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Early line: Oddsmaker digs Urban as JoePa’s successor

Outback Bowl - Florida v Penn State Getty Images

With Joe Paterno out, Penn State will commence a search for a new head football coach since Lyndon Johnson was sitting in the White House.

The name that’s come up most often, even before the whole sordid tale became public knowledge, is Urban Meyer.  The former Florida head coach released a non-statement statement Thursday addressing the speculation, saying that he is “very happy with my role at ESPN” and has “no plans to return to coaching” before adding the qualifier “at this time.”

Some of the individuals charged with setting gambling lines, however, see it as only a matter of time before Meyer’s in Happy Valley.

Bodog.com has released their odds for who will be head coach of the Nittany Lions in 2012 and, in what’s not even remotely a mild shock, Meyer is the current favorite at 2/1.  The man right behind Meyer is far from a shock, either; Miami’s Al Golden — a former player of and coach for Paterno — has long been rumored to be one of a handful of likely heirs to Paterno’s Happy Valley kingdom and is currently listed by Bodog at 9-2.

Next up on the list, though, is somewhat of shocker — Mike London is listed at 5/1.  The current Virginia head coach has no direct connection to Penn State — given how far back this scandal reaches, maybe that’s exactly what the football program and the university needs — having played in college at Richmond, with coaching stops at his alma mater, William & Mary, Boston College and UVA at the collegiate level and a one-year stint in the NFL with the Houston Texas.

Houston’s Kevin Sumlin and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald are right on London’s heels at 11/2 and 6/1, respectively.  Like London, Sumlin has no direct connection to the Nittany Lions, although he has played and coached in the Big Ten.  Fitzgerald, on the other hand, has been mentioned consistently when the conversation turned in the past to replacing Paterno.  While he recently signed a contract extension with the Wildcats that could keep him in Evanston through the 2020 season, a contract in this day and age is anything but unbreakable.

Perhaps the biggest surprise, even more so than London, is where Greg Schiano falls in the eyes of this group of line setters.  The Rutgers head coach was a member of Paterno’s staff in the early to mid-nineties and, like Golden and Fitzgerald, is always a name that comes up in connection to the opening at Penn State.  Despite that, Schiano is listed at 25/1, below even the interim head coach who most view as having almost no chance of being named the full-time coach.

Anyway, and for those interested, below is the complete list of Bodog.com odds, including the obligatory appearance of the “This Guy” candidate.

Urban Meyer 2/1
Al Golden 9/2
Mike London 5/1
Kevin Sumlin 11/2
Pat Fitzgerald 6/1
Dan Mullen 8/1
Kirk Ferentz 8/1
Tom Bradley 10/1
Chris Petersen 10/1
Greg Schiano 25/1
Jon Gruden 50/1

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28 Responses to “Early line: Oddsmaker digs Urban as JoePa’s successor”
  1. thereep says: Nov 11, 2011 2:28 PM

    List of potential candidates:
    1. RichRod (HC), Wannstache (DC), ‘No Fault’ Walt Harris(OC)
    2. Wannstache
    3. ‘No Fault’ Walt Harris
    4. Pete Carroll
    5. Bill Cowher
    6. Mike Singletary
    7. Denny Green
    8. Jon Gruden
    9. Jim Haslett
    10. Jeff Fisher

  2. irishking says: Nov 11, 2011 2:32 PM

    Urban Meyer is not going to do a Rick Perry and literally ‘step in it.’ The stench is too overwhelming.

  3. bmwaldrop says: Nov 11, 2011 2:39 PM

    Why would Urban Meyer or any other respectable coach want to go there right now? It’s very possible the NCAA will consider sanctions…and if they don’t, their priorities are screwed up.

    Penn State’s best bet is to find an up-and-coming assistant coach.

