It's hard to predict when big schools change coaches after long, long periods of success. The only really similar measuring stick would be Florida State, who recently replaced Bobby Bowden. There is one glaring difference: Bowden retired.
Penn State has a lot of traditions that a new coach will have to embrace or replace. One thing that can't be overlooked is the fan perception, which so often drives whether a new coach finds success or not.
Winning attracts fans, but how teams win in college is something that's always looked at. We talked a little about that in the slide on roster construction, but there's more than just the playing philosophy.
Fans will expect the new coach to embrace things like the blue line at the end of the tunnel, white outs, black shoes, plain uniforms and, perhaps most importantly, Joe Paterno's idea of "success with honor."
Perhaps the worst thing a new coach could do coming into this job is try to put too large of a stamp on this program. Before the controversy enveloped Paterno and his team, this was one of the most attractive jobs in the NCAA. Now, it still should be for the right person.
I won't make a selection in this coaching derby, but I will implore Penn State's search group to hire the coach who embraces enough of the past to ensure a successful, prosperous future. That might be Tom Bradley. It might be Dan Mullen. It might be someone completely different.
Hiring the right person, however, has never been more important.