The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


January 6, 2014

Todd Hummel's college sports column: Penn State football coach situation is multi-faceted

Sixteen days ago I was sitting around the house and, as I'm wont to do, I had my face buried in Twitter when something interesting came across the screen.

Reports claimed Penn State football coach Bill O'Brien had interviewed with the Houston Texans and was the favorite to replace interim head coach Wade Phillips.

By now, O'Brien's already taken the job and the powers to be at University Park have begun the search for his replacement in earnest.

Though to show how fluid the process is in this day-and-age of social media, I literally checked for an update after writing the above paragraph and recently fired Tennessee Titans head coach (and Scranton native) Mike Munchack was supposed to interview for the job Sunday.

However, I think the reaction to O'Brien's leaving has been quite interesting and some of the things that have been written show that maybe things aren't all that happy in Happy Valley.

Harrisburg Patriot or -- whatever it's called now -- columnist David Jones wrote an interesting piece a few days ago about a conversation he had with O'Brien before Christmas. With the controversy surrounding the Penn State program when O'Brien took over, I think he expected to have a large role as coach and as the face of the university as the football coach in the wake of harsh sanctions.

But as the 2013 season rolled around, I think O'Brien wanted to go back to what he does best, which of course is coach the heck out of his offense. (Side note: Anybody who watched Matt McGloin in his freshman year and thought he would start six games in the his rookie season in the NFL as an undrafted free agent, well, that's all the proof one needs on O'Brien's coaching abilities).

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