Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

04 Mar 2013

ESPN: Oregon Ducks In Transition

Oregon is one of the nation's hottest programs, but the future of the Ducks lies in the hands of new head coach Mark Helfrich following Chip Kelly's departure. There are only a few recent examples of top programs making a head coaching transition, and very few immediate success stories. We take a closer look at everything Helfrich has going for him in his first season at the helm, and what might derail a national championship run this fall.

Oregon's 25-year Program FEI history is illustrated below:

Posted by: Brian Fremeau on 04 Mar 2013

7 comments, Last at 07 Mar 2013, 5:27pm by Dean


by justanothersteve :: Mon, 03/04/2013 - 10:27pm

Wisconsin did OK with Bret Bielema succeeding Barry Alvarez. Miami did even better going from Schnellenberger to Jimmy Johnson to Dennis Erickson.

by Dean :: Thu, 03/07/2013 - 5:27pm

You're half right.

Miami did great going to Jimmy Johnson, but Erickson won with Jimmy's players and then left the program in shambles.

by Kal :: Tue, 03/05/2013 - 2:08am

And of course Oregon did okay with bellotti succeeding brooks and Kelly taking over for bellotti.

by Gordon Gift (not verified) :: Tue, 03/05/2013 - 11:31am

Hum,so the stats you've calculated mean everything huh? Because Kiffin didn't succeed after Carroll, etc. Bunk. Kiffin's a lousy coach, and like his brother shouldn't be coaching at any level. Stats don't measure anything but that, numbers. They don't measure heart, knowledge, skill or brains, and Mark Helfrich in my opinion has all of these in spades. In fact I believe Kelly was more of a problem that the answer, he had become bigger than the program. Helfrich also has a solid recruiting class, and his program is returning 16 starters from last year. Numbers are great for accountants, but in predicting a college football programs future success. Give me a break.

by Flux (not verified) :: Wed, 03/06/2013 - 12:07am

"In fact I believe Kelly was more of a problem that the answer"

That's awesome. I luled. If the "problem" is being one of handful of teams to perennially contend for the national championship then yes, Kelly's departure will probably "fix" that problem. Not sure Oregon fans will be quite as happy as you are about it, though.

by JohnD (not verified) :: Tue, 03/05/2013 - 12:47pm

Which is more annoying? A spammer posting vague platitudes, or a skeptic rehashing the tired "numbers don't measure intangibles" argument?

by Kal :: Tue, 03/05/2013 - 4:25pm

The latter. At least the spammer's heart is in the right place.

I do expect a step back from Kelly because Kelly appears to be a historically excellent coach. There aren't many college coaches out there who have the kind of record in 4 years that he had, especially given the turnover at fairly important positions like QB. Helfrich is certainly going to have fairly good short term success (similar to what Bellotti had) but may not be as good in the future as he has to adapt.

Then again, one of the big knocks against Kelly and Azzinaro was that they didn't like to recruit. Helf has so far done significantly better in that regard, especially considering the barrier they had.