Three weeks ago, the college football landscape looked much different than it does today. The world respected JoePa, Penn State was climbing the national rankings and Tom Bradley had job security.
However, it is not three weeks ago and JoePa has a stained legacy, Penn State is in danger of the wheels falling off their season and Bradley will soon be unemployed.
There is no one affected by this scandal greater than the victims, and I would in no way desire to minimize the seriousness of the hideous crimes allegedly committed. However, the coaching staff will have to live with the consequences of another person’s actions.
The members of the Penn State coaching staff will have to uproot their families, leave the players they recruited and find work at some other football program. The Penn State administration is going to ultimately clean house of the previous staff—fair or unfair.
However, the Nittany Lions lost should become the Tigers gain.
Auburn is in bad need of a new defensive coordinator. Gene Chizik has found that being a defensive coordinator and head coach is too tall of an order at this time in his career. Moreover, Ted Roof is not looking like he is up for the task.
The Tigers are young and growing pains are to be expected. In my preseason preview I chose them to finish 8-5, and this is likely to be the result. However, being 78th in the nation in total defense is both surprising and unexpected.
Auburn is currently 11th in the SEC in both total defense and scoring defense and this is simply unacceptable.
There is never a time that that the Tigers should be behind schools likes Vanderbilt and Kentucky in defensive stats. There is enough talent on campus to make another run at a national championship within the next three seasons.
However, if Roof is not fired, their potential will never be realized. I am sure he is a nice guy, but a strong defensive coordinator is the difference in competing for a national championship and dwelling in the land of mediocrity.
This season’s SEC championship will likely be played between LSU and UGA. Both coaches were recently on the hot seat, but a new defensive coordinator has revived their programs.
Getting a dominant defensive coordinator isn't going to be an easy task for Auburn, but there is one coming up on the marker in Bradley.
The Nittany Lions are currently third in the nation in scoring defense. Over the past six seasons, Bradley has led the Nittany Lions to be one of the elite defensive units in the nation. During that period, Penn State accomplished the following:
- No. 3 in the nation in scoring defense (16.4 ppg)
- Fifth in rushing (107.1 ypg)
- Fifth in total defense (298.7 ypg)
Were the scandal not to occur when Paterno finally retired from Penn State, Bradley should have gotten the first call for an interview. However, Paterno did not retire and Bradley should not get an interview—and it is not his fault. The Nittany Lions are going to need to clean house to attempt a fresh start.
Auburn should consider moving as soon as the season ends. He is a time proven coordinator and deserves a shot at a top-notch job.
Would he be willing to come to Auburn? I think if the money was right, he would be thrilled. The talent on the Plains is evident, but the defensive production is sickening.
Jay Jacobs and Chizik need to pick up the phone and call Happy Valley, and the Tigers defense could regain its roar.