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Jim Mora stays at UCLA, Marcus Mariota returns to Oregon

The Pac-12 soap opera continues.

Steve Dykes

With a wide open coaching vacancy, it made plenty of sense for the Huskies to contact Jim Mora. Mora had once pined on the radio for the Washington Huskies job back when he was in the NFL, and as a faithful alum has always bled Husky purple.

But that was before he made his way to UCLA. And now that he has the Bruins on the verge of doing something special, he's staying put in Westwood.

Washington will continue to pursue a host of talented coaches. Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (offensive coordinator for three years at Washington before migrating to the Tide) and Justin Wilcox seem to be two candidates in the mix, and there are whispers of Chris Petersen showing a modicum of interest (although it's hard to believe that after all the Pac-12 schools he's turned down, he'll end up in Seattle of all places).

Meanwhile, thanks to Marcus Mariota for ruining my faint dreams of a big Cal upset in Levi's Stadium next year. Mariota has announced he is returning for what will presumably be his final season at Oregon.

Mariota had Oregon on track for a national title bid this year. But he got hurt near the end of October, he was no longer a run threat, and the Ducks offense was never the same.

Regardless of his struggles down the stretch this season, Mariota has savaged Cal in dry weather and made the most of a sloppy situation at Autzen this year. The Bears have a tall order ahead of them next season.

Cal will play UCLA at home next season and Oregon in Santa Clara.