1. Jonathan Smith, Oregon State head coach
I’ve heard this mentioned from some knowledgeable college football sources that if UCLA does end up firing Chip Kelly, Jonathan Smith is going to be the Bruins’ top option.
That both surprises me and doesn’t shock me one bit.
Going after a guy who has had a ton of success over the past couple of years in your conference at a less prestigious program is a smart move. But going after a coach who is leading his alma mater to relevance seems like a stretch. There would have to be some sort of mega-deal in place to get Smith to leave his alma mater.
It’s possible that Smith could feel the pressure to join the Bruins because Oregon State doesn’t really have a set future with the Pac-12 fading away. UCLA would be a good fit.
Smith is a winner who was born in Pasadena so there is a connection to UCLA there. And after three disappointing seasons to start his Oregon State career, Smith has led the Beavers to an 18-5 record over the past two seasons.
This would be a home run hire for UCLA.