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January 1, 2014

New Changes In Happy Valley

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Hire/Fire — Chas @ 11:46 pm

Yes, we all know that Bill O’Brien has left Penn State after two years.

Yes, this was a devastating piece on some of the things behind his departure by David Jones. Penn State has a particularly virulent,¬† nasty and visible group that has been able to gain extra influence. At the same time there is no major (and most minor ones) college program that doesn’t have a batshit crazy wing of fans/boosters. It’s really only a question of how much noise and influence they have.

Those are Penn State’s problems. How they deal or ignore their problems are something about which I don’t care to waste my time.

As a Pitt fan my concern is purely about self-interest.

The first thought turns to recruiting. Penn State made the smart move to make Larry Johnson, Sr. the interim head coach. He has no shot at the job. He has no real power. What he will do is help hold together the recruiting class until they hire a new coach. Johnson is their ace recruiter. He will certainly be on the staff for the next coach.

Here’s Penn State’s current recruiting class. First thing that jumps out is that there are only three recruits from Pennsylvania in that 19-man class, and only one from Western Pennsylvania (WR Troy Apke). I’m not sure that Pitt will be able to flip many of these recruits.

Pitt has been very poor in recruiting New Jersey in the last few years. Some because of Pitt’s own upheaval. Yet, despite changes at Rutgers and PSU as well, Pitt has only one recruit from NJ in last three years. Penn State has four kids in the class from New Jersey.

It would be nice to grab a couple of the PSU commits — especially on defense. I just don’t know what kind of groundwork was in place with the kids. Their best defensive commit — Thomas Holley¬† a 4-star DT from Brooklyn, NY — just chose PSU over Florida.

As for who PSU might hire, this seems like the ideal.

But in reality, the names rumored are about what you would expect: Mike Munchak, Al Golden, Greg Schiano and James Franklin.

There is a lot of skepticism that Al Golden would leave Miami after already having weathered the sanctions in Miami to do it again in Penn State.

There has been plenty of buzz that Greg Schiano was the focus for Penn State. A move that would freak out Rutgers more than Pitt. Schiano was a pretty good recruiter in New Jersey.

Now in an ideal world, PSU reacts accordingly by seeking a “Penn State guy.” That the administration bows to fan howling of wanting a guy that wants to be at Penn State. That is of Penn State. That won’t leave them. That leads them to hire Mike Munchak. He just screams 7-5.

James Franklin would be the inspired choice. Franklin is also a hot name. He’s rumored to be in the mix for the Texas job. He could wait a year for Florida. I imagine Maryland fans would be very upset if this one happened.

The one thing to point out. It isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be to hire a coach already at a place. The money is big everywhere. More and more coaches look at the entire package. Can they win bigger than where they are at? What’s in place? We’ve seen Michigan, Tennessee and UCLA all struggle to get their guy. Usually having to go through a couple options. Despite having the money, facilities and history.

spirit ok but will maverick know that hope some one is talking to him

Comment by Frankcan 01.02.14 @ 4:33 pm

penn state wants a new coach in place in a few days not weeks.
that tells me that it will be schiano or that they are smokeing good stuff and they are wackey becuse no big time coach will come that quick it will drag on for weeks unless it ie schiano or a coach from the mac or some one like bradley.

Comment by Frankcan 01.02.14 @ 4:41 pm

Frankcan, These kids know what they are getting into. They also know that 2 years is along ways away. They can change there mind. This Mustapha kid looks like he will grow into a power forward but nobody can predict growth for a high school sophomore. I know this ,he can flat out play, and he wants to come here, so much so that he already has verbally committed. That is great news no matter who else is coming.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.02.14 @ 4:49 pm

@Frankcan, I concur with your Schiano assumption. Face it that is as good as it is going to get for Penn St. Nobody on the way up wants that job , everything is expected and you have your hands tied behind your back. Schiano is the best of those headed the other direction so at least they might be able to get him quick. The Penn St crowd will always think they can do better but about the time he said no, they would be in trouble. In the end he is no great catch but he will do in a pinch, and they are in one.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.02.14 @ 4:57 pm

spirit it is good news but maverick is a great player also just dont want to lose him.
so i hope they told him that the outher kid will be a SF bye 2016.

Comment by Frankcan 01.02.14 @ 5:01 pm

spirit yes they are in a pinch do to the fact they have painted them selves into a corner with the statement of haveing a coach in days not weeks

even if franklin would go there which i think he wont he would want to see how the texas coach search went first as he is in line for that plus the NFL browns want to talk to him.

so there is no way he would go to penn state in a few days. so it will be schiano or it will take longer then they think

Comment by Frankcan 01.02.14 @ 5:12 pm

Franklin is on the way up and he doesn’t need his hands tied at Penn St to get to the top jobs. The only reason Schiano will take it is because he needs a parachute after the Tampa flight.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.02.14 @ 5:17 pm

spirit you are so right. and the best part is most at penn state dont want him the fans i mean i just love that. hope he goes there.

Comment by Frankcan 01.02.14 @ 5:22 pm

Frankcan, As much as they don’t like the choice I think they better hope he takes it because it could get ugly. A guy like Franklin doesn’t have to take the kind of chances that are involved at Penn St. If you take a top job you have to produce wins and at Penn St overcome sanctions. Franklin can command just as good of a job without sanctions. He also would be foolish to draw attention to an alleged rape coverup that occurred on his watch. That kind of scrutiny would come with the Penn St. position. I think Schiano is their boy unless Munchak is feeling some heat.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.02.14 @ 5:41 pm

PSU is new to this coaching-search business. They haven’t taken into account that the first couple guys they offer will end up having a “change of heart” once they get a raise from their present school.

Go Pitt.

Comment by MajorMajors 01.02.14 @ 5:55 pm


Why would an NFlL coach want to return to a college
team? All of these guys must hate chasing 18 year old
kids who hold a news conference and do the hat
thing. In addition to having a recruit’s mother comment
on defensive strategy.

Comment by JR 01.02.14 @ 6:36 pm

I’d love them to get Schiano, I’ve seen that coach before!!!

Disappointed if they got Golden. He’d be in for the long haul and set up camp.

Franklin, eh, he’s good I guess, but it would just be another 2 years or so until he wanted to go somewhere else. Wouldn’t be there long.

Probably won’t be any of these, but would be sweet if it was someone the base didn’t want.

I can name that tune, in 2 notes Tom!!

Comment by Dan 01.02.14 @ 6:47 pm

Oh, from browsing some message boards, the overwhelming majority of Staters want nothing to do with Schiano.

Comment by Dan 01.02.14 @ 6:49 pm

@Dan , That’s what is great about Schiano. The Staters don’t want him and he is probably as good as they can get under the current circumstances. The good coaches that they could normally attract don’t want to take a 2 year handicap so they get stuck with the guys who can’t hold a job. Isn’t it fun to see them suffer. To make it all more fun they have to act quick or they could lose a top recruiting class to attrition. It’s a perfect storm.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.02.14 @ 7:00 pm

I am a nudge but i cant help that so i will ask this every few days were is are strength and conditioning coach hire one soon.

Comment by Frankcan 01.02.14 @ 8:57 pm

I think Steve Pederson should help with the PSU search. He is good at it.

Seriously, the Pittsburgh Media has failed again to report how many coaches PSU has gone through in two years. (Paterno, Bradley, O’Brien, Johnson). That is four. The 5th is on the way. That is why I don’t pay for local newspapers. The bias is incredibly slanted, which is surprising. One would think that Pederson would have those old-timer reporters out on the course schmoozing, but they caught on to him long ago. He is bad news!

Great to see TD in the Nissan hall of fame house commercials sporting the old jersey! Pederson needs to take a hint. Congrats to Jamie on a good lean! Hopefully we get one of the big guys too!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 01.02.14 @ 9:01 pm

I like Mike Haywood for the PSU job. He’s available and itching to get back into coaching, They could have him signed up tomorrow if they wanted to.

Comment by dinosaur 71 01.02.14 @ 10:39 pm

Went out to watch the 1st half of the Alabama game tonight. Started talking about Ped St with nitter fans, they said there’s a real chance that the Clery Act investigation is going to show a few player transgressions, including one by each of Coach Johnson’s sons. Could they be that stupid to name him coach if they know that’s coming?

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 01.02.14 @ 11:29 pm

Bob Stoops is wearing a sweatshirt during the game tonight.

It’s an outrage!

Comment by Joe Lawrence 01.03.14 @ 12:05 am

He did look like a doofus. At least get a pullover with a collar on it. Also was he representing Oklahoma or nike ?

Make up your mind. This corporate crap has gotten out of control.

Too bad that game couldn’t have ended in a tie.
Can’t stand either coach or university.

Bumpkin U for both fits.

Comment by Emel 01.03.14 @ 5:11 am

nike sux btw, I have a pair of their running shoes, I ONLY wore when I didn’t feel like wearing loafers/etc to go out in. They never saw ANY running nor any sporting activity at all, unless you want to call walking…a sport. (no, not those olympic d-bags who contort themselves to walk)

Anyway the uppers on these things are still in perfect condition, however the soles have disengaged themselves from the rest of the shoe.
Flap, flap, flap. So since it was only one, I said f it. Then the whole back piece of the sole just fell out. These things were not cheap.

Garbage, I’ll never buy anymore nike crap ever again. Made in China naturally. And most if not all China stuff is garbage.

Also Michael Jordan (who’s worth 100’s of millions) should divest himself of nike. He has plenty of money forever, his kids never have to work and might save a few lives of kids who kill eachother to own a pair of his crap shoes.

Rant over.

Comment by Emel 01.03.14 @ 5:20 am

Oh ….buy New Balance shoea.

Made in America !!!
link to

Comment by Emel 01.03.14 @ 5:24 am

Chuck Taylors aren’t the same since they went to Nam.

Comment by alcofan 01.03.14 @ 5:33 am

All that talent and an award winning senior quarterback, Saban should be fired. LOL

All joking aside, that was a great football game.

All four and five stars do look different than what we have been fielding.

Not since Johnny and Jackie have we played in that league.

Defense and recruiting matters, I hope our coaches were watching.

Big Time Football.

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 8:47 am

4 star QB michael oconnor will not enroll at penn state in january now.
i guess he will look at outher schools now good anything that is bad for penn state is good.
i hope they lose more commits.

Comment by Frankcan 01.03.14 @ 10:56 am


Why do some of you care about the
clothes a coach wears??? It is bizarre

Comment by JR 01.03.14 @ 11:20 am

@JR, Because Chryst looked so stupid at the Navy game. Then we lost and made it worse.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.03.14 @ 11:52 am

Listening to O’Brian presser in Houston on the FAN 93.7. Although he thanked the players he did not say anything about the PSU administration. It is apparent that he had issues.

Comment by JP 01.03.14 @ 12:23 pm

Was just in my car listening to the locker room show. For those of you out of towners, this is primarily a steeler show with Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley. For the past two seasons Tom Bradley has been a regular. He was analyzing last nights big game. He is very good at it.

What a shame that his coaching career has been put on hiatus due to the PSU scandal. He is an unbelievably talented guy, who obviously can communicate and coach at the highest levels.

He is extremely well liked and well thought of even by the opposition. A great recruiter.

Too bad no one is able to look past his perceived association with a very sick situation.

Collateral damage, what a waste.

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 12:30 pm

Last night proved once again the importance of a ferocious pass rush.

Today’s offenses are so good that the only way to stop them is with turnovers. Pressure on the QB is where it all starts. House, are you paying attention?

Did you see what Michigan State’s defensive line did to Stanford?

We need bigger, badder, faster players, go get some!

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 12:36 pm

I heard Munchek has a meeting today with Titan ownership/management. If he feels the heat or gets fired there is another NFL coach on the way down to join Schiano in the mix. I still think Golden and Franklin are on the way up and would be foolish to seek employment among the pedophiles.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.03.14 @ 12:36 pm

When you get behind, you have to be able to throw and catch the ball. Alabama’s weakness, they were never tested in this area.

Golden would be crazy to leave Miami. Charlie Strong built a pretty good team with Miami’s leftovers.

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 12:43 pm

gc, The real damage was to the kids that got abused by these monsters. My heart holds no mercy for them or those who associated with them. Those that covered it up should share the same cell with those who caused the pain. Paterno was a lame excuse for a human being for allowing that to go on. All they touched is stained.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.03.14 @ 12:55 pm

spirit, agreed 100%. But guilt by association is wrong. People who were not aware of what was going on are not to blame. Bradley as far as I know has not been accused of any wrong doing. Only he knows what he knew and when he knew it.

You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 1:37 pm

Paterno wasn’t accused of any “wrong doing.” Mrs. Sandusky wasn’t accused of any “wrong doing.” The coach who saw it going on and didn’t do anything wasn’t accused of any “wrong doing.” They all very innocently watched as children got raped. I choose to take a less understanding position when it comes to raping little boys. I feel that those in Paterno’s circle are guilty of the most vile of behaviors and feel no remorse for any of them. You however are welcome to offer mercy to whoever you see fit. You might think Bradley is a fine man, I question his associations and stand by my disdain. Innocents was buttfxxxx by his associates and if I am wrong in my conclusion I’ll live with it.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.03.14 @ 2:03 pm

Hey GC, you only have 1 vote. ped state fired him and nobody wants to hire him. Why ??? Wonder why the squeelers didn’t hire him.

Comment by joel 01.03.14 @ 2:24 pm

The guilt by association is unfortunate for Bradley, who by all accounts is good guy. I think that in that he became the interim coach right after the scandal broke, he became somewhat of an untouchable. I wonder why Larry Johnson didn’t suffer the same fate. They were Penn State’s two ace recruiters.

Comment by Justinian 01.03.14 @ 2:49 pm

My one thought is that in that Bradley was the Penn State interim coach, that keeping in staff would not have been fair to an incoming coach. New coaches don’t want or need the previous coach around.

Comment by Justinian 01.03.14 @ 2:53 pm

GC, that was a completely different level of athlete on the Alabama roster.

Comment by Justinian 01.03.14 @ 2:56 pm

Spirit, Sandusky is in jail accused and convicted. Paterno was accused in the Freeh report, but he died and can’t be convicted. Two other guys are accused and on trial. What are you talking about?

Again, I don’t disagree with your opinion at all, in fact I think Corbett should be investigated for how long it took to bring charges.

Joel it is pretty obvious that PSU had to go in a new direction, that is why they didn’t hire him.

If you guys know something I don’t know regarding his guilt, let’s hear it.

And Spirit, who do you take a less understanding position than? The coach who saw it going on reported it and has testified about it.

I offer no mercy to anyone. You only need mercy if you are guilty of something. I ask again, what is Bradley guilty of?

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 3:10 pm

He is guilty of association with people who looked the other way while little boys got raped. How about the coach who saw Sandusky and went home and told Paterno the next day. I’m sure Mrs. Sandusky never suspected anything while hubby raped all those little boys downstairs. The whole body of people who new and suspected who looked the other way might not be at odds with the law , but they are scum sucking low life and I detest them and any who choose to stand in their defense.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.03.14 @ 3:18 pm

Right he is guilty of association. Unlike Franco, I don’t remember Bradley defending anyone.

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 3:21 pm

I hear all kinds of pity for poor Penn State , it’s not the kids that should have to suffer for what one man did. It was a lot more than what one man did. Lots of people new and looked the other way. There reasons ranged from wanting to protect the image of the school to didn’t want to get involved, and lots of excuses in between. People who can stand by and not act while little boys get raped fall below what I think is the minimum threshold of human decency. Those who associate with those types also fall outside of what I am willing to tolerate. I realize that I risk alienating some who did nothing wrong but feel it is a small price to pay to distance myself from such ilk. I feel the sanctions and penalties fall way short of just punishment. Why for instance is Sandusky still alive?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.03.14 @ 3:34 pm

Franco was a great running back who got rich and famous playing football. I admire that he is loyal and played football well. Beyond that what redeeming human quality does he have. The biggest defender of the biggest piece of scum that ever coached a football team. Low life scum and friends. Hey Franco did you know about Sandusky too?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.03.14 @ 3:41 pm

Spirit, glad you weren’t in charge of the Marshall Plan after WW2. LOL

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 8:20 pm

gc and outhers if franklin takes the penn state job
we are toast as far as receuiting goes he is as good at recruiting as they come.
if chryst and franklin want the same kid franklin will crush chryst.
he will put a fence around pa and we will be outside looking in.
dont know why he would go there but if he does it will to bad for us till he leaves.

Comment by Frankcan 01.03.14 @ 9:00 pm

Franklin has options. Money does talk. Texas has the big money, they get first pick.

Chryst needs to win for a couple of years before he can compete with the big dogs. Did win a few this year. Chris James, Grimm, Bookser, need more, love to see Jennings on the other side from Boyd.

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 10:44 pm

Texas needs to move fast if al golden goes to penn state strong will go to miami. then franklin will go to louisville.
and the so called best college coaching job will have to settle for sloopy seconds and look like fools. way to go texas.

Comment by Frankcan 01.03.14 @ 10:46 pm

but texas wants strong and the ucla coach franklin is 3rd on there list, and if al golden goes to state strong wants miami more then he does texas and if they dont jump on franklin louisville will.

Comment by Frankcan 01.03.14 @ 10:54 pm

Al Golden a fool if he goes to PSU. Too many issues.

Comment by gc 01.03.14 @ 11:02 pm

gc but he meets with them in the AM and said it would be like going home so it sounds like he is thinking abought it.
and they say miami is strongs dream job.
and louisville pays there coach big bucks, so just saying texas needs to move fast or look like fools
the ucla coach has allready turned texas down.

Comment by Frankcan 01.03.14 @ 11:12 pm

For all those celebrating the coaching miss at Ped State, remember it could affect Pitt as well. Whoever the new head coach is there, I can see them snagging Engram for a similar position at his alma mater. That would be a huge hit to our coaching staff. Makes me sick just thinking about it.

Comment by WWADD? 01.04.14 @ 1:20 am

Coaching mess…not miss

Comment by WWADD? 01.04.14 @ 1:22 am

spirit of perfection. I agree whole heartedly.

Comment by frankarms 01.04.14 @ 2:26 am

@WWADD, Engram is a doing a nice job, but if he left to join ranks with pervert U it wouldn’t be a “huge hit” as you describe. How hard could it be to attract a quality coach with the talent we have at the position. Coaches are only as good as those they coach and they know that. They would be begging for the job to hop on the Boyd express.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.04.14 @ 9:53 am

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