It took me a while to figure it out, but here's one more indicator that Oregon has "made it" as a football program:
Nowhere are you hearing rumors of other schools attempting to hire the coach after a successful season.
This is unusual.
When Oregon's been good in the past, the coaches -- well, all two of them -- were repeatedly mentioned as candidates for other open positions, some "upper tier", some not.. but the assumption had always been that a semi-successful coach at Oregon was easy pickings.
1980 -- After going 6-3-2 in a probation year, Rich Brooks schedules, then cancels an interview at Memphis State.
1986 -- Brooks is prominently mentioned as the leading candidate to replace Terry Donahue at UCLA, even though Donahue hadn't actually left the school (although the Atlanta Falcons were trying to hire him).
January 1988 -- Coming off a 6-5 season with wins over Washington and U$C, Brooks interviews for the vacant position at Arizona State. The Sun Devils hire Larry Marmie.
December 1988 -- After starting the season 6-1, then losing the last five after Bill Musgrave breaks his collarbone, Brooks interviews at Missouri and is scheduled to interview at Stanford. He later "withdraws his name from consideration" for both jobs, and says he "never went looking" for another job. "It wasn't like I was out running my resume through the copy machine."
February 1994 -- Brooks strikes while the iron is hot, leaves Oregon for St Louis and big piles of money headache.
November 2000 -- Mike Bellotti is strongly rumored to be the primary candidate to replace Paul Hackett at USC. Bellotti denies any interest in the job. Then, AD Bill Moos acknowledges that, well, yes, Bellotti is interested, not surprising considering that ESPN reported an offer package of $1.6 million, almost three times Bellotti's haul at Oregon. Eventually, Bellotti inks a new seven-year deal with Oregon at an estimated $1M per year.
January 2001 -- After a 10-2 season and Holiday Bowl win over Texas, Mike Bellotti goes "on the road, recruiting" to the Columbus, Ohio offices of the TOSU athletic department; officially, he is not "interviewed for the job", but later admits he was interviewed; he pulls out of the search anyway.
The "hot young coach at a program that had a good year" is almost always one at a program that is not one of the traditional powers, the implication being that anybody good would want to get the hell out of there for a better job. Usually, this means seeing coaches merely rise to the level of their own incompetence (see Notre Dame, or Notre Dame of Seattle).
And it's always amusing to watch the demand for the Hot Coach wane when he has a less-than-successful subsequent campaign. Nobody was beating Mike Bellotti's door down for an interview in 2004.
In less flush times, there's no way Chip Kelly wouldn't be that latest "hot commodity" after the way his head coaching career has started.
That Pat Kilkenny was smart enough to recognize this, and figure out a way to get CK locked into the head coaching job, is a tremendous testimony to his business acumen. Duck fans owe this guy, big-time.