Former Penn State head coach and current head coach of the NFL’s Houston Texans Bill O’Brien could potentially be on his way out of Houston as soon as this season, depending upon whom you trust in the world of the NFL. Could that put O’Brien back on the market for any coaching job at the college level, specifically Maryland?
Over the weekend O’Brien’s name was drug into the Maryland coaching rumor mill by CBS Sports‘ Jason La Canfora, who covers the NFL. The logic behind the story suggested the growing power struggle between O’Brien and Texans management could lead to a divorce that would see O’Brien pack his bags and leave Houston after just two seasons on the job. That would be unfortunate for the Texans, who have yet to draft a franchise quarterback for a head coach who is known for his quarterback coaching (O’Brien made Matt McGloin a record-setting quarterback at Penn State after all, and Christian Hackenberg looked better as a freshman than his last 1.5 seasons under James Franklin).
With a small handful of exceptions, no NFL head coach voluntarily will leave his job to take on a college coaching job. When they do, they go to USC (Pete Carroll) or Alabama (Nick Saban). OK, or Arkansas (Bobby Petrino). Nobody is leaving an NFL head coaching job for Maryland. Sorry Terps.
NFL coaching rumors often leave me cracking up, and this one is no exception. Sometimes there are coaching rumors that defy all real logic when you actually sit down to think about it, and Bill O’Brien leaving the NFL to take on the Maryland coaching job is about as flimsy as a west french fry. Previously I have suggested there are plenty of reasons why the Maryland job is actually an attractive one for a number of coaches, but O’Brien is not likely to be one in that realistic list of candidates. Per Pro Football Talk, noted Houston sportswriter John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says O’Brien has no interest in the job at Maryland anyway.
Never say never when it comes to coaching rumors, but there is very little chance O’Brien will be back in the Big Ten next season.