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Nitt Picks Isn't Laughing

Well it's day two of the Dave Wannstedt replacement search, and what was Tuesday's speculation about Tom Bradley's interest level in the job might be turning into some legitimate smoke, as Paul Zeise, Pitt beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Tom Bradley - Defensive coordinator, Penn State - Don't laugh, I am told he'd be very interested in this job and frankly, Pitt could do a heckuva lot worse. I think that he'd be a fine coach, he'd recruit the area like crazy and his teams would be disciplined, would work hard. Of course, would Pitt hire a Penn State guy?

Of course, Bradley was passed on by Pitt athletic director in Steve Pederson in 1996 when Walt Harris was hired to replace Johnny Majors, but that was 14 years ago, an eternity in college athletics. We've exhausted the reasons why Bradley would be a good fit at Pitt here, so we won't get into that again, (although there's some good listening on this issue at Slow States).

Keep your eyes on the process, though. If Pitt expresses interest in Scrap, how he reacts to it could be very indicative of how he feels about his future at Penn State, even if nothing ends up coming of it. No reason to get paranoid, though. Penn State could survive a Bradley depature in the long term, though it'd be a very damaging loss for Paterno and his wish to return in 2011 in the short term.

Urban Retires

In case you didn't hear by now, Urban Meyer is retiring to spend more time with his family.

"I’ve not seen my two girls play high school sports. They’re both very talented Division I-A volleyball players, so I missed those four years. I missed two already with one away at college. I can’t get that time back."

I'm not going to lie, the moment that got me a little misty during Joe Paterno's 400th win ceremony was the part of the tribute video that showed Joe walking his kids to the bus stop and playing with them in his office. Joe has been a family man throughout his tenure at Penn State, right down to staying in Happy Valley rather than taking the New England Patriots job because Sue didn't want him to.

Considering Joe's comments the other day about his relationship with Urban Meyer, you've got to wonder if the old man gave him a nugget of family wisdom somewhere along the line.

Meyer will probably get some heat over the coming days, weeks and maybe even years to come for his decision to leave, and if he doesn't stick to what he said today by showing up somewhere else or even back at Florida six months from, he'll deserve it. But, if he really, truly means what he said, no one can fault him for leaving. He has nothing left to prove. He's a great college football coach. Time for him to move to another phase in his life.

Lee Praised

Former Penn State linebacker Sean Lee had a big game against Peyton Manning and the Colts the other day, and he's getting some love for it, even from his coach.

Although the former Penn State star was picked in the second round of this year's NFL Draft, he was considered a first-round talent. The Cowboys had him rated in the top 16 picks of the draft.

Interim coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys liked everything about Lee -- his passion, his play, his instincts -- and there were no holes in his game or his attitude.

"He was a complete linebacker as both a run defender and a pass defender and the type of person he is," Garrett said. "He loves to play football. He's very passionate about it."

I'm not one that gets to high or low on the Penn State program based on how former players are doing in the pros, but on a personal level, it's great to see Sean doing well. He's clearly been missed by Penn State on the field this season, but probably even off it. In 2008, even when he missed the entire season with a torn ACL, Lee brought a lot of leadership to the table, a quality that seemed absent on the defensive unit this year.

Not a whole lot of better apples than Sean Lee out there.

In Scores Of Other Games

  • Conference commissioners talk post-season. I wonder what Jim Delany thinks? [ESPN]
  • Michael Wilbon calls it quits at the Washington Post. [Washington]
  • The Big Ten is kinda blowing it's preseason tag as the best basketball conference. [Yahoo!]
  • How far can college hockey go? [WSJ]