Speculation on college-turned-NFL coaches returning to the college ranks is inevitable.
It's happened for plenty of coaches, from Nick Saban to Jim Harbaugh. And perhaps because the speculation on all of those coaches eventually became truth, it's something Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly has to deal with now.
The former Oregon coach said "no" Thursday when he was asked at a press conference about whether he or his agent had been contacted by USC or another university about a coaching opening.
"I understand that it's going to happen. We're not successful and we're not winning. I came from college. We're going to go back to college," Kelly said of the perception of what his future will hold. "I hope someday to be like (Giants) coach (Tom) Coughlin and win enough games where I stay around long enough where that speculation ends. But I understand you have to ask the question. I answered it the same way a year ago. I answered it the same way my first year here. It's an unfortunate part of the game because the other part of it is there are people that have lost their jobs. A friend of mind, Steve Sarkisian, is dealing with a big issue right now and I wish him the best."
As for whether such talk will become a distraction for his team, Kelly said "our players could care less about it."
That's surely not the first time Kelly will feel the need to make such a statement, particularly if the Eagles' 2-3 start to the season doesn't get turned around. Having once dominated the Pac-12 as Kelly did, it should come as no surprise if rumors persist.