6:53 PM EST, December 19, 2012
Chip Kelly attractive
The college coach who is the best bet to make the jump to the pros is Chip Kelly.
He came close a year ago when he was being wooed by the Bucs, but he decided to stay at Oregon. It is likely he will have multiple suitors because he is an even more attractive NFL head coaching prospect than he was a year ago. And some team probably will make him an offer he finds irresistible.
Brian Kelly might attract some interest from the pros, but the Notre Dame coach is happy where he is. It would be a stunner if he left just as he got the Fighting Irish back on top. Nick Saban is a wild card. He probably isn't going anywhere, but he's all ears every year at this time.
Oregon's Kelly most likely
Nick Saban's last season in the NFL was a losing one, 6-10 with the Dolphins in 2006. Saban has won the BCS title at Alabama twice since leaving South Florida and is playing for a third next month. He's one of the highest paid coaches in college football — so a no vote on Saban going anywhere.
On the other side of next month's national championship game will be Notre Dame and coach Brian Kelly. He has the Irish hanging around a place it hasn't been in over 20 years — playing for the top prize.
Oregon's Chip Kelly? Seemingly the most likely of the three to go, but there's money to keep him, too, and he has not won the title yet. But maybe Kelly is the next guy to give the next level a try.
Ducks' job opening soon
Los Angeles Times
My best guess is that Chip Kelly will be in the NFL within days or weeks after Oregon's Fiesta Bowl.
Kelly almost left last year for the Buccaneers. Kelly pulled out at the last minute saying he had "unfinished business" in Eugene, which certainly could not have meant an overtime loss to Stanford.
On to the next Kelly ... Brian. I would be surprised if he left Notre Dame for the NFL after this year. He has no ties to the league and there's no better job in America than head coach at Notre Dame when the Irish are in the top 10.
Nick Saban would be absolutely nuts to leave Alabama for the NFL, where he was a complete failure with the Dolphins. Alabama is already the closest thing college has to an NFL franchise.
NFL next for Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly will most likely leave the college ranks for the NFL next season. He almost bolted Oregon for the Buccaneers job last season, but a change of heart kept him in Eugene for another season. He has accomplished just about everything in the college ranks. The next challenge for him would be taking his high-powered offensive style to the pro ranks.
Brian Kelly is unlikely to leave his post at Notre Dame. The 51-year-old Kelly has no coaching ties with the NFL and has taken the Fighting Irish to the brink of another national championship. A national title would add his name to the history books in South Bend and provide him with job security for quite some time.
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