Here’s what 49ers CEO Jed York had to say Sunday afternoon:
“I have informed Trent and Chip of my decision to pursue new leadership for our football team, “These types of conversations are never easy, especially when they involve people you respect personally and professionally. Trent gave this organization every ounce of effort he had over the last 12 years and his contributions were integral to the team reaching three straight NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl. I will forever be grateful for his dedication to the 49ers, and his friendship to me and my family. I wish Trent, Beth and their daughters the very best in whatever the future holds for their family. Chip has my gratitude for the job he did this year, navigating the team through some adverse circumstances. I look forward to watching his career continue to unfold, and wish him and Jill great success in life.”
Happy New Year, Chip!
Listen, I’m still not ready to say that Chip Kelly can’t coach in the NFL. Even after his past two seasons, just take a quick look around the league. Not a lot of guys can walk in to this league and have back-t0-back 10 win seasons. Sure a lot of questions need to be answered, but I’m still not ready to pull the plug on Chip Kelly’s ability to coach in the National Football League.
You ever have one of those links pop up on your computer that says something like “Nick! Congratulations! You have just won $10,000 dollars and all you have to do to claim your money is click on the link below!” and you clearly know it’s not real? Well, I want you to imagine you’re the athletic director of a power 5 conference school, and a message just popped up saying “Congratulations! Chip Kelly just got fired by the 49ers! Just pick up your phone before someone else, roll out the red carpet, and he’ll come coach at your school!” and it’s completely, 100% real.
The firing of Chip Kelly is going to reveal the true colors of University’s across the country. Do they actually take football seriously, or do they just want to pretend like they take football seriously? Hiring Chip Kelly means that your team will undoubtedly be competing for a National Championship within his first two years on campus. No questions asked, no debate needed, 100% guarantee that within two years the standard will be raised to National Championship or bust. This is literally a gold mine for any school that just wants to open its eyes.
Do you want to know what Chip Kelly did in his first four seasons at Oregon?
- 2010: Rose Bowl
- 2011: BCS National Championship Game
- 2012: Rose Bowl
- 2013: Fiesta Bowl
Seriously, it’s this easy for an Athletic Director. Don’t waste any more money on gym shoes for the team, or lounges with billiards tables everywhere, or more protein bars in the weight room. Get all the money you have and go drop it off on Chip Kelly’s door step and you will be competing for National Championships in two years. This is not rocket science, people.
What has the playoff system told us? If you want to win or compete for National Championships, go get the best possible coach out there. It is not a coincidence that Nick Saban is about to win back-to-back National Championships. It’s not a coincidence that three years after Chris Petersen got to Washington they are all the sudden competing for Championships. If you want to win, get an elite coach. Chip Kelly is an elite coach.
So, the obvious question becomes, what place makes the most sense? Here would be the top 3 places that make the most sense in my opinion.
1. The SEC East
I know that this isn’t a specific school, but literally anywhere in the SEC East would make 100% sense. You want to beat Nick Saban? Stop trying to hire his old assistants. Derek Dooley, Jim McElwain, Kirby Smart, Will Muschamp TWICE! Everybody wants Nick Saban so bad that they’re trying to hire the coaches that have been around him for a period of time. STOP IT, the man has beaten his assistants by an average margin of 14 points and has never lost to a single one. Mark Dantonio is probably Saban’s most successful product, and Saban beat him 38-0 in last year’s playoff. Want to know what beat’s Nick Saban? Up tempo, creative, fast pace offenses with quarterbacks that can hurt you with their feet. This is so obvious it hurts, and I’m not sure if one of these schools will pull the trigger. Want to know where the best area to recruit in the country is? The southeast. Want to know how many coaches in the SEC East have won a Conference title? NOT ONE!
Again, elite coaches are what it’s all about people. Name one elite coach in the SEC East? Exactly. Tennessee could get Chip in a heartbeat, but knowing Tennessee they’ll want to keep trying the Butch Jones experiment. It’s time for A&M to move on from Sumlin, so College Station would make a lot of sense too. Bottom line, Chip Kelly to the SEC East makes so much sense it hurts.
2. Notre Dame
When there are even rumors of your head coach willing to leave one of the most storied programs in college football history, you’ve got the wrong guy. If I was a booster, former player, or a passionate alumni, I would be outside the AD’s door with my pitchfork demanding Chip Kelly as my next head coach. Chip Kelly was able to get guys to go play for him in Eugene, Oregon. What can you sell to a kid in Eugene besides marijuana?! Could you even imagine Chip Kelly recruiting at Notre Dame? Brian Kelly just lost to Duke at home. Duke! Give Chip Kelly three months and his incoming freshman class would beat Duke in Chip’s system. College football is better when Notre Dame is competing for National Championships, and even those who hate ND would agree. One phone call puts Notre Dame back in National Championship contention rather than losing games to the Military Academy’s. Notre Dame students should light a candle at The Grotto every single day asking the Lord to bless their athletic director with some wisdom.
A lot of moving parts in play for this to happen, but this is my sleeper pick. I think that after this 4-8 season where there were high expectations coming in, Jim Mora wants to go coach in the NFL. I think if that were to happen, I could see Chip going to UCLA. He dominated the PAC 12 landscape at one point from Eugene, Oregon. Something tells me he would be able to do the same thing from Los Angeles, California. The PAC 12 is in a tough spot right now with a lot of people out there questioning the overall strength of the conference. Having USC, UCLA, Washington, and Stanford as a core four group of contenders in your conference would be huge for national recognition. Could you imagine the USC/UCLA games with Chip? It’s exactly what the conference needs. I think Chip has a love for the PAC 12 and the west coast, and I think UCLA would be near the top of his list if it were to pull the trigger.
College Football is all about having an elite coach. If you don’t have an elite coach, you’re in football purgatory. Nick Saban is the best football coach in the country, and so is his team. Urban Meyer, Jim Harbaugh, Jimbo Fisher, Bobby Petrino, Chris Petersen, and James Franklin are some of the best coaches in the country, so are their teams. If you want to win National Championships, go get a coach! Chip Kelly guarantees that your school will be competing for a National Championship within two years. It’s the best thing to do and the most obvious thing to do, I guess we’ll just have to see who does it.