Layin’ some odds

by Ben Goldfarb on December 30, 2013

in Penn State Football

No, this has nothing to do with promiscuous gay sex. I wanted to have a little fun of another kind: handicapping the O’Brien thing. I feel that I must do this before anyone knows anything about whether he will be staying or leaving, or I’ll have missed the opportunity. (OMG OMG I used future perfect in that sentence. Ay should of ritten: “…whether he stays or goes or I miss the opportunity” — who NEEDS tenses if you’re a sportswriter? But I digress.)

Let us begin with your handicappin’ turkey’s odds on O’Brien leaving: 4-5. Yeah, I’m saying he’s an odds-on favorite to bolt to greener pastures.

Now, let’s assume that’s a done deal. Let’s chalk up the odds on various replacements:

James Franklin: 12-1. The current man of the hour who turned Vandy around. Has Pennsylvania ties. But will Texas get him first?

Greg Schiano: 20-1. Yeah, I’m saying he’s a longshot and he is, no matter what Ian Rapoport of NFL Game Day says, to wit: “Penn State is preparing to lose Bill O’Brien. Their AD is ready to make a strong push for coach Greg Schiano.” Why? Why? I ask you? OMFG WHY? But, if true, we all know that Joyner has a few loose screws, thus putting Schiano in the realm of possibility.

Mike Munchak: 25-1. If the Titans do in fact can him and no one else in the NFL wants him, he might be desperate enough, but why would Penn State hire him? To appease the weenies who want “Penn State ties”? Nahhh, even Munchak doesn’t believe that he has those anymore.

Al Golden: 35-1. Safe and secure where he is. Why would he want it?

Tom Bradley: 99-1. Git outta here! This would be the worst possible move, although it would make Paternoists and those who believe we’re still in the 1980s very happy, indeed.

Jay Paterno: 9.9999 x 1023 -1. Not even the Paternoists want Jay.

Bill Cowher: 80-1. He’s always mentioned whenever the PSU coaching job comes up, so I thought I’d mention him.

Jon Gruden: 45-1. If we’re looking for another guy who would leave for greener pastures in two years, here’s your guy. Would probably jump at the Notre Dame job were it to come up, but no great affinity on either side with respect to the PSU job. Would be a controversial hire, particularly for the namby-pamby, girlie types who want a polite, soft-spoken man who doesn’t yell at Tom Brady, for example.

John Butler: 2-1. OK, JUST KIDDING!!!! I wanted to see if you were awake.

Field: 8-5. I think you’re safe betting the field here. Did anyone expect O’Brien to be hired? Nahhhh. Well, we have two questions here: 1) who wants the damn job? and 2) who is available?, not necessarily in that order. You can’t just hire someone because you want him. It’s not good to hold a gun to a guy’s head to make him coach. Face it — the days when the Penn State head coaching job was an attractive situation are gone for a while. Someone will have to be extremely ambitious, extremely desperate, or extremely crazy to consider moving his family to the middle of nowhere and coaching not only with a dark cloud hanging over him due to the Sandusky Scandal sequellae, but also an uncertain situation at Old Main, with Erickson leaving next year. Thus, I am saying that the next coach will probably be someone you’ve barely heard of if even at all, and chances are, he (or she) will have no Penn State ties.

Wanna bet?


K. John December 30, 2013 at 7:08 pm

Right now, I think he is staying. I might be wrong but we’ll have to see and while there isn’t a lot to go on, the evidence he is staying significantly outweighs the complete lack of evidence that he is going. Media speculation does not count as evidence in my book.

The Nittany Turkey December 31, 2013 at 12:10 am

That’s a completely valid position. He’s staying unless, of course, he’s leaving.


BigAl December 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm

How about Ron VanDerLinden. He’s available, has previous head coaching experience and is a former Penn Stater (sort of). Plus, it would be a great way to give BOB the figurative finger on the way out.

Seriously, I almost wish they would hire an interim head coach, and let the new AD and President choose the next permanent coach. My biggest fear is that whoever they hire now won’t be able to get along with the new administration (with Peetz running the clown circus the next Prexy is almost certain to be an asshole) and we’ll be repeating this fiasco in December 2015.

The Nittany Turkey December 31, 2013 at 12:21 am

Why not go for broke and get Sandusky on the work-release program? He could hire Lavon Chisley as his defensive coordinator. Bring Jackie Sherrill out of retirement to be the morale coach. Then you’re flipping off just about everybody, including the law and some poor former Texas bull.

On the whole, though, I like your idea about hiring an interim guy until the Old Main changes are made. It makes sense on a lot of levels, and it doesn’t put the cart before the horse. If Penn State isn’t a football dominated institution, then why would it hire a head football coach before the imminent hire of a new prexy and AD, and ass-ume that the new administrators would automatically be happy about a department head in control of so much money that they had no hand in hiring? There’s a chance, albeit remote, that the new administration would fire the coach before the season even started. At the very least, it’s a crap shoot for the coach.

I’m thinking that the sanctions, the potential for crappy performance on the field, especially with recruits being scared away if “man of his word” BoB goes south, and the flux at Old Main, a talented, up-and-coming head coach would have to look at PSU with a jaundiced eye.

At the risk of repeating myself, why the hell would anyone want to take this job with the Sword of Damocles hanging over them?


The Nittany Turkey December 31, 2013 at 12:54 pm

How about LJ, Sr. as interim head coach, as long as I’m making out-of-my-ass suggestions. He could retire as head coach when the new broom sweeps clean.


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