Editor's note: "Jon Canzahno" is not a writer for the Oregonian, and is in fact fictional.
UO coach Chip Kelly is a liar
by Jon Canzahno
It only took one game for Oregon coach Chip Kelly to expose himself as an incompetent head coach. It took just under two years for him to expose himself as a liar.
This summer, the PAC-10 captivated the attention of college football fans and beat writers everywhere by unveiling an aggressive plot to expand its conference boundaries. While ultimately unsuccessful in luring the lucrative Texas markets to the pacific shores, the conference was able to add two quality members in Utah and Colorado.
With the prospect of expansion came both the intrigue of a conference championship and the controversy of splitting the conference into two divisions. Many plans were proposed, but all bore a key concern; it would no longer be possible for every team in the conference to go to Los Angeles every year for an away game.
To the casual fan, this may seem unimportant. But when the northwest schools come knocking on recruits' doors in the fertile grounds of Los Angeles, the promise that their families will be able to see them play every year can mean a great deal. For some, it can be a deal breaker.
I have no doubt that Chip looked right in the eyes of some of his SoCal recruits and promised that they could play near home. I have no doubt that he looked in their parents' eyes and promised that as well.
When Chip was asked how he felt about the prospect of being denied an annual guaranteed trip to LA, he quipped, "We’ll make things easy—we’ll go to the Rose Bowl every year. It’s our job to win enough games every year to the go to the Rose Bowl."
It didn't even take him a whole season to fail to live up to his promise.
On Sunday, ESPN announced that the Oregon Ducks, over whom Chip Kelly has essentially no control, will not be playing in the Rose Bowl this year. The Ducks squad will instead land nearly 400 miles away in Glendale, Arizona for this postseason.
The fact that most Ducks fans won't face is that Chip had an opportunity to live up to his promise. If he'd have let Mike Riley and the Beavers win the Civil War, he would have fulfilled his own promise to his players, to his recruits, and to his fans. It would have been a first-class show of sportsmanship, since the Beavers were playing with bowl eligibility on the line.
But apparently, sportsmanship and promise-keeping is just not Kelly's style.
While embarking upon his merciless campaign of mowing down his foes, did Chip stop to think about the effects of winning every game? Did he ask his players if they were willing to sacrifice a trip to sunny California? Did he consider whether Wisconsin would rather avoid playing a non-AQ foe in the Rose Bowl? Doubtful, doubtful, and doubtful.
The Ducks, who played UCLA at home this year, will have to wait until at least next year to smell the sweet, mildewy air of the Rose Bowl. And the SoCal parents will have to find a way to get to Glendale if they want to see their kids play this winter.
What kind of season can Coach Kelly possibly have next year? It seems inconceivable that Oregon can squeak by the Beavers for a fourth straight year -- let alone beat Stanford, USC, and Colorado. Between the rebellion that Coach Kelly is about to experience from his players, and Oregon's humiliating defeat to a I-AA school in the Capital One Mascot Challenge, it's hard to look at the Ducks' 2011 schedule and find six wins.
When the Oregon players enjoy the 2011 postseason from the chilly confines of their homes and jail cells, Kelly will no longer be able to evade the question he should have asked himself last Saturday:
Was it worth it?