Why Bill O'Brien Is Better off Staying in New England Than Heading to Penn State

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 5, 2012

FOXBOROUGH, MA - CIRCA 2010: In this handout image provided by the NFL,  Bill O'Brien of the New England Patriots poses for his 2010 NFL headshot circa 2010 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images

Penn State has been searching for a head coach since legendary coach Joe Paterno was let go a couple of months ago when the university was hit with a sex scandal. Many of the coaches the Nittany Lions have been interested in have politely declined the offer.

Penn State is now looking at current New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien. Unlike the rest of the coaches, O'Brien is showing interest in possibly taking over the program. 

He's scheduled for an interview with the Nittany Lions today.

Normally, the Penn State coaching job is a gig that would have nearly everybody jumping at the opportunity to take over a prestigious program. However, under these circumstances, this job really isn't for everybody.

This isn't just about coaching football. Taking over this football program will also involve repairing an image that will remain tarnished for quite some time. The black cloud that is hanging over the university is not going to clear up any time soon.

O'Brien would be leaving one of the most respected organizations in the NFL in the New England Patriots to take over a program that's hated by many at this moment. It would be like being a good guy and joining the dark side overnight.

He'd also leave the AFC East, which is really the Patriots' to lose every year, to join a much improved Big Ten conference. Regardless of who becomes the head coach at Penn State, they're going to have a hard time defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Leaders Division. You also have to worry about the Michigan Wolverines, who are also back on track with Brady Hoke taking over.

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Both of those teams are recruiting extremely well and are going to make things very difficult for Penn State and the rest of the Big Ten conference. Would leaving a team that competes for Super Bowls every year for a team that will struggle to win their own division really be a smart idea?

Sure, O'Brien is a great offensive coordinator. Although he hasn't been a head coach yet, he does college coaching experience at several different programs and is still young at 42 years old. He would be a great hire for the Nittany Lions, if they're able to land him.

However, why would he really make the switch?

O'Brien should really look at why every other coach has declined interest and maybe he'd end up doing the same as well.

Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or Randy.Chambers7@yahoo.com

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