So you've taken in this morning's news: Miami, years after the era of The U, still chooses to be the boss. All of this casts Penn State and the Post Paterno Era in a very different shade of unkown (an ugly green-grayish color, probably something like 49-79-79 if you prefer life in quantifiable RBG).
We're now several years past the first real scare that the court was crumbling, when Larry Johnson, Sr. was offered a co-defensive coordinator job during The Zooker's Last Stand of 2009. We found out later he was under the door frame headed west before getting cold feet. Looking back, it was probably a lateral career move at best, separating him further from his bread and butter in Maryland and removing him from the non-football State College community he's highly regarded in. And speaking of Maryland, as far as I can tell the closest he came to being a serious head coach canidate there was this demand from Testudo Times that he be an either/or "must have" for the staff if the Terps hired Wisconsin OC Paul Chryst, although it sounds as though he did turn down the opportunity to interview for the DC position after Edsall was hired.
As far as I know he's never received other significant offers to interview, although thank goodness for the Illinois one because otherwise the world would be without this.
And then there's Tom Bradley. The much heralded and statistically validated defensive coordinator has been doing great things, both during the offensive skill player-lacking Dark Years and in more recent times - FSH did the math on PPP and found two of Bradley's lineups were in the top 12 of all defenses in college football during the last five years.
Yet, he consistently and mysteriously lacks presence on coaching search short lists. After the embarrassing quick exit of Mike Haywood at Pitt, Bradley seemed like an absolute slam dunk - a Johnstown native and long-time proponent of playing football the way Pennsylvania has generally preferred it. He was even publicly getting support from the current boss who stood the most to lose from his hire with the Panthers, and yet Pitt passed on Bradley a second time for a guy who was coaching high school football 10 years ago and has almost no BCS experience [make your own Big East joke here].
In a tailspin from that, UConn interviewed him and also passed. For shame and certainly dense, in my opinion, but reality.
And then there's Greg Schiano, who's been steadily losing street cred since I was writing on blogspot.
Which gets us back to the head coach at Soon To Be Punished Miami, Al Golden. He's had another name given from members of this community as well, and that seems as possible as ever today. (He's saying all the right things, by the way, if you're curious how he operates during crisis.)
The debate will always spiral away from us because of outside-the-box notions (I'm being kind here, probably) that Penn State will suddenly get all New York Yankees with their payroll and chase guys like Stoops or Petersen or Caldwell, or have some kind of allure to outsider Pat Fitzgerald that Michigan didn't, or the very real possibility that Penn State heritage is not a primary criteria - it always is when the Internet tries to make sense of the future -- and a wider net is cast when interviewing the application pool. For the moment, though, those all seem less likely than our current assumptions.
So about those assumptions, and the possible new reality we face this morning: On the list of Bradley, Johnson, Sr., Shiano and Golden, only two were courted recently, and only one was chosen. Not only that, but the job Golden landed
is was more desirable than any the other candidates have even interviewed for, save this weird situation from 2008 anyway.
I can't help but feel like that makes him the front runner when the coaching search starts four or five years from now.