Sources: Bill O'Brien is top candidate

Updated: January 3, 2012, 9:49 AM ET
By Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen | ESPN

Penn State has identified New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien as the coach it wants to succeed Joe Paterno, sources told ESPN. The two sides are expected to meet this week to try to work out a deal.

With New England getting ready to head into its bye week before the AFC divisional playoffs, and with Penn State's season finishing up Monday against Houston in the TicketCity Bowl, the school is expected to intensify its efforts to hire O'Brien.

Last week, the ...

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