My view on the hiring of Bill O'Brien: Penn State wanted to avoid the inevitable "what did you know" questions about the Sandusky crisis if they hired Tom Bradley or anyone in house.
Given that, O'Brien's lack of Penn State ties were likely the goal of the athletic director and trustees, not a oversight.
Penn State could have had Mike Munchak if it moved two or three years ago, not due to the Sandusky issue. Joe wanting to stay into his mid-80s ruined that situation.
Looking forward: I agree 100 percent that O'Brien would be smart to hire some PSU alumni (Darren Perry, for example) as his key assistants. I would love him to keep Bradley, Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden, but that may be a bad public-relations issue. They deserve to be kept and would shore up in-state recruiting ties. It's not like Joe was doing a lot of that anyway.
O'Brien's NFL ties will be a plus for a while, unless he doesn't win in two-three years. Remember Charlie Weis?
Does Tom Clements get a high profile job or not? If so, that may look like they picked the wrong guy.
As for becoming an NFL head coach, I think the guy who replaces Belichick in New England would be under infinitely more pressure than the guy who replaces Paterno at PSU. I don't think the university has any control over that one way or the other. It's not so bad to have had the hot guy for awhile that others covet. Means he won while he was here.
I give this hire a B and it could become a B+ if the defensive staff is kept. I think Penn State just did not have a lot of leverage right now, but if O'Brien wins, then obviously it is an A.
We need 24-36 months to really know that.
Not PSU fan, and not overly optimistic
First let me clearly state that I am not and never will be a Penn State football fan. But I am a huge sports fan.
Penn State was going to be hard pressed to find a big name (Nick Saban or Pat Fitzgerald) to take the risk of taking over a position after arguably the best college football coach of all time.
The pressure that would bring would be insurmountable and would ruin any reputation a coach would have coming into the job.
PSU fans are notoriously blinded by the love for the program, and it makes for some really smart people say really stupid things.
I think the direction taking in hiring Bill O'Brien makes sense. Penn State needed to fire everyone involved with the program mainly to wash their hands completely of the Sandusky situation.
And then they need to be patient with O'Brien.
Look at Notre Dame. Ever since Lou Holtz retired, they have not given a coach long enough to establish himself.
Coaches just don't get enough time in college football. You have to give a guy at least five or six years to allow all the old recruits to filter out and have the entire team filled with your own guys who have been working and living in a new coach's program for more than a year or two.
It's going to be a long time until Penn State football is relevant again, if it ever is. Today's recruits are worse than ever when it comes to ego, but a younger coach has a chance to rebuild the program.
So good luck, PSU fans. I hope the program hits a home run with its first hire in six decades.
I just don't see it working out right away, and we non-PSU fans will be hearing this conversation all over again in about five years.
Disappointed in Joyner
Like most people, I know nothing about Bill O'Brien.
Don't know whether he would be a good hire or not. The one question I keep asking myself is why anyone would take this job without knowing who their boss is going to be.
By all accounts, Dave Joyner is just an interim AD. When was the search for a new AD going to start? I guess Tim Curley may have the right to return to his old job if the judicial process works in his favor, but how tough is that going to be for him?
One thing for sure is that Joyner has already proven that he is not a capable AD. But then again, how do we know or not know that a deal hasn't already been made with Joyner to become the permanent AD? That good, old boy Board of Trustees is pretty secretive.
When we all now get a chance to see just how incompetent this board, then perhaps it becomes easier to understand why Joe Paterno never got along with them.
Still I just can't fathom how anyone, in any business, would accept a position without knowing who they are going to report to from the beginning.
Perhaps the Board of Trustees just told the candidates not to worry about who the AD would be since they were now in charge and running the show.
Now that Joe Paterno is not running the show.