There have been a couple of college coaches who have made a successful transition from a college program into the NFL, two people that come to mind are Barry Switzer with the Dallas Cowboys and more recently Jim Harbough with San Francisco. Switzer did have a dismal start, but turned it around into a three Super Bowl victories and Harbough has re-energized the 49ers fan base and brought the team to the playoffs in his two years, reaching the NFC Conference Championship last year and are the number two seed this year.
There are also a number of situations with highly successful college coaches jumping to the NFL with their mind set on doing things the way they want and thinking they would be the one and only ending terribly, see Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban as examples of these failures. Both felt there systems would work with whatever personnel they had and if it did not, they “requested” new personnel to make it work. After this did not work and the records went downhill, they ran back to the NCAA and plum jobs at South Carolina and Alabama.
Chip Kelly has to examine these examples of both approaches as he goes through interviews for open NFL coaching positions.
He also needs to examine what he has in Eugene with the Ducks. There are very few opportunities as perfect as he has there. He realized that last year when he walked away from Tampa Bay at the eleventh hour.
Just look at the differences between coaching at Oregon and going to any NFL coaching situation
There are certainly more examples people can come up with why staying is the better choice for Kelly, which outweigh the reasons to move on.
The only things I can think of for going to the NFL
The one thing he does need to do, is make the decision very soon as his uncertainty is hurting the recruiting efforts of the school as many 5 and 4 start players who had Oregon as a finalist are choosing other schools, which is common when there could be a coaching change.
I maybe some what selfish in my analysis here because I enjoy his style of play, but the program was good before and with the announcement/promotion of Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich to Head Coach if Kelly leaves, who has been a Kelly’s right side running the offense these past few years will keep the tradition of the high octane offense moving along.
So the only question left is which direction are you going Chip?