Dreaming of Chip Kelly? If your team can’t be fixed fast, forget it

Dreaming of Chip Kelly, but your team needs a wrecking ball and a fleet of cranes?

Picturing offensive fireworks, but your team faces more than a quick fix?

Envisioning the former Oregon coach as a Saturday savior, but your team is more reconstruction project than a potential fast rebound?

Then forget about it.

Cut the Kelly nonsense. He won’t approach a crater if he’s smart about his next stop.

We’ve reached October. It’s time for hot-seat situations and fantasies that come with them to stir throughout the SEC.

At Tennessee, Vols fans have butchered Butch Jones since Georgia delivered a pile driver in a 41-0 rout last Saturday at Neyland Stadium.

At Missouri, Barry Odom looks as lost as a 5-year-old in a physics course.

At Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin tries to keep his chin above water while kicking back sharks.

At Arkansas, Bret Bielema fails to prove he’s more than mediocre.

At Ole Miss, Matt Luke might as well be air.

For starving fan bases throughout the South, for those fed up with a sorry status quo, Kelly is the ultimate tease. He went 46-7 as the Ducks’ coach from 2009 to 2012. He took Oregon to two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl and a BCS Championship Game. He needs to recover after his four-year NFL failure with the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. And he offers the greatest gift of all: hope and all the sugary visions that come with unbridled optimism.

But Kelly should avoid a job that requires heavy lifting. He needs to walk into a situation where he can win now.

That’s not you, Ole Miss and Missouri. Even Arkansas and Tennessee require more than brooms, dustpans and a few new light bulbs to return to respectability.

Look,  seeing Kelly in the SEC would be great. He would offer credibility. He would improve the perception of the conference’s awful coaching lineup. He would attract eyeballs.

But Kelly will have options, perhaps better ones than those available in the SEC. He’s smart enough to know a bad job when he sees one.

LSU would be the best SEC locale for Kelly to land. The fertile Louisiana recruiting ground and the resources available in Baton Rouge would allow the Tigers to become an instant factor under him. But LSU fans who believe Ed Orgeron will be sent packing with a cup of gumbo and $12 million as parting gifts later this year are delusional. The timing and the financial situation don’t make sense.

So that leaves Texas A&M. Like LSU, Aggieland would offer plenty of pluses: rich recruiting, prime resources and a chance to rise quickly in the SEC West. After all, the largest knock on Sumlin has been his ability to go full whoopee cushion in November and December after strong starts. There hasn’t been a lack of skill in College Station.

But Sumlin’s seat has cooled a few degrees with four straight victories. Now it’s fair to wonder how the coach would be perceived if Texas A&M hadn’t hurled against UCLA in its season opener. He shouldn’t stretch his legs on his desk and kick back with an umbrella drink just yet. But if he finishes with only three or four losses this fall, it will be hard to fire him.

Whatever his future options, Kelly should understand what’s at stake with his next stop. It could be his last chance to be a big mover and shaker, to prove that his offensive-guru act has staying power in the modern game. If he fails, his brand would be damaged beyond repair.

Kelly must avoid a gamble. He needs a sure thing.

Right now, that is hard to find in the SEC.

The post Dreaming of Chip Kelly? If your team can’t be fixed fast, forget it appeared first on SEC Country.

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