This probably doesn't merit a fanpost, but I'm doing it. When are we going to learn who our new coach is? I preface this with the statement that I have no insider knowledge whatsoever, which puts me on equal ground with the media, but I'm using reason, which puts me far beyond the media.
We had this mystical Jan. 3 deadline. That's obviously passed, but more importantly, it was just sort of made up because it was after the bowl game. From the perspective of those making the decisions - Ira, Joyner, et al. - this date has no significance. The bowl game doesn't impact them at all.
What about Jan. 13 - the date all of those recruits are coming to campus? Well, clearly, we'd like to have our man by then, but that, too, has no direct impact on those making the decisions.
So, what date does impact the hiring people? Well, on Jan. 11, 2012, Rod Erickson will begin his townhall tour in Pittsburgh. While he's not the guy making the decision, he is assuredly part of the final decision. This series of events is the perfect opportunity for him - and vicariously, Ira and Joyner - to drop their news. If it's good, then Erickson can avoid many of the hard questions - several of which I plan on asking him anyway. That makes things easier. If the hire is bad, Erickson will likely only have to address questions about the search, which will take away from the "why did you fire Joe without facts" and "why haven't we cleaned out the BoT" questions.
If no hire is made, not only will he get the tough scandal-related questions, but he will be shellacked with questions over his incompetence and the incompetence of the search committee. So, whether good or bad, a hire will simplify things from Erickson's end.
Moreover, this effect is magnified by timing: I'd look for the announcement to be made shortly before the meeting, so it is fresh in people's minds - and therefore, is the dominating thought. This hire - good or bad - is a distraction that the committee can, and probably should, use to their advantage. My guess is that we'll hear, around noon on the 11th, that Penn State has scheduled a press conference for later that afternoon. Then, around 4 (they'll need enough time to make sure everyone attending the meeting on the 11th hears), they'll announce the new coach.
Just wanted to throw that out. I really don't think that, even if we have our guy, we'll hear before the 11th, regardless. The announcement itself is a tool that these guys will use to make their lives easier. Just my thoughts...