College Football Analysis: How Tough is Bill O'Brien's New Job?


On Tuesday I wrote a story for Bleacher Report about why Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien may have it worst among all new head coaches this season (this story will be featured in Bleacher Report's Wednesday email newsletter to Penn State fans - subscribe!).

Think about it for a second and let me know what you think with a comment on the original story (or here if you are so inclined). Of all of the new head coaches this fall, O'Brien is the only one making the transition from the NFL with no prior head coaching experience, and he is doing so at a university that is financially sound and committed to winning football games. He also inherits a program with a huge shadow looming over it due to circumstances beyond almost every one's control at this point. He also takes the job in the same year Ohio State makes a big splash with hiring Urban Meyer.

Does O'Brien have it worse than Mike Leach, Bob Davie, Kevin Sumlin and others? I think so, but that does not mean I do not think he can succeed in State College. I like everything he has done to this point. All that is left now is to win some football games in the fall.

Our pals from Victory Bell Rings talk about Penn State looking to open up a linebacker pipeline in New Jersey.

David Jones, from The Patriot News, talks about how Wisconsin's transfer of Danny O'Brien is no Russell Wilson. Of course he is not, they are two different style players. But O'Brien may be a more typical drop back passer, and that can make Wisconsin just as dangerous this fall.

In Scores of Other Games...

Yesterday we mentioned how Michigan is already looking to jump on scheduling a Pac 12 opponent. Now it appears that the Wolverines may be locking up Utah for a home-and-home. Also, the Wolverines are bringing three uniform numbers out of retirement, including the No. 48 once worn by President Gerald Ford. For those wondering, Penn State does not have any retired numbers, although some uniform numbers are seen as legendary numbers that are an honor to wear. As far as I know, there is nothing official about that though.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has already gotten in to some trouble for his color-coding system of discipline, but you have to like the way he singles out a pair of recently suspended players, right?

Brian Bennet of's Big Ten blog take s a look at recruiting costs in the conference. Penn State and Northwestern was not available. So much for openness, amirite?

Michigan State coaches are saying there is enough room in the state for both Michigan and Michigan State. Forget you Central, Western and Eastern Michigan!

Wisconsin fans are giddy that Camp Randall Stadium was named the ninth best football stadium in the country. But any list that names a high school stadium number one should automatically discredit any such list. That's Reader's Digest for you...

Jerry Sandusky Trial Updates

Day two of the Jerry Sandusky trial was, as expected, just as mortifying as day one once testimony started up. On Tuesday jurors heard from two more witnesses. The first was Victim 1, as named in the grand jury presentment. Now 18-years old, the alleged victim of sexual abuse struggled to maintain his composure on the stand, breaking down in tears as he testified as he recalled sleepovers said to have taken place in the basement bedroom of the Sandusky household.

It was also the day we heard, once again, the story of former Penn State quarterback-turned assistant coach Mike McQueary. Now on the reocrd in a legal setting, McQueary testified that he walked in to the Lasch Football Building to what he described as a "skin-on-skin smacking sound," and through a mirror he could see Sandusky standing behind a boy "propped up against a wall." The story was similar to what McQueary has always said, but the defense will hope to hang on the fact that the key eye witness could not say with "1,000 percent" certainty he was convinced Sandusky "was having sex with" the boy. McQueary testified that once he saw what he did he then slammed his locker shut loud enough so Sandusky could hear that they were not alone. The former assistant coach also testified that he was under the impression that school administrator Gary Schultz was the police, and in reporting the incident to Schultz he had done the legally correct thing to do.

Of course, the images are no less disturbing, but legally speaking it is what the defense was looking for yesterday out of McQueary.

Here is the official story from the Associated Press on Tuesday's developments. When you have the opportunity, though, be sure to read through Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel's post from Tuesday, in which he highlights the McQueary reputation restoration process.

Schultz is now reported to have kept a secret file on Sandusky and sexual abuse. According to a CBS report out of Pittsburgh, the commonwealth only recently become informed of the secret file, which was maintained by Schultz. Also according to the report, the information in the file is inconsistent with statements previously made by Schultz and Tim Curley.

On day one of the trial the testimony from Victim 4 shared a story in which Sandusky allowed the victim to take a jersey out of the locker of former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington and wear it. Upon hearing this news Arrington tweeted he was disturbed by the development. Arrington, in his column on the Washington Post's website, apologized publicly to Victim 4, saying he wishes he had paid closer attention to Sandusky and his actions.

Follow Nittany Lion's Den on TwitterFacebook and Google+.

Related Content

The Runner's High Podcast for May 8

Big East: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Cup of Joe [5.4.2012] - Men's volleyball title hopes ended

The Runner's High Podcast for May 1

At Penn State quarterbacks get in legal trouble for stealing a bottle of Gatorade

Seven dream non-conference opponents for Penn State

Bill O'Brien talks to 6 ABC on Penn State Caravan

Video: Bill O'Brien and Pat Chambers joint press conference on PSU Caravan

Video: Adam Taliaferro reacts to the Penn State Caravan

Video: Penn State's Pat Chambers meets with media on PSU Caravan

Bill O'Brien makes first stop on PSU Caravan

Penn State's Derek Moye and D'Anton Lynn join AFC East rivals

Get more great Penn State news and analysis over at Nittany Lions Den.


Popular Video