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Kelly To Florida? Why?

There’s one name that keeps popping up in connection to the Florida job that I just don’t understand.

And I’m not talking about Jon Gruden.

Oregon’s Chip Kelly has been listed by a number of writers and talking heads as a potential replacement for Urban Meyer.  I can understand why Jeremy Foley would be interested.  But what’s in it for Kelly?  Why would he leave Oregon for Florida?

Kelly is a New Hampshire native who has been in Eugene for just four seasons.  He’s in his second year as the Ducks’ head coach and he already has them in this year’s BCS title game.

If you think UF might be able to lure Kelly to Gainesville with money, remember that Nike founder Phil Knight is the one-man booster club for the Ducks.  Oregon’s facilities are state of the art and the school (thansk to Knight) has the money to pay Kelly whatever it would take to keep him.

Do you believe the lure of SEC prestige might beckon Kelly?  Currently he’s the king of a conference where the traditional power is just beginning a sentence in the NCAA hoosegow.  He looks to be top duck in the Pac-12 for quite a while.  Florida — with all it’s money and recruiting base and tradition — just went 7-5 with a coach who was considered to be one of the best in the game.  The Pac-12 path to BCS bowl bids will continue to be easier than an SEC path.

Florida can’t offer better security, either.  Kelly replaced Mike Bellotti at Oregon.  Bellotti held the Ducks’ top job from 1995 through 2008.  Before him, Rich Brooks held the job from 1977 to 1994.  That means Kelly is Oregon’s third coach since 1977.  Florida’s next coach will be its fourth since 2001.  The reasons for those coaches’ departures don’t look too good on the Gators’ resume either:

Steve Spurrier — Stepped down saying he was tired of fans acting disappointed with one- and two-loss seasons. 

Ron Zook — Fired after just three seasons.

Urban Meyer — Had great success but also had major health concerns and chose to walk away from the game at 46.

Believe me, I can see why Florida would have interest in Kelly.  But I can’t figure out why anyone thinks Kelly might leave his cushy gig in Eugene for the pressure-cooker of Florida.

Then again, I once wrote that John Calipari would never leave his cushy job at Memphis for the pressure-cooker of Kentucky.  So what do I know?

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A Staff Shake-Up In Lexington

Joker Phillips has a pair of vacancies on his coaching staff today.  Kentucky’s coach will be looking to replace secondary coach Chris Thurmond and running backs coach Larry Brinson.  Both coaches were holdovers from Rich Brooks’ final staff in Lexington.

UK officials won’t say whether the two coaches were fired.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Phillips plans to replace Thurmond with a co-defensive coordinator to work with Steve Brown.

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