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Pac-12: Only the NCAA can derail Ducks now

Published January 7, 2013 5:26 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Oregon's football coaching succession plan is in place. The question is whether the Ducks will need it anytime soon.

For the second year in a row, coach Chip Kelly appeared headed to the NFL, only to turn down such an opportunity and stay in Eugene. By all accounts, offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich is line to replace Kelly, but their positions remain unchanged for now.

That's bad news for the rest of the Pac-12, with opponents holding onto hope that Kelly's departure might derail the Ducks, who have played in four consecutive BCS bowls. Now, the NCAA's investigation of the program creates the only possibility that Oregon will lose any of its foothold.

The Ducks will host Utah in 2013, as the Pac-12's scheduling rotation brings those teams together for the first time as conference rivals.