1. Chip Kelly, UCLA head coach
Who wouldn’t want to see this? A villain turned hero. OK, so maybe Chip Kelly isn’t exactly a “villain” because he chose to pursue his dream of coaching in the NFL after succeeding at Oregon instead of bolting for another college job, but he’s been coaching at UCLA for the past few years and against the Ducks.
But Oregon fans would welcome Chip back with open arms.
Kelly went 46-7 at Oregon in four seasons and it felt like he was just getting started before he left for the NFL. Sure, there were plenty of salty Duck fans out there, but they couldn’t be too mad because the NFL is a lot of head coaches’ dream job. He bounced between the Eagles and 49ers before heading back to the college ranks with UCLA.
For the first couple of seasons at UCLA, it looked like he might be on his way out the door, going just 7-17. However, a 3-4 season was promising in 2020 because the Bruins easily could have won all seven games, and then he led them to an 8-4 mark in 2021 with a Holiday Bowl berth.
Oregon should sell him on the “come home and win a national title” aspect of the job because he would absolutely have a better opportunity to succeed in Eugene compared to UCLA.
Trying to pry him away from another Pac-12 program on the rise would be tough, though.