(Rhymes with “Congratulations, Urban Meyer!”)
I was just going to write a quick Urban Meyer blurb, but then my pre-dysfunctional Thanksgiving mood swing got in the way. Instead, I’ll ramble on about Meyer, Bradley, and Penn State coaching situation, but I’ll stop short of the Wisconsin preview, which I’ll be writing while the rest of you are happily guzzling wine and ravenously devouring my avian cousins.
Urban Meyer will coach the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Columbus Post-Dispatch reports.
With Meyer having gone to OSU and Rich Rodriguez having gone to New Mexico, there are no remaining high-profile head coaches available for Penn State, which at present has the only high-profile opening that is fact and not just rumor. Not that any Penn State fans would have wanted Rodriguez, anyway.
Don’t lament about missing an opportunity to get this much hyped coach, Nittany Lions fans. Meyer is a good coach, but he’s not magic. Many of the players on his championship teams were recruited by Ron Zook. Furthermore, why risk getting a guy who thought he had heart issues and needed to spend time with his family, but who a year later thinks everything is hunky-dory. Meyer left behind a Florida team that struggled this year; hell, last week, they barely beat Furman. Any hint of defense in that game was roundly denied by my local Gator/Buckeye pundit, Chrysanne. But I digress. The Nittany Lions are better off with Scrap.
I wonder what kind of a deal Meyer got at OSU. They sucked him up off the market that he didn’t even announce being in pretty quick, so it must have been sweeeeeeet. While that’s between him and Gordon Gee as far as I’m concerned, the ultimate effect will be to increase the starting point for salary package negotiations with whomever is selected as the Nittany Lions’ new head coach. Undoubtedly, there will be a huge gap between what Paterno’s final salary was and the dickering point, which just grew larger.
To those of you who are putting together a petition to the Board of Trustees saying in essence, “We Want Scrap!”, you’re wasting your time. The petition reads something like, “We know that the Board of Trustees favors cleaning out the football program from top to bottom, but…” Well, first of all, I don’t think that they really want to get rid of the entire staff, secretaries and all. They do want to get rid of the Paterno influence, even though I think that he is being scapegoated for the whole Sandusky affair. You can probably count on Scrap, Jay, Galen, and Dick biting the dust. Hell, in a move for a wave of public support, an appeasement move to unfray raw nerves, the powers that are might even want to elevate Larry Johnson to head coach and save some money. On the other hand, big money is the game, and they want someone who has successfully run a big-money program, so as to have no fall-off from the Joe Paterno Money Machine. That’s not Scrap, either. He’s a plant superintendent, not an executive. Penn State will
want need an executive with fund raising and marketing skills. Other institutions are in the same boat. That’s probably why Scrap didn’t get any offers when he put himself on the block last winter.
There’s an age old conundrum: how does a guy get the experience if he’d not given the opportunity to get it. Well, Scrap might well get it, but it will be a lesser institution that offers him the opportunity. Penn State is not about to take a chance on putting him into the “earn while you learn” program. To the Board of Trustees, this position is not so much about coaching football as being the CEO of a $50 million per year business and being a good football coach, besides.
(Hmmm… why did Bradley suddenly start looking in earnest for jobs after last season? Could Joe have said something like, “Tom, this Sandusky thing is about to blow sky high and it would do your ass good to start looking now, as none of us are going to be around here much longer.”? Whattya think?)
Bill Cowher ain’t going to get the job. Those of you who are thinking that way are probably Steelers fans who couldn’t get enough of the old face-spitter. I think Cowher will wind up coaching again but it will be in the NFL.
Al Golden is probably wishful thinking, too. Repatriating an old Penn Stater would be great fun, for sure. It seems like a natural, given the situation he walked into at Miami. But I don’t think he’d bail out after a year. If he does, he’s not showing much strength, is he?
This is my writing therapy prior to another dysfunctional Thanksgiving. It is true that most turkeys should go into hiding around this time of the year, because when we stick our necks out, we wind up getting our heads chopped off. Pre-Thanksgiving is much like PMS: we all get cranky and depressed; however, that is just annual melodrama for a wizened old Turkey who keeps his head down and the keyboard humming. When I next look up, if I look up,Thanksgiving will be over for another year. The Nittany Turkey will have survived another dysfunctional Thanksgiving, I hope.
That all having been said, it is my hope and the hope of the entire Nittany Turkey staff (which is me and my alternate personalities) that you all have a very peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving! Think of this Turkey as you are dismembering one of my unfortunate brethren and dousing him with gravy. See you on the other side, wherever that may be.
And I’ll be most assuredly spending part of my dysfunctional Thanksgiving laying low and writing a preview and prediction for the huge season finale with Wisconsin, just so’s ya know.