Penn State Football: Why Bill O'Brien Won't Be a PSU Lifer

John McGonigalCorrespondent IIDecember 3, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, PA - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Penn State Nittany Lions leads his team onto the field before playing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium on October 27, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Everyone who follows college football, and sports in general, knows what happened at Penn State and the "unprecedented" sanctions that followed. 

Given the loss of transfers and more, many of those same people ruled Penn State out for years to come, and 2012 especially after an 0-2 start. 

However, now the college football world can fully appreciate the job Bill O'Brien has done with this football program in just one year at the helm, which was highlighted by winning eight of the last 10 games to finish at 8-4.

Also, enough can't be said about how the 43-year-old coach held together the majority of the team and still has upper-echelon recruits expected to arrive in 2013.  

With all this being said, O'Brien's name was rightfully speculated about other job openings, particularly in the NFL. 

To ease the minds of Lions' fans, O'Brien's agent made it clear that the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator wouldn't jump ship after just one year in Happy Valley

And yet, it wouldn't be surprising to see O'Brien take on another job in the coming years, whether it's after the 2013 season or when his contract is up in 2020

To this point, O'Brien hasn't expressed any qualms about the job itself or any real motivation to leave. 

However, as long as he continues to succeed at Penn State, more opportunities will be thrown at him from other high profile schools and the NFL. 

Despite the sanctions he and the football program have to endure (4-year bowl ban, loss of scholarships, etc.), these things won't cause him to up and leave, in my opinion.

If O'Brien was going to leave because of sanctions, he probably would have stayed open to the idea of an NFL job this offseason. 

And even though he has financial security for quite some time at Penn State, O'Brien being a Penn State "lifer" is very much unlikely, at least at this stage. 

How many people thought that Joe Paterno would stay at Penn State for his entire career after coaching just one season? Probably not many.  

Is there a possibility that O'Brien stays for a decade or two and continues to build the Penn State football brand? Definitely a possibility. 

But, there's so much that O'Brien has going for him that it may be tough not to take an NFL job in the future if he keeps up what he's doing, especially if the New England job opens up sometime down the road. 

Bottom line, Penn State fans should hope that O'Brien stays as long as possible considering all the success he's had this year. But, to think that he'll become the next lifetime head coach at Penn State might be a little premature after just one season.

But, as always, only time will tell.