By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Despite back-to-back 10-6 seasons to start his NFL career (and a chance at first-place in the NFC East through six games in year three), Chip Kelly cannot avoid the “back-to-college” rumor mill.

On Friday,’s Pete Thamel got the ball rolling, writing that “USC has strong interest in Kelly.”

On Tuesday,’s Dennis Dodd writes Kelly is the No. 1 candidate to replace Steve Sarkisian at USC.

“Kelly is the top candidate until he says he isn’t,” Dodd wrote. “If his NFL career devolves into some sort of Spurrier-esque dalliance, then Chipper is a perfect fit. Even if Kelly wins nine games this year, he’d have to at least seriously consider the opportunity.”

Kelly, who was given complete control of all Philadelphia Eagles’ personnel decisions by owner Jeffrey Lurie just this past winter, signed a five-year deal worth $32.5 million ($6.5 million annually) in January of 2013.

Dodd writing Kelly is “the top candidate [at USC] until he isn’t,” is quite speculative. It was like pulling teeth getting Kelly to respond to racial claims by his former player LeSean McCoy, so expecting him to address college rumors is rather ludicrous.

Thanks to Kelly’s 46-7 dominant college record at Oregon, combined with his polarizing style and controversial roster decisions in the NFL, the “back-to-college” rumors seem like they’ll never go away.