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The Suburbanite
  • Chip Kelly flashback: Tressel came out on top in 2010 Rose Bowl

  • Ohio State’s Jim Tressel had Chip Kelly’s number one fine day in Pasadena. Now, it seems, everyone in the National Football League has Kelly’s number. He will have a chance to explain the Rose Bowl and his other infrequent losses in interviews with the Browns and others.

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  • Jim Tressel’s offense at Ohio State was perceived as too primitive for him to emerge in any discussions of NFL head coaching vacancies the last two winters.
    Chip Kelly is the hottest college prospect on the NFL horizon, with Browns fans itching to see what will come of his interview today with owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner.
    Yet, Tressel’s Ohio State team beat Kelly’s Oregon Ducks 26-17 in the 2010 Rose Bowl, the only time their teams collided.
    Kelly has had plenty of chances to erase the memory of that loss. He since has lost only four times in three seasons heading into Thursday night’s Fiesta Bowl.
    The losses:
    • 22-19 to Auburn in the 2010 season’s national championship game.
    • 40-27 to LSU in a 2011 season opener.
    • 38-35 to USC in the 2011 regular season.
    • 17-14 in overtime to Stanford on Nov. 17.
    As for that Rose Bowl loss, Terrelle Pryor, then an Ohio State sophomore, impressed Kelly, who after the game said:
    “At times tonight, he looked like a man amongst boys. He’s a lot bigger, stronger and more physical. He looks like a defensive lineman.
    “He’s an impressive player when you see him up close. He certainly beat us on how he threw the ball.”
    Oregon went into the game averaging 424.7 yards a game. Ohio State outgained the Ducks 416-260. Tressel’s team led in first downs 26-12.
    Pryor, who was in his second year with the Oakland Raiders in 2012, could be a man to watch if Kelly winds up unsatisfied with the quarterback situation on an NFL team he might join.
    The Browns, Bills and Eagles were among teams scheduled to interview Kelly this weekend in the wake of the Fiesta Bowl. His calling card, blowout wins based on innovative offense, has made him a hot commodity.
    His team opened the 2012 season against Arkansas State, the team that is playing Kent State in a bowl game Sunday. Oregon led 48-3 at one point, called off the dogs, and won 57-34.
    The Ducks could strike like piranha. Their halftime leads included 35-6 over Fresno State, 35-7 over Tennessee Tech, 35-7 over Washington, 43-7 over Arizona State, 56-0 over Colorado.
    They could play pinball all day against opponents that were threats. Against USC, they put up quarters of 14, 20, 14 and 14 in a 62-51 win. At Cal, they went 14, 10, 14, 21 in a 59-17 victory. At Oregon State, the quarter outputs were 6, 14, 14 and 14 in a 48-24 romp.
    There was evidence of strong halftime adjustments. They led Arizona just 13-0 at halftime, then outscored the Wildcats 36-0 in the second half. They led Washington State just 23-19 at halftime, then scored 21 points in the third quarter of a 51-26 win.
    Page 2 of 2 - The pimple on the pretty face of Kelly’s 2012 offense was a 17-14 home loss to Stanford on Nov. 24. It kept Oregon out of the national title game.
    EXTRA POINTS
    • It remains to be seen whether the Browns interviewed Ken Whisenhunt simply because they were in the neighborhood to get in line for Chip Kelly.
    Whisenhunt nearly won a Super Bowl at the end of the 2008 season but was fired by the Cardinals after a 4-12 year. He was 4-0, including a win over New England, before quarterback Kevin Kolb got hurt.
    A former Browns assistant coach and Steelers offensive coordinator, Whisenhunt interviewed for the Cleveland job Wednesday.
    A post about him can be found on the Fresh Brownies blog on cantonrep.com.
    • Joe Banner landed the only NFL job he had 17 years before becoming CEO of the Browns based on a friendship with Eagles owner Jeff Lurie.
    The status of the relationship will be tested if both Banner and Lurie wind up chasing Chip Kelly as their No. 1 head coaching candidate.