Done Deal!

by Ben Goldfarb on January 1, 2014

in Penn State Football

Get used to saying “former Penn State head football coach Bill O’Brien” because that’s what he is. Former head football coach.

Now that the speculation about the “whether” has abruptly subsided, we now must speculate on the “why”.

We know that BoB wanted to be an NFL head coach, and that he was driven to get there. At the same time, he felt loyalty to the kids in the football program at Penn State. He had to be torn.

Here was an opportunity to coach in the nation’s fourth largest city, an additional benefit, where he and his family could find everything they need and then some.

This piece by the much hated David Jones of the Patriot-News might provide some clues. (Those of you who have sworn to never read anything Jones writes might want to change your policy long enough to read it and take it for what it’s worth.)

I can certainly see the Paternoists driving O’Brien up a wall, and I can also see Joyner and Company doing the same.

If O’Brien hadn’t gone this year, his stock would fall in the eyes of both competing entities, the NFL and Penn State. My feeling was that last year he tested the water, but this year it was do or die. Just my opinion, folks, but mine’s as good as anyone’s except O’Brien’s.

So, as the proverbial smoke clears, please add your thoughts on why he left and what might be the best path forward, for better or worse.

K. John January 1, 2014 at 10:53 am

Well, it looks like I was wrong, again. At least 2013 is over. I was wrong quite a bit. Time to move on. Next man up. The question is who is the next man. My money is on James Franklin, Al Golden or Mike Munchak though it wouldn’t shock me if they pulled one out of left field. Either way, the job is very attractive but they have to strike while the iron is hot.

The Nittany Turkey January 1, 2014 at 11:06 am

It would be an attractive job if it weren’t for a couple of factors that cannot be ignored.

The forthcoming flux in Old Main is a big one. Who will want to work in a situation where his boss(es) will change within six months or so? On the other hand, who would want to start coaching sometime around or after the Blue-White game? However, to wait that long to hire someone means a rudderless ship for half a year, right through National Signing Day and beyond — devastating to the recruiting effort, which is already in bad enough shape with prospects’ uncertainty over O’Brien leaving.

That combination of facts tells me that there’s almost certainly going to have to be an interim appointment, as Big Al proposed. Hell, Dr. Joyner is in a pickle here. O’Brien is likely to take most of his staff with him. If Schiano balks at Penn State’s overtures, which he should, if he is in his right mind, the guy who in my mind would be the logical choice for interim head coach would be Larry Johnson, who one would have to believe that O’Brien would have no interest in taking and who himself would have no interest in going. (Just thinking out my ass here.) He’d provide a transition and he would keep the waters smooth in a time of turmoil, kind of like an old, well broken-in pair of shoes. He would have to take the reins for an entire year, though.


The Nittany Turkey January 1, 2014 at 11:12 am

Shit, I just read Flounders’ column and he proposed the same damn thing.

This might be the first and last time Bob and I ever thought alike.


K. John January 1, 2014 at 10:58 am

Greg Roman is getting a lot of talk but someone like Pat Narduzzi makes a lot sense.

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