Fri Mar 13 03:13pm EDT
Tracking college football's most compelling offseason storyline.
The meter won't hit 100 percent until we hear it from the man himself, but sometimes you have no choice but to put up the initial "unsubstantiated" flag and take the plunge: A reputable message boarder ($), an independent blog and an anonymous (though not at all random) tipster in my inbox, all claiming a solid direct source, report Mike Bellotti has already informed his players he's stepping down as boss at Oregon.
No surprises, of course: Always relatively laid back, Bellotti has nevertheless sounded like a man with one foot out the door since breaking down in tears after the Ducks' Holiday Bowl comeback over Oklahoma State, and never dispelled that impression. Coach-in-waiting Chip Kelly, already putting his own stamp on the rest of the staff, will ascend to the head coaching chair; Bellotti be joining current athletic director Pat Kilkenny as co-AD before taking over the chair full-time.
[UPDATE, 3:21 ET] The Oregon Register-Guard, also citing an unnamed source, says book it; meter moved the last notch to 100 PERCENT. More reliably, if you needed it, the univeristy just mailed a press release: The Chip Kelly era in Eugene officially begins on March 30, the first day of spring practice. Bellotti will take over full-time for Kilkenny on July 1. Thanks for playing Coach B, and please: Put some serious thought into bringing back the 'stache. Trust me.