Originally posted on The Daily Rival  |  Last updated 1/23/12

Multiple reports said Chip Kelly and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were nearly finalizing a deal that would have brought the Oregon Ducks head coach to the NFL, but sometime late Sunday night Kelly changed his mind and, for now, is staying put in Eugene.

But before Kelly had his change of heart, Oregon reportedly was already thinking of successors. And it wasn’t going to shy away from any big names.

Adam Jude, of The Register-Guard (Eugene, Ore.), writes that, had Kelly left, Boise State coach Chris Petersen and TCU’s Gary Patterson would have been among the school’s top targets:

The popular first choice among most fans seemed to be Boise State’s Chris Petersen.

And while Petersen would be high on Oregon’s list, the source said the former Oregon assistant would not have been the No. 1 choice, either.

Also among Oregon’s top candidates to replace Kelly are Texas Christian’s Gary Patterson and UO offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, who is “thought of highly” in the athletic department.

The Ducks’ potential pursuit of Petersen and Patterson would have been understandable. Both have developed proven track records in their current positions. Petersen, in his six years at the helm Boise State, has led the Broncos to a 73-6 record, including two victories over the Ducks. Patterson, meanwhile, has spent the past 12 seasons as TCU’s head coach, amassing a 109-30 record.

Jude also writes that former NFL coaches Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy may have also been possibilities for consideration. Gruden, currently an analyst for ESPN, in 2009 declined Oregon’s offer to be its offensive coordinator. Dungy, who retired from the Indianapolis Colts in 2009, has a home in Eugene and a son, Eric, who is a receiver on the team.

The Oregonian’s John Canzano also reported that Oregon could have looked at Cal coach Jeff Tedford, a former offensive coordinator for the Ducks from 1998-2001, as another candidate.

The Register-Guard’s George Schroeder added via Twitter that Oregon, with its resources and recent rise to prominence, thought it could get any coach it wants.

But all this doesn’t even matter because Chip punk’ed everybody.

[Register-Guard]

Photo via

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ben McAdoo willing to give up play-calling duties

Dolphins suspend Lawrence Timmons indefinitely

Greg Olsen placed on IR, will miss at least eight weeks

Report: NFL official under investigation for domestic violence

Alvarez vs. Golovkin result gives boxing another black eye

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerry Jones defends Elliott amid criticism over lack of effort

NFL monitoring CFL’s decision to end contact practices

RG3 fires back at Santana Moss over Mike Shanahan comments

Chris Long donating game checks to fund Charlottesville scholarships

WATCH: Tigers’ Jeff Ferrell responsive after taking 103-mph liner to head

College football's biggest winners and losers so far

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

September chill hits Astros, Dodgers at worst time

College football 2017 Week 3 predictions

Three Up, Three Down: Cleveland hits historic heights while Cubs struggle

The 'Will the Indians ever lose again?' quiz

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

September chill hits Astros, Dodgers at worst time

Three Up, Three Down: Cleveland hits historic heights while Cubs struggle

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker