The dynamic at Penn State is among the most interesting in college football.
We touched on it last week as Sports Illustrated wrote an expose on Penn State making changes in its medical staff, a story that didn't seem as salacious as it was presented to be but still left coach Bill O'Brien answering to it in an angry and frustrated 22-minute teleconference. It also left us wondering if at some point this drama, possibly brought about due to a chasm between the old guard at Penn State and the new era, could mean O'Brien starts thinking about NFL jobs sooner rather than later.
In a very well thought out and insightful piece, David Jones of the Patriot-News wrote that he thinks "a group of self-appointed experts and charlatans feeding off them" championing the cause of whether Joe Paterno was treated unfairly could be in the process of driving O'Brien out of Penn State.
Jones also introduces a word for that group that probably will have some legs: "Joebots."
Jones paints a picture of O'Brien as a coach who wants to focus solely on football having to regularly stamp out brush fires from various off-field issues, and Jones wonders is the fan base is completely behind O'Brien. Jones also writes about Jay Paterno taking what he perceived to be a shot at O'Brien during an interview with CBSSports.com:
"When they fired Joe, I think they [the university] were going to make it very tough for themselves to go out and get some of the head coaches they were going to get. There was a lot of, like, ‘You fired Joe? What chance do I have?"
It's an interesting piece, and an interesting subject. The current Penn State situation is unique given the lofty place Penn State's program has in college football history, the horrible scandal, the awkward removal of a legendary coach and the harsh sanctions.
O'Brien and his future at Penn State is one of the more interesting subplots to it all.