The Jimbo Fisher move to Texas A&M has set off shock waves through the college football world, and it remains to be seen where it all ends. The second domino to fall is Willie Taggart officially leaving Oregon after just one season and returning to the state of Florida. Taggart came to Oregon from South Florida and was a natural replacement for Fisher at Florida State.
That, of course, leaves Oregon in need of a head coach for the second year in a row. Last year at this time, Chip Kelly was still the coach of the San Francisco 49ers and opted not bolt for a return to the school where he gained prominence. He was fired a month later, and the school had hired Taggart. Kelly spent the year in television, and recently chose UCLA over Florida for his return to coaching.
So while it would seem impossible that Kelly would immediately return to Oregon, circumstances have again changed. If you don’t think Phil Knight is exploring the idea, well, you are probably wrong. Chip Kelly returning to Oregon would be the slam dunk path back to prominence for the program, and do you really think Knight is going to be bothered by money or concern over whether it would piss off a fellow conference member? Oregon’s resources and facilities are so much greater than UCLA thanks to Knight.
Kelly will have a decision to make, the first of his start at UCLA. He’s almost certainly going to have to decide whether to tell Oregon and Phil Knight no.