tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Friday, Jan 19, 2018
  • Home
  • The Martin Chronicles
  • All things sports and beyond.

If Florida wants Chip Kelly, it better get him

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Chip Kelly's plane!

Did anyone get the serial numbers on this insanity?

Let's cut to the chase.

If you're Florida, it's simple.

If you put even one toe in the water with Chip Kelly, genius for hire, show real interest, you'd better have a good reason not to hire him. I have a few very good reasons not to hire him, but they might not be enough for Florida.

How true is the Kelly-to-Gainesville talk?

Smoke screen or no?

We don't know, and Gators athletic director Scott Stricklin isn't saying.

UF legend Steve Spurrier added to the confusion when he went on the Buddy Martin Show and said that "the coach we're going to hire is probably, I would almost 100 percent say, is coaching his team today, this weekend, and through the end of the season, and maybe though the bowl game."

I don't think the Spur Dog means Randy Shannon.

What does anything that anyone says mean right now?

I think Florida's preferred choice was the next Chip Kelly: UCF coach Scott Frost. But I'm hearing that Frost apparently didn't answer Florida's pings, at least not loudly.

But if the Gators have started down the road with Kelly, they'd better go all in.

If you can't get the next Chip Kelly, how about … Chip Kelly?

The Nation is excited. It is bursting with Kelly talk. There are visions of 60-point games dancing in heads. There is Sizzle. There is Wow.

That's the danger of introducing Kelly into any coaching search.

Florida can't truly begin to dance with Kelly, then introduce Matt Campbell, or Justin Fuente or Mike Norvell or Dan Mullen or even Frost. You've put Kelly on the menu. You can't start out headed for Bern's and end up at Golden Corral. I can just see the Nation's shoulders sagging.

Me? I wouldn't dance with Kelly. I have reservations about him. There is that NCAA "show cause" penalty he was hit with after he left Oregon. That wouldn't look good for Florida. Then again, here's what would look worse: 4-8 next season, 20 points a game.

As for the "show cause" hurdle, here's the phone conversation between Florida and SEC:

Florida: "We'd like to hire Chip Kelly."

SEC: "Okay, sounds good."

I also wonder if Kelly is still as driven as he was at Oregon, when he contacted those magical offenses. And if he is any good at recruiting. And there are those stories about him not playing well with others inside or outside an athletic department. Is he the right fit for Florida? On the other hand, here's the right fit: 50 points a game.

All I'm saying is that if Florida makes it known that it really wants Kelly, even as a fallback plan if Frost is noncommittal, it had better get him. To even step in the arena with Kelly means you'd better come out with a win.

You might need a lot more than that "show cause" to hold up to Gators fans if you turn him down. Chip Kelly needs to turn you down. Go after him for real and a had plane better land in Gainesville with him in it.

Weather Center

10Weather WTSP

Comments

The Martin Chronicles

If Florida wants Chip Kelly, it better get him