This week’s top 10 list subject is college football’s best-kept secrets. Obviously, with the power of the Internet and the increased number of televised games, very few things truly are secrets anymore. But it sounded better to name this list accordingly rather than calling it “the 10 most underrated things.”
1. Chip Kelly, Oregon offensive coordinator: The New Hampshire product came to Eugene one year ago and helped turn Dennis Dixon from a major question mark into a Heisman front-runner. I’d first heard about Kelly from a coaching buddy who raved about him after word surfaced that he was coming to the Pac-10. Kelly, the mastermind behind I-AA power New Hampshire, employs a spread-based system he put together after consulting with, among others, Rich Rodriguez and the Wake Forest staff. (One of LSU assistant Gary Crowton’s best calls might have been his recommending Kelly to Ducks coach Mike Bellotti.) Anyone doubting Kelly’s worth needed only to see how his Ducks, playing with a third-team QB, shredded the vaunted South Florida defense in the Sun Bowl in a 56-21 victory. More impressive was the way Kelly’s offense completely short-circuited USF’s zone blitz package, which many coaches consider the best in the business and which had generated more takeaways than any other school in the country in 2007. Kelly’s new challenge is replacing a backfield that loses Dixon and first-round draft pick RB Jonathan Stewart.