Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien recently agreed to interview with the Houston Texans. Apparently O’Brien is the number one guy on the shortlist for the Texans. According to a report, the AFC South team is interested in making O’Brien their next head coach.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reported via Twitter that talks between the Texans and O’Brien have intensified and the Texans “hope to make him the next coach in Houston.” The report by ESPN.com says the two sides are already working on a deal.
This should not come as much of a surprise, of course. O’Brien has seemed destined to take a coaching job in the NFL at some point. It was just a matter of which job would be the one that lures him away from the work he has been doing in State College over the past two seasons.
O’Brien has the mentality to coach at the NFL level, and Houston looks as though it could be a good project for him if he does in fact leave Penn State to coach the Texans.
We will have to wait and see what happens here, but it might be wise for Penn State athletics director David Joyner should start reviewing his short list of potential replacements just in case he needs to make some calls. It was previously reported that Penn State may already have a couple of options checking in if the position does become available. That includes two names out of Tennessee with Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin and Tennessee Titans head coach and Penn State alum Mike Munchak.
O’Brien is still the coach for now, and he has made some coaching staff changes this offseason that would suggest he has a plan for 2014, but a chance to coach in the NFL only comes along every so often.
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema will not be disciplined by the SEC office for his brief interaction with Alabama offensive lineman Cam Robinson last weekend. A video showing Bielema exaggerating his interaction with Robinson at the end of a play was reviewed by SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, and the commissioner has discussed the situation with the Razorbacks coach.
“I visited with Bret over the phone on Monday and we discussed the play that has now become widely reviewed through a brief video clip,” Sankey said in a released statement. “Football is played in an intense competitive environment and I reminded him of the need for head coaches to resolve with their own players issues that may arise, which was his intent. The unsportsmanlike penalty assessed on the play was not directly associated with Bret’s efforts to intervene at the end of the play and we are moving forward in a positive manner.”
That appears to be the end of the discussion regarding Bielema’s act. I personally think there should have been some more done here by the league’s commissioner, but we will see if Bielema avoids putting himself in a similar position moving forward.
In the midst of what could be a dream season in South Philadelphia, the Temple Owls announced a rare sellout for a football game this afternoon. The October 31 game at home against Notre Dame has sold out Lincoln Financial Field. This is the first time Temple has sold out two home games in the same season since 1976, when the Owls began playing home games in one of Philadelphia’s pro sports stadiums.
This is the second sellout of the season for Temple, but it is also worth mentioning who the opponents are for those two games; Penn State and Notre Dame. Penn State is always Temple’s biggest draw when they get a chance to host the Nittany Lions and their legions of fans in and around the Delaware Valley. Temple dominated Penn State in the season opener, snapping a long losing streak against the in-state power. Notre Dame is also a big draw everywhere the Irish go, and there is a solid fanbase in the southeastern part of Philadelphia as well.
It is also a rare trip to Philadelphia for Notre Dame. The Irish last played in Philadelphia in 1993 when they faced Navy in Veterans Stadium. Navy also hosted Notre Dame in Philadelphia in 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972 and 1974. Notre Dame and Temple have never played in Philadelphia, although they did face each other in the 2013 season opener. This year’s game is the second game of a home-and-home series.
The game could potentially prove to play a key role in the evolving College Football Playoff and Group of Five conversation as well. If Temple avoids slipping up this week against UCF and next week at East Carolina and USC holds off USC, then we could have an undefeated and top 25 Temple program hosting a top 15 or even potential top 10 Notre Dame on Halloween. Let’s not put the cart ahead of the horse here, but that could be a very attractive matchup worth paying attention to at the end of the month for many fanbases.