Photo courtesy of Oregon athletics
“Checks over stripes..that’s what I like…that’s what we like.”
Oregon fans everywhere are hoping that head coach Mario Cristobal and Drake are singing to the same tune. Cristobal has Oregon absolutely rolling. The Ducks are coming off of their first win against Ohio State in 10 tries.
The last time Oregon was on that stage, the talent gap was clear and it looked like the Ducks just didn’t have the strength up front.
Cristobal has flipped that on its head. Oregon isn’t the flashy, undersized score-70-points-per-game-while-allowing-68 team that it once was. Instead, the Ducks are bigger than you, stronger than you, and they’re here to bring home the ever-so-elusive national championship.
Is there rain finally coming to Autzen, though? USC has already fired head coach Clay Helton and media pundits were quick to try and peg Cristobal as a potential replacement. Miami and LSU may make some coaching changes and if you look through Twitter long enough, his name will come up for both teams.
It’s no secret where Cristobal comes from. He’s a Cuban-American, who grew up cheering for and eventually playing for the Miami Hurricanes. Could that be Cristobal’s “Dream Job” that culminates in him leaving for the same reason Willie Taggart did? Possibly.
Cristobal has also brought an “SEC-style philosophy” out west. If the LSU job were to open up — one of the premier jobs in college football — you can bet that the Tigers will make the call.
Could the stellar recruiter head south for the fall to rich recruiting grounds and a program with prestigious history to sell recruits on? It could happen.
The Legacy Factor
What are the odds that he actually leaves, though? After all, Cristobal has an unlimited budget, weak competition, and a chance to make history in Eugene.
Obviously, being a football coach in the Southeast or Los Angeles is going to make your name a little more well known to the average fan. However, if you think about this for a second, what would bringing Oregon its first national championship do for a coach’s legacy? Chip Kelly was an innovator for the entire game of football and failed to do just that.
What if he made Oregon an annual championship contender? Could his name be among the legends of this game? Could his name be brought up with the Nick Sabans of the world?
Cristobal is a tenacious competitor and it’s not hard to believe that one of his goals would be to be mentioned among the best ever.
There are obvious questions about Cristobal’s future in Eugene, but as long as those guys in Tuscaloosa don’t come calling, there is reason to believe that Cristobal will be at Oregon for the remainder of his career. He loves this program, he’s building it his way, and he’s got everything he could possibly need to contend for future championships.
Here’s a little added kicker: “Happy wife, happy life” is how the saying goes, isn’t it? Jessica Cristobal has absolutely fallen in love with Eugene.
There’s a good chance they call this place home for a very long time.