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Ohio State football: New offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien reportedly set to leave program

Feb. 9—Ohio State football coach Ryan Day went out of his way to make a big change on his coaching staff last month.

Now it looks like he'll have to do it again.

Per multiple reports, Bill O'Brien is set to leave Ohio State after less than a month on the job, accepting the head coach position at Boston College instead of being the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Buckeyes this season.

Day said this week he wanted someone to take over the offense to allow him to focus on the overall job of running a college football program.

O'Brien was appealing because of his long career both as an offensive coach in the NFL and a head coach, but it remains to be seen how Day replaces him.

Day said this week he had contingency plans in place, but losing O'Brien could set off a domino effect that also impacts how he fills another spot on the coaching staff that was already open.

The name Chip Kelly has been thrown around frequently.

Although he is still the head coach at UCLA, various reports indicate he has made attempts to get other jobs.

The most notable of those came from Jon Wilner, a plugged-in veteran reporter on the West Coast who did not confirm all of the rumors surrounding Kelly's interest in leaving Westwood but did explain why it might make sense:

What if the Bruins regress?

Let's say they finish 7-5, or 6-6. What then?

Well, two things happen: First, Kelly's buyout drops to $4 million (approx.); second, a new boss arrives. (UCLA chancellor Gene) Block is stepping down this summer after 17 years leading the campus. There's a good chance the next chancellor will take a more favorable view of football and zero chance the next chancellor will take a lesser view of football. — Seattle Times

That means Kelly's seat could get a lot hotter in a few months if the Bruins have a hard time in their first season in the Big Ten, and firing him would not cost the school nearly as much.

Kelly is intimately familiar with Day, who played quarterback for him when Kelly was offensive coordinator at New Hampshire.

Day later was an assistant on Kelly's NFL staffs in Philadelphia and San Francisco before Day came to Ohio State in 2017.

Kelly had a successful four-year stint as head coach at Oregon from 2009-12. Building off what predecessor Mike Bellotti established in Eugene, he took the Ducks to a higher level with an up-tempo, spread offense that upended the Pac 12 at the end of Pete Carroll's USC dynasty.

He went 28-35 in the NFL the returned to college, posting three losing seasons followed by three winning seasons at UCLA.

Whoever becomes Ohio State offensive coordinator, Day indicated the offense will not change fundamentally.

He does envision utilizing quarterback runs more, however, at least enough to keep the defense honest and enhance what his running backs are able to do when they get the ball.