| Pigskin Pete
Whew! UO's Chip Kelly
Makes Correct Decision
by Fred Delkin
Duck coach Chip Kelly cited "unfinished business" as a
reason for spurning the Tampa Bay NFL coaching
offer. That can only mean that Kelly is focused
upon bringing a national title to Eugene. He's
already accomplished everything else that even the most
rabid Webfoot fan could fantasize. He knows his
2012 squad is loaded with talent and faces a relatively
straight 'gimmes' @ Autzen vs. Arkansas St., a fading
Fresno St. & Tennessee Tech to open the
season). The tough ones for the Ducks are
rNovember road games at USC and Cal.
the Webfoottalent situation: only 9 performers of
note are gone (7 seniors + NFL escapees Darron Thomas
& LaMichael James. Returnees are legion.
Quarterback gets Brian Bennett back as a better
runner in the spread option than Thomas, as he showed in
2011 appearances...and he faces a true challenge from
redshirt frosh signal-caller Marcus Mariota (6-4,
200-pounder from Hawaii who sparkled in scrimmages
this past season). James will be succeeded by
speed burner Kenyon Barner and the burly (230 lbs.) Tra
Carson, who shone well as a 2011 powerback. Then
there's the versatile DeAnthony Thomas to light up the
scoreboard as a kick returner, wide receiver and
superbly elusive running back
The Ducks had highly touted wide receiver recruits that
couldn't crack the veteran ranks in 2011, and
returning frosh sensation Colt Lyerla is capable of
earning all-conference honors at tight end.
Defense? Rose Bowl defensive MVP Kiki Alonso is
back, as is the scourge of opposing QB's, defensive
end Dion Jordan. The DB ranks began 2011 as green
and a potential squad weakness, but they ended as a
strength that returns in numbers. The Webfoot
ranks up front, both OL & DL, are a possible
problem, but have been a focus of current Duck
recruiting efforts, and we doubt that any
team outside either USC or leviathans from the SEC
conference will rival UO here.
no wonder that Chip Kelly declined what must have been a
very lucrative offer to coach in the NFL! Those
Tampa Bay owners failed to carry the clout wielded by
Phil Knight, whose Nike-spawned dollars have made lil'
ol' Oregon a national athletic power, with facilities
second to none in Division 1. Just consider what
recruiting ammunition the Ducks carry into any prep
star's living room!
ROSES & RASPBERRIES---while we're tossing bouquets, an Oregon basketball team unexpectedly tied for first in the Pac12 deserves a floral salute...no such honors can be extended toanyone doubting that the almighty dollar is the deciding factor in televised sporting matches, as the old Pac10 conference realized when that TV messiah Larry Scott came forth with two additional conference members, Utah & Colorado, providing increased major market revenue and unprecedented televised coverage for all...and, still, campus live attendance ticket revenue is not threatened.
© 2012 Oregon Magazine