NCF Nation: Bill OBrien

Video: New era begins at Penn State

August, 6, 2012
Mark Schwarz reports from Penn State as Bill O’Brien begins training camp.
1. It wouldn’t be the first time I’m wrong, but I don’t think there are going to be a lot of transfers from Penn State. Backup corner Tim Buckley is going home to North Carolina State. Marquee tailback Silas Redd is being wooed by USC, a top-five team with a gaping hole at his position. Backup quarterback Rob Bolden is talking to LSU about going there to be ... a backup quarterback. Coach Bill O’Brien will lose a few battles, but it appears as if he isn’t losing the war.

2. With the news that Texas and TCU moved their game from Thanksgiving Saturday to Thanksgiving Day, we may have seen the rebirth of a rivalry. Texas refused to continue to play Texas A&M, it’s Thanksgiving Night rival, when the Aggies bolted for the SEC. TCU, a new member of the Big 12, and Texas once enjoyed a fierce rivalry. In 1959 and again in 1961, the Horned Frogs knocked off the highly ranked Longhorns and eliminated them from the national title race. Let’s hope both sides have a long memory.

3. Michael Dyer left Auburn under a cloud and resurfaced at Arkansas State, where former Tigers offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is the new head coach. Dyer already has been booted for violating team rules, which means he’ll fall farther down the college football ladder. But that doesn’t mean the NFL won’t find him. The NFL will give anyone with Dyer’s talent a look and maybe even a third chance.
1. When archrivals show restraint in the whatever-it-takes world of college football recruiting, they deserve kudos. The SEC rescinded a rule last week that forbade members from hosting recruits at neutral-site games. Yet Florida and Georgia mutually agreed not to fool with it. Rarely does any school refuse to take advantage of any rule (or lack thereof) to gain an edge with a high school kid. But the Dawgs and the Gators agreed the aggravation wasn’t worth the trouble. Let’s hear it for common sense.

2. Matt McGloin wins the Penn State quarterback job the way that Billy Martin used to become Yankees manager -- over and over and over. But this time may be permanent, if head coach Bill O’Brien’s description of McGloin is any indication. McGloin was “prepared in meetings,” O’Brien said, according to, “... and just did a very good job of being consistent.” In other words, McGloin acted the way that fifth-year seniors are supposed to act. Maturity goes a long way in this game.

3. Only two freshmen rushed for 1,000 yards in 2011, the fewest first-year players to do so since 2000. And both Giovani Bernard of North Carolina (1,253 yards) and Lyle McCombs of Connecticut (1,151) were redshirts. One other thing: McCombs, all of 5-foot-8, 166 pounds, got no other FBS scholarship offers in February 2010. Score one for former Huskies coach Randy Edsall for seeing something in McCombs, and one for current Huskies coach Paul Pasqualoni for knowing how to use him.
1. Of course Tampa Bay had an interest in Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who has gone 34-6 in three seasons. If you think about it, it makes sense that Kelly reciprocated the interest. He’s an intensely competitive guy. As a New Englander who arrived in Eugene five years ago, he has no emotional ties to Eugene. Unlike Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who has rebuffed the NFL in part because he likes raising his family in Norman, Kelly is unmarried. In other words, this won’t be the last flirting between Kelly and the NFL.

2. If New England had lost the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien would have been the full-time Penn State head coach on Monday. So, Matt McGloin, were you a Baltimore fan on Sunday? “Kind of,” the Nittany Lions quarterback said, laughing. “No, that would obviously be selfish of you. You want the best for your head coach. Now that’s he in the Super Bowl, if they win it, it’s great for the university. It’s great for him. A Super Bowl offensive coordinator to be your head coach; that’s pretty exciting, especially as a quarterback.”

3. Auburn coach Gene Chizik hired offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler away from Temple. That’s the same Loeffler who ran the Florida offense in 2009-10. But don’t think the Tigers are going to install the spread offense that Loeffler used with Tim Tebow. Chizik also leapt at the chance to accept as a transfer Illinois fullback Jay Prosch, a Mobile native who didn’t think he would fit in new Illini coach Tim Beckman’s offense. The Tigers’ spring practice just got a lot more interesting.