Clary: Chip Kelly And USC Is A Match Made In Heaven

Clary: Chip Kelly And USC Is A Match Made In Heaven

There have been a plethora of coaches named as possible replacement for Steve Sarkisian at Southern Cal, but there is one who the Trojans should pursue with incredible vigor.

heath-clary
Heath Clary

It seems like every time there is a head coaching opening at an esteemed college football program, there is immediately a slew of names that fly around the Internet - typically just rumor. Usually not much substance.

So it goes in Southern California at this very moment.

With USC's recent firing of Steve Sarkisian, there have been numerous names mentioned as potential replacements for the 41-year-old Sarkisian.

Jeff FisherBrian KellyJack Del RioKevin Sumlin and many, many more. Dan Wolken of USA TODAY conveniently published a list of his ten most likely candidates.

Steve Sarkisian was fired earlier this week to get his life back together after admitting to an alcohol problem. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

But while there have been more reports than can be counted, there is one name that stands above the rest. The only way to describe the hiring of this man is with sports metaphors.

A slam-dunk hire. A grand slam home run.

It's Chip Kelly, the most innovative man in football. Yes, the same Kelly that came on the radar while calling the plays for a New Hampshire team that ran a fast-pace offense that seemingly couldn't be stopped. The same Kelly who went to a BCS Bowl in each of the four seasons he was the head coach at Oregon.

Kelly is currently in the middle of an experiment of sorts, determining if his revolutionary offensive schemes that baffled opposing defensive coordinators at the college level could be successful in the NFL.

The trial has yielded mixed reviews. The Philadelphia Eagles have finished 10-6 in each of Kelly's seasons at the helm, and currently sit at 2-3 on the young season. Those results sound decent on the surface, but when you look at the amount of talent that the Eagles have on the roster - particularly at the skill positions - it seems like they may be underperforming.

Kelly has been hammered by the media of late. He's too arrogant. He has no idea what he is doing. He is an idiot. 

And on and on go the rants of the supposed "experts."

However, what cannot be debated is the success that the 51-year-old New Hampshire native has had as a college coach.

And that's the only track record that matters in this argument.

A Trojan team coached by Chip Kelly would be an instant national title contender. Every single thing about this Kelly-to-USC dream makes sense.

Chip Kelly jump started his career with an upset over No.5 USC in his first season as Oregon's head coach. Now, he has a prime opportunity to be the head man in Troy. (USA TODAY Sports)

Maybe the most obvious thing is the level of talent that Southern Cal has. The roster is stocked with studs at nearly every position, on both sides of the ball. How Sarkisian did not put a dominating product on the field is utterly baffling, and Kelly would definitely take full advantage of USC's vast resources.

The increased exposure Kelly would garner at USC would prove to be valuable when it come to the recruiting trail. Southern Cal is an elite program with a terrific history and, as Ben Bender of Sporting News points out, has produced the seventh-most NFL draft picks since 2010.

Sure, Kelly brought plenty of tremendous athletes to Oregon, but that was all the way up in the Pacific Northwest. His new home would be one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country. In his tenure at Phil Knight's alma mater, Kelly managed to sway plenty of players away from USC, most notably speedster De'Anthony Thomas.

Former Oregon wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas was one of Kelly's biggest recruits and playmakers during his time at Oregon. (Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

But no matter how much Oregon won, the Ducks were always seen as a bit of an underdog in recruiting battles. At USC, Kelly would have his choice of basically any blue-chip recruit from anywhere in the country.

And then there's Kelly's success in the Pac-12. The Ducks won at least a share of the conference championship every year of Kelly's tenure as head coach, winning two BCS bowls in the process.

He knows the conference, how to exploit its defenses and how to win games in it. He repeatedly showed that at Oregon, and this writer thinks that he would surely win at least one national championship if he were to head to USC.

Lastly, but maybe most importantly, is Kelly's offensive system. With ultra-talented offensive threats like Justin Davis, Ronald Jones II, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adoree Jackson, Steven Mitchell Jr. and many more littering the roster for years to come, just the thought of a mastermind of Kelly's caliber spreading them around the field and finding ways to score points makes this writer giddy.

Not once in Kelly's time as head coach of Oregon did the Ducks finish outside of the top eight nationally in points per game - three of those years they finished in the top three - and with the added prestige and resources that USC has to offer, his offenses would likely be even more potent and his teams more dominant.

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Unfortunately, this argument is all for naught if Kelly doesn't want to come back to the college game, and he is making it seem like that way at the moment.

"I hope someday to be like Coach [Tom] Coughlin and win enough games where I can stay around long enough where that speculation ends," Kelly said, via Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com. "But I understand you have to ask the question. I answered it the same way a year ago. I answered it the same way my first year here."

However, no matter how much Kelly tries to quell the rumors, the allure of Southern Cal could ultimately be too much to ignore.

Because no matter how many rough seasons they go through - or how many people say that the future of Troy is not bright - USC is still one of the premier programs in all of college football, it just needs to give the reins to the right person.

Well, Chip Kelly is precisely that person. Now all Pat Haden & Co. have to do is sway him away from Philadelphia.

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