  4. woebegong says: Nov 11, 2011 2:40 PM

    I doubt his return to the coaching ranks would be to a school, that most likely will have a few years of hard time recruiting after the dust settles. I don’t know what if any penalties the NCAA can enforce, because even though, some of the crime did happen on campus property, most of the time, when serious crimes involve an institution, and those crimes lead to civil court action, the NCAA tends to let the courts settle it. In the case of this mess, I think Penn. State will be punished enough, as far as the university goes, in loss of reputation, the civil cases that will be brought by the people harmed by this, and the courts, hearing the case concerning the guilty man. It will likely end up costing the university monetarily, millions of dollars. This might very well set Penn. State on a downward spiral that is going to take quite a few years to recover from. Myers doesn’t want that kind of pressure. It was pressure at Florida and some of the problems with kids there, that got to him and supposedly damaged his health. Florida’s problems, pale in comparison to those of Penn. ST. He might also feel that way about Ohio State as well. A bad year for the big 10 it would appear.

  5. dirtyharry1971 says: Nov 11, 2011 2:53 PM

    I cant see why Meyer would want to go there, i mean if his health story was real it makes no sense but if he does i will lose all respect for Meyer because any respectable coach should NOT want to go there, not under the current administration that still refuses to do the right thing

  6. buckifan4life says: Nov 11, 2011 2:59 PM

    Oh please,…this investigation is just beginning. In the end,…Penn State is gonna get hit with HUGE sanctions. You think tatoogate is something? Just wait…

    Coach Meyer isn’t going to a University with an investigation ongoing that could continue for years. The NCAA/FBI is going to turn over every filthy rock there is.

    Rediculious assumption.

  7. fmlizard says: Nov 11, 2011 3:02 PM

    If Meyer goes anywhere, it will be Ohio State. And I think he won’t go anywhere…not yet.

    Personally, I think the big names out there won’t touch this mess. A lot depends on how it plays out the next couple months, but I bet Penn State winds up bringing in a well-regarded lower level coach. Remember, splashy hires get talked about a lot on the Internet, but most hires tend to be coordinators and successful mid-major coaches. Even for the big jobs.

    One darkhorse: Glen Mason.

    He has Big Ten experience, ties to the Northeast, and plenty of overall experience to hit the ground running and be stable. His background is clean and he is known to be itching to get back into coaching. Plus, he really revered Penn State and JoePa when at Minnesota.

  8. drm215 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:05 PM

    Do you realize that this is NOT a football issue? Why would Penn State get hit with sanctions?

    This is a terrible, terrible thing that has happened but there are thousands of people associated with the university that are not guilty of this. We are hurting, we are embarrassed, and we despise what happened.

  9. corvusrex96 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:05 PM

    There is no way that Meyer or any other top teir coach is taking over this mess.

    Maybe Shiano from Rutgers, otherwise it will be some no name on the national level

  10. buckifan4life says: Nov 11, 2011 3:08 PM

    Children for years were being molested (allegedly) on University grounds and the cover up is clearly systemic. On the scale of dispicable acts list, that has to be tops. The University heads covered it up for years. This isn’t Tressel lying about some improper benefits he got a tip about and didn’t run it up the chain of command. It’s anal sex by a man in a position of power with children on multiple occasions (allegedly) that was in effect enabled to happen by a public University in high stature. Please,..they will be lucky to have a football program with the nuclear dust settles.

    BTW: McQueary better pack his bags too. He’s gonna be gone. He had as much of a part in it as everyone else. You take that child out of the situation immediately! You don’t walk away and go home to discuss it with your dad and then Jopa…. Disgusting!

  11. vols84 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:08 PM

    Gruden will never leave Tampa…just ask Volnation

  12. mhalt99 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:09 PM

    what are the odds of Nevin Shapiro becoming the next AD?

  13. buckifan4life says: Nov 11, 2011 3:13 PM

    @DRM215,

    You need to read the indictment…

    Sandusky was a football coach who molested children while he was employed there for Y-E-A-R-S.

    Again, they will be lucky to have a football program when this is all over with.

    Meyer to Penn St. That is more laughable than Obama’s “change” and “transparency” promise.

  14. dhlions says: Nov 11, 2011 3:26 PM

    I think DRM is right.

    The moral and legal implications obviously completely overshadow anything the NCAA could do, though even if the NCAA wanted to impose sanctions, what could they bring about? From a football program/player standpoint everything was in order.

    “This isn’t about football” applies to all viewpoints of this case.

