Chip Kelly, Oregon finally get the signature win


Okay, so there are really two ways you can look at Oregon’s 45-38 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

You can say the No. 6 Ducks beat the Big Ten champions on a day that the Big Ten, once again, fell flat on its face on the main stage cementing another bad postseason run.

Or, you can say Oregon beat the No. 9 Badgers, a legit Top 10 team with a handful of pro prospects that’re two Hail Mary’s away from being undefeated, and that Chip Kelly got his first major win. It was also Oregon’s first Rose Bowl title in nearly a century..

Think about it. For all the success Kelly’s had in his three years in Eugene, where’s the signature win? He couldn’t beat Boise State in his first game as the Ducks’ head coach. He couldn’t handle Ohio State in the Rose Bowl. He couldn’t hang with the SEC against either Auburn on the biggest stage of ’em all or LSU at the beginning of the 2011 season.

Kelly’s biggest wins so far have been against Stanford two years in a row. Don’t get me wrong, beating Andrew Luck twice in three tries is nothing to scoff at, but eventually, Kelly had to — ahem — spread his wings.

Bowl cynics say the postseason games don’t matter. To an extent, they may be right for reasons other than reputation, but games like the Rose Bowl, the BCS national title — those are measuring stick games. Before tonight’s win, Kelly and Oregon hadn’t measured up because, well, they hadn’t won.

You can’t be elite unless you beat the elite and do it at least semi-consistently. Oregon’s been building a championship-contending program since the Mike Bellotti era; Kelly was given the notice he would take the controls with the expectations that he would bring the Ducks to the national stage.

He’s gotten ’em there, the team just hadn’t capitalized. But get there enough, and eventually one will go your way.

Chip Kelly and Oregon got that one tonight. The best part is that it doesn’t have to be the only signature win they’ll ever get.

Auburn needs new offensive line coach, and UConn’s just resigned

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It appears Auburn’s search for a new offensive line coach may not take very long.

Tuesday, reports surfaced that Herb Hand was leaving The Plains to take the line job at Texas.  The veteran will also be adding to title of co-offensive coordinator with the Longhorns.

One day later, UConn confirmed in a press release that its line coach, J.B. Grimes, has resigned his position, effective immediately.  It just so happens that Grimes spent three seasons (2013-15) coaching at Auburn before moving on to Cincinnati for the 2016 season and, ultimately, UConn.

“I want to thank J.B. for his efforts during his time with us,” head coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. “I wish J.B and his family nothing but the best.”

Grimes spent one season with the Huskies.

Jauan Jennings enrolled in classes at Tennessee; future with Vols football still unclear

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It appears the door is at least slightly ajar for Jauan Jennings‘ return to Rocky Top.

A University of Tennessee spokesperson confirmed to the Knoxville News Sentinel that Jennings is enrolled in classes for the current semester. Jennings has met with both new head coach Jeremy Pruitt and athletic directors Phillip Fulmer about the possibility of being reinstated to the Vols football program.

“I think (Pruitt has) put some parameters around it,” Fulmer stated during a radio interview late last week, “and I guess everybody has got to figure out what those are and if they’re really going to do it. That’s up to them.”

The wide receiver’s status with the football program remains up in the air, nearly two months after Jennings went off on a profanity-laced social-media tirade aimed at the coaching staff. The day after, he was dismissed by interim head coach Brady Hoke, who made the decision in concert with then-athletic director John Currie.

In early September, prior to the off-field issue, Jennings suffered what turned out to be a season-ending wrist injury that limited him to three catches for 17 yards in just one game.

Jennings, who originally came to the Vols as a quarterback, was second on the team in 2016 with 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His 40 receptions were tied for second on the team as well.

Report: Deion Sanders opts not to join Florida State staff

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So much for a Primetime renewal in Tallahassee.

Late last month, just prior to Florida State’s Independence Bowl matchup with Southern Miss, speculation surfaced that there was mutual interest in Deion Sanders joining Willie Taggart‘s first FSU staff as defensive backs coach.  During an in-game interview, the College and Pro Football Hall of Famer was asked about the speculation but did little to quash it.

Nearly a month later, that potential reunion has reportedly been quashed.

Sanders, whose NFL career ended in 2005, has never coached at the collegiate level.  He started his own ill-fated charter school in 2012 and coached the football team there, while he served as the offensive coordinator at a private school in Texas this past season.

The former Seminole great currently serves as an analyst for the NFL Network.

Teammates, coaches take to social media to mourn Tyler Hilinski’s death

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As the Washington State family begins to mourn and attempts to process this tragedy, several of Tyler Hilinski‘s teammates and coaches used social media to help sort through the tangled gamut of emotions they’re running through.

Overnight, word surfaced that the redshirt sophomore quarterback had been found dead of what’s believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “He was an incredible young man,” head coach Mike Leach said in a statement, “and everyone who had the privilege of knowing him was better for it.”

On both Twitter and Instagram, heartbroken Cougar football players and coaches dealt with the devastation left in the suicide’s wake.

And this might be the most important message to come out of this tragedy.  Maybe in death, Tyler Hilinski can help someone find the hope and the help they need.

R.I.P young man.