Can’t Beat ‘Em? Join ‘Em: Chip Kelly Bails On UCLA For Ohio State OC Job Just As The Bruins Move To The Big Ten

Chip Kelly
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Chip Kelly may very well catch a lot of heat for fleeing his duties as UCLA head coach in favor of an offensive coordinator gig at Ohio State to reunite with his former protege, Ryan Day. I won’t be somebody who puts him on blast.

Sure, it sucks for the Bruins that Kelly is gone, but sometimes you have to make decisions that are best for you as an individual in this life. “Look out for No. 1” as they say. That’s exactly what’s going on with Kelly here. He sees the direction college football is going. Ohio State is paying zillions of dollars in NIL money to lure the top recruits to Columbus, Ohio, of all places. No shade to C-bus, either. I’m from there. Chill out, Buckeye Nation. I can hear you slurring words and screaming at me already.

The reality is, UCLA can’t be competitive in the Big Ten. Recruiting is a Wild West of utter chaos. It’s a Cold War-style arms race. Kelly recognizes that he’ll be outgunned at every turn. Where would the Bruins stack up against Ohio State or Michigan when it comes to luring the nation’s top talent? They’re not in the same galaxy.  Never mind the other new additions to the conference in USC, Washington and even the program Kelly was instrumental in helping explode onto the scene in the first place, Oregon.

Bill O’Brien did the admirable thing, following his heart to his hometown of Boston to be Boston College’s head coach. If I were in his seat, I’d have a hard time leaving Ohio State with the loaded roster they have. Then again, maybe O’Brien feels like he doesn’t have a ton left to prove, and was fine with taking a long-term, patient approach to rebuild BC. Seizing almost literally right away on that opportunity/O’Brien’s sentiment, Kelly made a pure business decision to swoop in and be Day’s right-hand man.

Columbus is also Kelly’s clearest path to a higher-status head coaching job, and quite possibly could precede an eventual return to the NFL. Whether Kelly decides to be an OC for someone else, or perhaps follows Day to the pros someday as a member of his staff, the future prospects for Kelly are undeniably better with the Buckeyes. Again, I don’t blame him in the slightest.

A vocal minority of folks in the LA area might trash Kelly for pulling this move. It certainly sets UCLA back in terms of an already difficult recruiting trek. However, anyone acting like the Bruins were some bastion of college football excellence before Kelly’s arrival is fooling themselves. That just isn’t the case. They’ve ended the season ranked in the top 25 four times since 1998. Kelly is responsible for one of those years. Move along, now. Move along.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock