Some call him a legend, some call him JokePa, I call him Woe Paterno. At any rate, at some point this cretin will retire or get too embarrassed of soiling his Dockers (see Ohio State 2006) and just throw in the towel. But who should be Joe Paterno’s successor?
Before we start let’s point out a few things.
1.) The football program at Penn State is an enormous money-maker. It funds many, many university projects. They cannot afford, literally, to let this program fall by the wayside.
2.) Penn State has given us critics a few recent reasons to garner them our vote of confidence. Those reasons are in the form of stadium upgrades. There are plans to expand the stadium again, and there have been multiple recent upgrades. Obviously, Joe can’t stay all that much longer. Expansion means more fans and more money. That doesn’t happen by hiring someone who can’t win. They know that.
3.) They are bracing for Paterno’s exit. Like I have said a few times on here, it is clearly written in this year’s annual Town and Gown magazine that when Joe leaves, mucho donation money is going with him. Hence the ticket prices. And did you notice that all parking is now 20 bucks? It used to be 5.
Penn State is stuck in a bad position with this guy. Because the alumni are mainly people who are Penn State lovers first and college football fans second, they don’t understand the mathematics. It is all about nostalgia to these people, and they still think Joe Paterno is an incredible coach, here, in 2007. They point their fingers at the players, not the coach. I can assure you, ladies and geeks, that Penn State’s pitiful performances in big games is not because of a lack of effort by 90% of the players. It is the coaching staff setting them up for failure. I can give you evidence to back this up.
1.) Obvious poor preparation for opponent strengths and weaknesses.
2.) Extremely bad talent utilization.
3.) Extremely bad game management.
4.) The new staple of PSU football: coming out very flat.
Guys… when there are patterns over time with sports teams, it is not the fault of the kids. Especially in college where the kids rotate every year. The mess above (those 4 points) can be directly attributed to nothing but piss-poor coaching.
You might even be able to say, since it really seems that way, that it is a lack of effort, NOT on the part of the kids, but the coaches.
The alumni donate money. Ignorant alumni need nostalgia. Combine that with Paterno’s stubborness to leave, and this is what you get: 9 straight conference losses to what is essentially the most overrated program in the country every single season.
Now let’s talk about what it takes to be an elite college football program.
1.) Good academics.
2.) Elite facilities.
4.) Nice campus / location.
Those are the 4 things that you basically need, not talking about the actual on-field product. Penn State has very respected academics. They have elite facilities. They have an elite fanbase. They have an elite campus that is located in a beautiful area. All the pieces are in place, folks. Time to take off the training wheels.
ROLL THAT BEAUTIFUL BEAN FOOTAGE.
(in no order)
Current Job: Kansas State head-coach
Other Jobs: Offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Virginia
This is a guy who has already coached on the east coast and built a nice resume there. Is there anything we need worse than a noted offensive line and off. coordinator? Remember that Virginia was getting better every season before expansion. Then the 2 coordinators there got head coaching opportunities. There’s a reason for that. This guy is a motivational coach, he’s aggressive and he’s very smart. He already upset Texas once and is about to maybe do it again, and he almost beat Auburn in the 1st week of the season this year. The Virginia area is where PSU gets a lot of recruits, and I can’t imagine he’s having the easiest time in the world recruiting at Kansas State. He is very well prepared for his games. This would be an excellent candidate.
Current Job: Penn State defensive coordinator
Other Jobs: has he had any? I think he delivered newspapers when he was 8.
The only bright spot Penn State has had for years. This guy is insanely loyal to the program, and stayed as defensive coordinator even though he’s had his name thrown around for other head coaching vacancies. He seems to be the heir apparent, but something about that does not feel right. He may end up getting shafted the same way Penn State shafted Sandusky (former def. coor. who quit when Paterno signed his contract extension). Bradley has done a marvelous job recruiting, and making sure his defense can be put in a great position to keep the teams in close games, since the offense will inevitably put them in very bad situations like usual. It would be a great injustice if Bradley is overlooked. But when you consider the athletic department we are dealing with, can you rule it out of the question?
Current Job: Texas Tech head coach
Other Jobs: no idea
One of the most prestigious college football programs, Miami, interviewed and seriously considered hiring this guy. The thing that hurts Leach is that he is sort of a clown. Not really in a bad way, but he is definitely very different, personality-wise, than other coaches you can think of. His offense is unbelievable. Look at the lineage of quarterbacks this guy has been successful with: Kliff Kingsbury, BJ Symons, Sonny Cumbie, and Graham Harrell. That’s a who’s-who of great college QB’s, all in a row. His ability to recruit placement players (fill positions immediately) is unbelievable. He does an excellent job at getting offensive players that are under everyone’s radar, and turning them into great college weapons. Right now, they have a WR from Dallas who is a freshman and he is on pace to rack up 2,300 yards receiving and 30 touchdowns. Harrell has 2,000 yards so far in 4 games, 19 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Are you kidding me? The problem here is that Leach is having a hard time recruiting quality defensive players to go to Lubbock. Have you ever been there? Go there and you’ll see why no one wants to go to school there. It is a matter of time until Leach takes his offense to a new school where he has the ability to recruit defensive players. Throw the money on the table, keep Tom Bradley on this staff, and put this staff in the Big Ten. Can anyone stop them? Think right now what Penn State would be doing if Leach’s offense was in Happy Valley. Instead of Michael Crabtree having that monster season, it’s Deon Butler. And it’s Devlin at the helm. And Penn State sure as hell isn’t scoring 9 total points versus a weak secondary like they did Saturday.
Penn State has the money, the recruiting, the facilities, the academics, the fans, and the potential to do great things. You just have to take the training wheels off. You have got to make the decision to take this program where it should have gone in the 2000 season after it was extremely clear that Paterno was finished, after that 1999 debacle. The writing on the wall could not be any bigger than it is right now.
I’ll add some NFL guys soon.