  15. cmich2006 says: Nov 11, 2011 3:34 PM

    They have already reached out to London

  16. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Nov 11, 2011 3:37 PM

    @ thereep

    Actually there are a couple of names I think the school should consider:

    1. Mike Munchak – Former player & head coach
    2. Jim Caldwell – Former assistant might be looking for a job soon
    3. Luke Fickell -Why not he has the same chance @ OSU, that Bradley has @ PSU. If there ever was a need for a band aid for a program it would be Fickell

    Honestly I have no idea how they came up with some of these names? London, Mullen or Ferentz why would a guy that’s been beating PSU for years suddenly join the team? Oh ya money.

  17. brucewaynewins says: Nov 11, 2011 3:48 PM

    Urban Meyer will end up at Ohio State. Time to come home Urban.

  18. theuglitruth says: Nov 11, 2011 3:52 PM

    Bucki…an indictment isn’t a statement of facts, just a formal accusation and call to answer. Sandusky retired in 99, depending on the age of the victims now, it may be beyond the statue of limitations, so anything that happened prior to the 2002 event may not see the light of day. To complicate things, in 2002 Sandusky was not a coach, and McQueary was only a grad assistant. I don’t see them losing a football program with the parts currently in place.

  19. brucewaynewins says: Nov 11, 2011 4:00 PM

    bucki Penn State won’t lose its team. That’s just nonsense. This coming from a fellow OSU fan.

  20. corvusrex96 says: Nov 11, 2011 4:16 PM

    Do you think Jimmy Johnson (miami) or Jackie Sherrill (pitt) are available to clean up Penn State ? :-)

  21. dhlions says: Nov 11, 2011 4:19 PM

    It is funny though that the line is 2:1, even after Meyer effectively said “No.”

    I wonder what the line was on Saban taking the Bama job, or Rich Rod going to UM, etc etc.

  22. whyalwaysthehate says: Nov 11, 2011 4:36 PM

    Urban quit the Gators over an eye gouge. He doesn’t have the stomach for Nittany.

  23. thefiesty1 says: Nov 11, 2011 5:08 PM

    What, no Mike Leach on the list? I thought he was on everybody’s wish list.

  24. hooptie says: Nov 11, 2011 5:37 PM

    My opinion, Penn State will never be the same, unfortunately. This is going to create an absolute recruiting nightmare for a long, long time. While other coaches are publically saying the right things as soon as they can contact recruits it will be a feeding frenzy on PSU commitments. I can hear Bret B now “It’s a good time to be a Badger”…. a hole.

  25. lbijake says: Nov 11, 2011 6:08 PM

    @drm215
    I agree with your assessment. As sick as this is, no “football” rules may have been broken. There are enough other violations to stymie the university for years. Assuming a settlement of $10 million per victim ( dart in the wall estimate), settlement can reach $1 billion. Insurance will only cover so much, if this is covered at all.

  26. dmcgrann says: Nov 11, 2011 9:21 PM

    Some time ago, my brother-in-law, a PSU grad and rabid fan, told me that Penn State was going to have major issues replacing Paterno by anyone outside of the current PSU program. He told me, and I have no way of knowing that it’s necessarily true, that Penn State will have difficulty bringing in a new head coach because the coaching staff had been given the practical equivalent of academic tenure. That means that a new head coach can’t just sweep the place clean and bring in his own folks without considerable expense to the University, unless proper cause can be proven, and it takes a lot to prove “proper cause” to dismiss someone from a tenured position.

    If that’s indeed true, maybe Penn State may be willing to spend the money it will take to change the staff given present circumstances. It may also go a way in explaining how the folks in Happy Valley pussy-footed around and about Sandusky for all of these years.

  27. usmutts says: Nov 11, 2011 10:26 PM

    “I will not be the next coach at Penn State.”

    -Nick Saban

  28. buckifan4life says: Nov 12, 2011 5:20 PM

    You all are delusional if you think that this scandal (which by the way happened ON university grounds when Sandusky was and was not a coach any longer) won’t potentially result is the “death penalty” for the football program.

    AND by the way, I do not believe there will be a “statute of limitations” that will save Sandusky or Penn St. That statement by whoever it was, is simply idiotic…

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