Penn State coach Bill O'Brien may not be coming back to the Nittany Lions for the 2013 season. If he isn't going to be back, the Penn State football program will be on the verge of becoming Sun Belt quality football.
The Nittany Lions are already facing the largest adversity they have in years. After a tough start to the season with losses to Virginia and Ohio, they have rebounded due to the great leadership of O'Brien to a 7-4 record and a 5-2 conference record.
According to David Jones of PennLive.com, it's a real possibility that O'Brien could end up leaving Penn State in 2013. When asked by Jones about coming back in the 2013 season, O'Brien responded with the following:
“You guys gave legs last week to a story that... there's no story there. Y'know, I'm focused on one game at a time. I'm focused on this football team. That's not something that I even think about. I think about that I'm the head football coach at Penn State. And I'm looking forward to getting this team ready for Wisconsin. I mean, we give legs to a story that's not even there.”
This comes off as non-committal. It also comes off as him still trying to determine whether he wants to or not. This isn't good at all for the Nittany Lions if he can't even give a quick yes or no. However, it could be that he just hasn't thought about it because it's the middle of the season.
However, if I were a Penn State fan, I would be scared that the only man who is truly worthy of replacing the legendary Joe Paterno may be on his way out.
Bill O'Brien is the Best Hope for Penn State to Stay Relevant as a Football Team
After facing the NCAA penalties that include a loss of 20 total and 10 initial scholarships a season and a bowl ban for four years, the Nittany Lions will have to keep some sort of continuity in order to stay relevant on and off the field.
Bill O'Brien's ability to prove that he can replace the legendary Joe Paterno as the leader has turned the entire program around from where it could have been. The 0-2 start could be attributed to the changing of the guard and stress caused by the initial sanctions.
However, once Penn State and O'Brien got their legs under them, they turned into a team that could compete in the Big 10 from here on out. If O'Brien is willing to weather the storm, he could take Penn State to great heights.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.