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Would Chip Kelly Fit At Virginia Tech?

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With the Eagles in Freefall Mode, Would the "Genius" Succeed in Blacksburg?

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The Frank Beamer era is closing in Blacksburg, and much speculation has been made about his replacement.  There have been several names mentioned as possible heirs, but none are as intriguing to me as current Eagles coach, Chip Kelly.  Kelly is the anti-Beamer.  While Beamer's M.O. has been a staunch defense and great special teams play, Kelly is a scoreboard operator's worst nightmare.  At Oregon, Kelly redefined what a college offense could do.  His tempo and pace is now a mainstay of coaches from the Pac-12 to the SEC.

"Beamer and Kelly have one thing in common: they both have never won a national championship."

When talking about coaching changes, some things must be kept top of mind.  The availability of guys at the time of hire, the willingness to come here, and the financials must all be considered.  The "sharps" have Rich Rodriguez coming to take the helm.  Some of the folks I talk to indicate that this a done deal.  I for one, don't exactly believe all the hype.  I outlined the RichRod rumors here. There has been considerable thought to Bud Foster, and most recently Shane Beamer's name has been tossed out.

"I can't forsee any scenario that includes both Rich Rodriguez and Bud Foster coaching on the same staff."

If the Eagle's downward spiral continues, then the outcome is inevitable. Kelly might be a free agent after the season. He might do the analysis circuit for a year, but something tells me Chip Kelly is no John Gruden. Chip has fallen victim to the same pitfall that has claimed most successful college coaches transitioning to the N.F.L.

"Being a great college coach doesn't necessarily mean you will be a great N.F.L. general manager."

Spurrier, Saban, and countless others have faced the same problem. During a typical N.F.L. draft, teams get ONE first round pick. In college football, depending on your recruiting prowess, you could have ten "first" rounders. When Saban left Miami for Alabama, Jimmy Sexton (Saban's agent) asked him, "Do you want to be Don Shula, or Bear Bryant?" After the great Philadelphia experiment runs its course, the safe bet for Kelly would be the Bear. The big question for Hokie fans around the world would be pretty simple. Does Whit Babcock have the savvy and the diplomacy skills to not only sign Kelly, but keep Foster? If the idea is to turn the Hokies into a PAC-12 team and score 50, don't be surprised if team x puts up 51. As the heat on Kelly intensifies, it's pure fantasy to try and marry Virginia Tech and Chip. As the Beamer era fades to black, it has to be on the table.