Oregon's Chip Kelly tips visor to intrastate rivals

Fri, Aug 12

It's difficult to imagine most major college football coaches showing any sort of reverence for their most hated foes.

Rivalries are too intense. Recruiting battles are too fierce. Ill feelings run too deep between fan bases -- and the coaches themselves in many cases -- to pass compliments across battle lines.

But that's not necessarily the case in the Pac-12, where there's a sense of fraternity among the coaches that simply doesn't seem to exist in other major conferences. One example of that was provided by Oregon coach Chip Kelly, whom Page 2 interviewed during his recent visit to ESPN headquarters.

We polled Kelly and his fellow Pac-12 head coaches on a number of questions ranging from which school has the most attractive cheerleaders to which coach is the best dressed for an upcoming Page 2 questionnaire. Here are two of Kelly's responses, where he gave props to Civil War rival Oregon State.

Page 2: Which opposing player are you most glad you no longer have to face?

Kelly: I always liked Jacquizz Rodgers. I'm a big fan of his. But it's not that we don't have to face him. We enjoyed the challenge. He always came to play. I'll miss competing against 'Quizz.

Page 2: Not counting your school, which Pac-12 university has the best mascot?

Kelly: Oh, ours is the best. ... That's a tough one. I like Benny Beaver.

Maybe Kelly isn't exactly shouting praise for Oregon State from the rooftops. Still, we confidently predict that a team of superhuman cyborgs will deliver the Chicago Cubs a world championship before you'll ever hear an SEC coach laud a rival to that degree.

[Editor's note: Page 2 interviewed all the Pac-12 head football coaches during their recent visit to ESPN headquarters. Look for excerpts all month in the Page 2 blog. Page 2's Pac-12 questionnaire -- where coaches voted on the most attractive cheerleaders, best mascot, most dapper coach and much more -- will be posted Thursday, Aug. 25, along with Q&A interviews with all 12 coaches.]