Despite being the second team to fire its coach, Penn State continues to languish as the only program without having made a hire.
I attribute this primarily to the fact that a panel of pseudointellectuals and folks that have no idea about college football, much less efficient business or public relations, are making the decision. A better course of action would probably have been to hire a real AD (read: not an impotent interim clown) who was empowered to hire a real coach. You know, like the way the rest of the country does it.
But no, we had to embark on a worldwide quest to see who was worthy to succeed the fossilized Joe Paterno. Never mind that notable sports agents said that the job was "toxic." We had to spend valuable time interviewing people like Jay Paterno while Kevin Sumlin was hired at Houston. We were talking to our ex-assistants while other coaches were signing contract extensions.
Six weeks into the search our President took time away from apologizing and filming more advertisements and PR clips saying "mea culpa" to let us know that the university was still aware that it had a head coaching vacancy.
By the way, the football program only made the university $100 million according to Forbes. Not like there's anything important on the line, like you know, money. Or merchandising revenues.
So now, spurned by Chris Petersen (and I don't blame him - I applaud him for his loyalty to his program), here's what we're down to...the final two apparently.
Evidently we have Tom Clements, a man with no experience beyond being an OC for two years (read: career position coach in the NFL, like oh Al Groh or Tom Brewster...remember how well they did?) or Mike Munchak whose only qualification as far as I can tell is that he played ball for Penn State thirty years ago. (Taking a mediocre franchise in the NFL to an 8-7 record is indicative of nothing...even Dave Wannstedt made the playoffs in his first two seasons.)
Apparently if the Lions are spurned further they're going to consider David Cutcliffe. If that doesn't scream program suicide, I don't know what does.
Ultimately, I'm not sure if this search has dragged on as:
(1) a subconscious attempt by the panel of stooges to punish ourselves, knowing that waiting for seven weeks to make a hire will sabotage our recruiting class and damn us to years of mediocrity, or
(2) an outgrowth of gross incompetence.
As a general rule, I think that hiring an NFL head coach should be near the bottom of the priorities list in replacing a college coach. (The fact is we remember the exceptions to the rule that NFL coaches are too risk averse to be successful at the college level.) Hiring an NFL assistant is somewhere even worse than that.
I would take Clements here though. At least there is some potential benefit (which I think is rather nebulous) to recruiting on offense if we hire somebody that is a position coach for
a the flashy pro offense. That's a lot better than meaningless crap like "he's in the Penn State family." $100million is on the line. Let's freaking get our priorities straight and win.
But I think this whole situation is clownlike. I'd have hired Art Briles four weeks ago.