Is Bill O’Brien Actually a Candidate for Head Coaching Jobs?
On Tuesday, when discussing candidates for Auburn’s soon to be vacant coaching job, I threw out the wild possibility of Auburn hiring Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien to be their head coach. While I don’t think Auburn would hire O’Brien, nor do I believe that O’Brien would leave Alabama for Auburn, his name has been mentioned quite a bit lately in the coaching carousel news cycle.
If O’Brien were to leave The Capstone to take the head coaching job for another program, it seems based on the news cycle that if any, it would be Nebraska. Perhaps more in shambles than any other power five program at the moment, the status of things in Lincoln is well, not good, and that’s putting it nicely.
But as we’ve seen before, O’Brien has experience guiding a program from the depths back to playing solid football. Obviously, it was a very different situation at Penn State when O’Brien took over, but he guided the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 season and helped lead PSU out of the sexual abuse scandal before departing back to the NFL in 2013.
The possibility of O’Brien leaving Alabama was tossed around last offseason as well with the Patriots having a void at offensive coordinator, but ultimately these rumors proved to be nothing more than that, and he stayed put. But now, with the head job of a major program with a loyal fanbase opening up, I’m inclined to believe that if O’Brien was actually offered the job, he would take it in a heartbeat.
Of course, there are other names being thrown around, from Lance Leipold of Kansas to Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, and of course the wild card of Urban Meyer, who I personally think is the best choice for the job. But it is undeniable that O’Brien knows how to lead a college program and would inject some excitement into a Cornhusker fanbase that desperately needs it.