore's take on what could trip up Oregon, at right) -- that would seem to open the door for a number of Pac-12 programs to become the lead dog very much the same way the Ducks did around the time Kelly took over. Which ones will take advantage, if given the opportunity?
To read Travis Haney's full take on the Pac-12 teams who could move up in the conference pecking order following Chip Kelly's departure from Oregon, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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