Ohio State football: Three candidates for offensive coordinator if Bill O'Brien leaves

The Ohio State football program may have to find another OC before the one they hired even steps out on the field. If they do, here are three candidates for the position.

Nov 25, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly watches from the
Nov 25, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly watches from the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Ohio State football program hired Bill O'Brien to be the offensive coordinator for next season. Ryan Day made the hire just a couple of weeks ago after searching for candidates. While some Ohio State football fans were lukewarm on the hire, others seem to think it's a great fit.

We may never get to find out. There is a report that O'Brien will take the Boston College head coaching job that was vacated by ex-Buckeye coach Jeff Hafley. If that does happen, then the Buckeyes are suddenly in need of an offensive coordinator very late in the hiring cycle.

There are three candidates to take over the job if this does indeed happen. Nothing is official yet, but things are trending in that direction. The first person who could be a candidate is someone who knows Ryan Day very well.

1. Chip Kelly

Day got his start in college football by playing for Chip Kelly at New Hampshire. Kelly was Day's offensive coordinator while he was the starting quarterback. Day has talked about how much he learned about football from Chip and would certainly love to have him on his staff.

But Kelly is the head coach of a rival Big Ten school. Why would he demote himself to offensive coordinator? There are two main reasons. The first is that Kelly is on the hot seat at UCLA already. A lot of fans want him gone and this could be his last year with the Bruins anyway.

Secondly, Kelly is clearly interested in a return to the NFL. If he can work for the Buckeyes for a year and turn Will Howard into a first or second-round draft pick, an NFL team very well could hire him as an offensive coordinator. He doesn't have a good enough QB at UCLA for him to do that.

I think adding Kelly would be a long shot but not impossible for the Ohio State football program. He and Day are still close, so that relationship could work to Day's advantage. The NFL is the main obstacle though. He may make the jump to the league now.

The second candidate is someone who coordinated one of the best college football offenses of all time.


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