Who will be the next head coach at Oregon?


The situation at Oregon looks bad.  Really bad.  It has evolved into a situation that looks worse than the Jim Tressel and Ohio State debacle.  Assuming Oregon faces considerable sanctions, will they try to get ahead of it and replace Chip before a single football game is even played this fall?  That remains to be seen.  The investigation could take awhile and Oregon seems dug in like a scene out of the non-fiction book Hell in a Very Small Place about the siege and defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam.  In other words it couldn’t look much hairier but they have yet to wave the white flag and settle for peace with the NCAA.  At some coming point it looks like Kelly will be under tremendous pressure and may very well be forced to resign.  So in that event, who do the Ducks look toward to re-helm the ship?  Well, let’s take a look.

One choice may be Urban Meyer.  Meyer is unlikely to stay retired forever and after last coaching Florida he would seem to look for a big name program with problems to fix.  Oregon would fit the bill and Phil Knight would think UO was in good hands.  Another possibility could be Jim Tressel himself.  Like Meyer, Tressel is used to winning and it seems like he would be the type of guy who wouldn’t return to coaching just anywhere.  A place with the resources of Oregon would be a spot where he would probably think he could get back in the limelight but try to do it the right way after hopefully learning from his past mistakes.  Oregon still would think it could win with Tressel.  Then there was the man I thought Oregon State should take a hard look at should Riley not make a bowl this year.  The man, the myth, the legend, Mike Leach.

Leach would have the similar brand of an unbridled and unleashed offensive attack.  He could handle a few jabs and would be an intriguing force of nature in the Pac-12.  He would not be without some controversy but has less current baggage than Tressel.  Lastly, there is talk that even Mike Bellotti may return as head coach.  He held off on much interest in the Colorado opening, filled by Jon Embree, saying he was looking for the perfect fit.  It is hard to imagine a place he would describe that way more than his old haunt of Oregon.  Whichever direction Oregon ends up going it will be an interesting rest of the off-season.  Oregon could continue to drag its heels as we approach the start of the season, but if it does so, the level of scrutiny will only continue to snowball.  Like the advice given to Ohio State, perhaps they need to look long and hard about getting in front of this now and limiting the eventual damage.  A university and its reputation are bigger than a single man.  Oregon didn’t need to be dealing with Will Lyles or him “orchestrating everything”.  Still, they got their access and influence and now that page can never be turned back.  For their next head coach they may wish to reconsider just how far they will go to win at all costs.