Programs on rise after Kelly's departure

Updated: January 16, 2013, 9:17 PM ET
By Travis Haney

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?