DALLAS - Is everyone ready to welcome Penn State's offense into the 21st century?
Twelve years after the fact.
In case you haven't noticed, most of the candidates mentioned so far as leading contenders for the PSU job have been offensive-minded guys: Greg Roman (49ers) and Bill O'Brien (Patriots) are offensive coordinators; Tom Clements (Packers) is a quarterbacks coach; and Mike Munchak (Titans) was a star offensive lineman.
Regardless of who is named the next head coach, he almost certainly will implement an offensive system that is light years more creative and takes more risks than the boring, predictable schemes the Nittany Lions have employed in recent years under Joe Paterno.
Fullback dive for 2 yards.
Tailback up the gut for 4 yards.
Screen pass for 3 yards.
Punt on fourth-and-1 and rely way too heavily on the defense to win an ugly, low-scoring game.
Sure, it worked in the 1987 Fiesta Bowl against Miami (14-10), which is what every old-school PSU fan will argue.
But that was 25 years ago.
College football isn't the same sport anymore, and even teams with great defenses like LSU and Alabama also have very good offenses (except for when they play head to head and the defenses cancel each other out).
OK, the Nittany Lions - some will argue - had one of the greatest offenses in college football history in 1994 with Kerry Collins.
That was 18 years ago, though, and the school hasn't produced an NFL starting quarterback since.
Penn State's new coach undoubtedly will have more than one trick play up his sleeve - the reverse to a receiver that goes nowhere - and hopefully will realize that a complex, multi-faceted, aggressive offense is necessary and more suited to today's game.
Yes, even in the Big Ten, where Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan play exciting, diverse brands of offense that energize fans and entice recruits to want to come there.
It was thrilling watching what Houston's offense accomplished in Monday's 30-14 victory over PSU in the TicketCity Bowl, with quarterback Case Keenum throwing for 532 yards on 69 attempts.
Who needs balance?
No, I'm not suggesting implementing some crazy offense like the Cougars use, but surely there's a middle ground between that and what Penn State has been doing that would create a more entertaining style of football.
As I wrote last week, there are some outstanding coaches on the Penn State staff, guys like Tom Bradley, Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden.
All are defensive coaches.
There also has been a lot of dead weight on the staff for a long time - pretty much all on the offensive side - and the coaching turnover should be a great example of addition by subtraction.
Jay Paterno is not a good quarterbacks coach and never should have had the position in the first place. The only reason he had that lucrative job, instead of more of an underling position, is his last name.
JayPa will be gone, hopefully replaced by someone who actually had some success playing the position and who can point to a resume of developing quarterbacks. Jay may have helped develop Daryll Clark and will try to take (undeserved) credit for Michael Robinson, but the utter disaster that has become Rob Bolden falls on his shoulders as much as anyone.
Offensive coordinator Galen Hall is a good man who has a world of football knowledge from a coaching career that spans 48 years. But he's past his prime, doesn't even have to recruit any longer and has been saddled by an absurd, inefficient, ineffective playcalling system in which he shares duties with Jay Paterno.
That ridiculous setup will be a thing of the past under the new coach.
I've written several times over the years that Dick Anderson and Bill Kenney should have been fired for their poor development of the offensive line, which every year is the team's biggest concern. Read the countless analyses of NFL scouts criticizing the technique of so many PSU linemen at draft time the past few years for proof that what Anderson and Kenney have been teaching just doesn't cut it.
They'll be gone.
The combination of a new head coach who hopefully understands how to build a successful offense and new assistant coaches who are more in touch with modern offensive philosophies is intriguing, to say the least.
Joe Paterno built the program on the foundation of having a great defense. That doesn't have to change.
However, If Penn State wants to get to and win Rose Bowls or contend for national titles, it will have to be able to outscore elite teams from time to time. Just look at Wisconsin, which destroyed the Lions, 45-7, but couldn't keep up with Oregon in the Rose Bowl (45-38 loss).
Defense still helps win championships, but for those of us who love watching offense, it's exciting to think about the changes potentially in store for the PSU program.
If the next coach never runs a fullback dive on first down, it will be a big step in the right direction.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. Reach him at 949-7031 or @CoryGiger on Twitter.