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What’s next for Oregon after Cristobal’s departure? | College Football Enquirer

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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss why coaches keep leaving Oregon, and who might be in consideration for to be the next head man in Eugene.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: All right, let's get to Oregon. What do they do? And, yeah, is this a problem where these coaches get up there? I mean, you can't-- I just saw their indoor practice facility. This thing's insane. I mean, it's like what do you-- like what? How could you spend so much money? But they are. You can't do anything more to make your program great.

But do these coaches get up there and go, you know what, this is as great as we can be? I mean, obviously, they made a title game once. Chip Kelly had them rolling prior to that. But is there a cap that the Ducks hit because, quite honestly, it's Eugene, Oregon?

PETE THAMEL: So Eugene is interesting. I wrote about this on Yahoo yesterday. Three of their last four coaches have left for better-- what they have perceived to be better jobs. You could argue that Oregon is a better job than both Florida State and Miami, but they hired two guys with strong Florida ties in Willie Taggart and Mario Cristobal. And they left. And then Chip went to the NFL. It's hard to blame a guy for going to the NFL. I mean, I think he was 46 and 7 there. He gave it a pretty good run. Came one Michael Dyer twist away from bringing a national title to Eugene.

And is it because-- I mean, they hired two guys from Florida and then a guy from New Hampshire. Is it because they haven't hired a native son that they wanted to say-- by the way, the guy they fired, Mark Helfrich, brought them to a national title game. He wasn't a total bust. I mean, Mark Helfrich was standing across from Urban Meyer in Dallas that night.

So it will be interesting to see if-- ADs always hire opposites, right? It'll be interesting to see if they try to go big and bold with Matt Campbell or Bill O'Brien or somebody like that or they go familiar with Justin Wilcox, long-time son of Eugene who's from there. His dad played there. His brothers played there. That whole song and dance.

So how much do you value continuity? Do you value it over-- you know, because somebody might be a notch less qualified or a notch less successful. And then do you bring Chip back, which would be and could be pretty compelling.

DAN WETZEL: Do you think he wants to go back?

PAT FORDE: Well, I don't know. I mean, he hasn't exactly lit the world on fire at UCLA. He did finally get over the hump this year and have a winning record. But, I mean, knowing-- I don't know. Considering that Oregon is one of those places that listens very closely to a certain very important booster, and boosters like that always tend to think of the glory days and want to rekindle them, and I wouldn't be surprised if Phil Knight's saying let's go get Chip. You know, maybe that isn't the way it goes, but it would not shock me by any stretch.

Now, Pete, you ran through a good list of people there. What about Kalani Sitake

PETE THAMEL: Yeah, great name. That's a great name, and I put that in my column. Yes. He's 21 and 3--

PAT FORDE: Yeah.

PETE THAMEL: --the last two years.

PAT FORDE: Last two years. No, it's unbelievable.

PETE THAMEL: Yeah.

PAT FORDE: I mean, they lost the number two pick in the NFL draft and were just as good, basically, this year from last year. That was impressive to me for them to turn that around and maintain. And he's a guy I think could recruit well. And certainly recruiting people of Samoan and other Pacific Island heritage is really important out there in the West, and he could do that. He's a pretty charismatic guy. I think that you throw him in the mix with those other guys. But the Chip Kelly thing is intriguing to me, depending whether Rob Mullens is making the call in a vacuum or whether Rob Mullens is making the call with Phil Knight tapping on his shoulder.

DAN WETZEL: Chris Petersen, once an Oregon assistant.

PAT FORDE: Chris Petersen, if he wants to come back, although I don't know whether he wants to go into the mess of playing against Washington. I'm not sure.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, I don't know. Well, it should be interesting. I would go Sitake myself. I mean, he's done a fine job, and that is a guy who'd probably stick around. I don't know what else you can do at Oregon to make your program desirable.

PAT FORDE: That's the thing. They've done everything.

DAN WETZEL: Done everything. Done it all.