Penn State Coach Bill O'Brien Wins Bear Bryant Award

January 18, 2013 at 3:36a    by Jason Priestas    
23 Comments

Comments

Killer nuts's picture

I find it a little absurd and equally irritating that despite being the only coach in the country to guide his team to an unbeaten mark (not to mention doing so in his first year after taking over a 7-6 team and doing so in the setting of NCAA sanctions), Urban Meyer was unable to win a single one of these coach of the year awards

acBuckeye's picture

Actually they were 6-7, but who's counting??

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Going undefeated in your first year? Meh! Anyone can do that apparently. It takes something special to lose to the Bobcats and Virginia.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

BuckeyeChris's picture

Even Kirk Ferentz is appalled. 

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

Nah. He's pretty happy since he knows it's his next season. Unless of course Billy O shocks the world and goes 6-6. I guess they'll give them co-COTY honors.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

Boom777's picture

A perfect example of our country going to shit! Award people who haven't done anything great with awards and trophies. Maybe we should stop keeping score because all people want is a story not results

Wherever you are, there you be!

buckeyedude's picture

Maybe the thought behind giving these COY awards to O'Brien is just for the siimple reason that he took the PSU HC in the first place.
 

 

 

Enzo's picture

What exactly did BOB accomplish? He finished with a mediocre record, in a mediocre conference. Meanwhile he lost out of conference games to bad teams. He didn't have a single signature win.
Ridiculous.

Buckeyevstheworld's picture

The problem I have is that the media acts as if Penn State is some 4th tier school that barely produces any NFL talent. The talent they had even after transfers was still better than most of the BigTen.

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

CincyOSU's picture

I think the record is secondary in this instance. I don't think many ppl, including on this site, thought they would do much of anything this year, esp after the opening day loss to Ohio. What he did, keeping the team together and managing to win more games than anyone thought, was pretty impressive.
As far as Meyer goes...I really don't think he gives two morning deuces about COY awards. He has these two things called rings that carry a little more weight...which is likely the reason he probably will never win another COY award. The country expects him to succeed.

BoFuquel's picture

+1 Dead(Spin) on Cincy. Get used to it Buckeye Nation,we don't and ain't gonna win any popularity contest.All that can be done is play the games we are allowed to partisipate in and blow our own horn as loud as we can.With the power and wealth of Buckeye Nation we can do a lot,but we must stop cowtowing to the national media for a fix or a paycheck.Yeah, that's gonna happen.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Bucks43201's picture

Just another good story for the media to elevate. Coach of the Year? Hardly. Well, maybe if the Coach of the Year Award was for just the state of Pennsylvania. In that case - yes - I'd say O'Brien did a better job than Pitt, and Temple.
Urban Meyer had the only undefeated team after a tumultous offseason. Yes, O'Brien's offseason preceding 2012 was as tumultous as one can imagine, but, is this award given to whoever was the biggest "victim"/had the toughest offseason? Nope. It's for coach of the year. And Urban's 12-0 record for a team with no postseason is better than O'Brien's above average record for a team with no postseason.
Bill "The Architect" Snyder of K-State is also more deserving. He (again) takes a bunch of 2/3 star recruits & JUCO signees into the top 5 and keeps them there pretty much all season long. Really remarkable.

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

For me, this was a very tough decision between Obrien, Meyer, and James Franklin, but in the end I would have had to flip a coin between Meyer and Obrien. Meyer getting OSU to 12-0 was impressive, but what Obrien did with Matt McGloin was nothing short of a miracle. Really tough choice. Like I said, a coin flip.

LouGroza's picture

Would like to know how many times Bob was able to go for broke and go for first downs on fourth downs last season. On his end of the field, early in games. He did this regularly because of nothing to lose. No other coach had the luxury of being able to do that. Other coaches covet their jobs and those coaches have a fear of losing them by using the same tactics. Bob had no worries there. 4th and 17 at your own 42 in the first quarter, go for it? Yeah everyone can do that and not be on the hottest coaching seat ever, even if successful. You would be viewed as suicidal. Not at PSU, that's all the excitement they have to look forward to for the next few years. No one seems to mention the difference.

hail2victors9's picture

You haven't paid much attention to Chip Kelly, have you Groza?  I see your point about having nothing to lose, but several teams go on 4th in situations some old fashion coaches would never consider.
However, I think that opinion falls in the same category as people saying OSU went undefeated because they didn't have the pressure of the chance to play in the title game  (which I disagree with, btw).

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!
~Bo Schembechler

LouGroza's picture

Never have noticed Kelly do something that irrational unless you have an exact instance you are referring to. There is a line between new age coaching and nothing to lose coaching. O'brien also did it consistently, without regard to the circumstance. When coaches are judged according to which one had the toughest row to hoe to get anywhere it doesn't matter anyway. It just becomes a Manti Te'o/Heisman story.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Groza has somewhat of a point. Part of Kelly's system is predicated on irrationality; making things hard to predict. Obrien did have nothing to lose. But hey, so did Urban. (you could also make the argument, though, that Oregon isn't quite a pressure cooker and that Kelly didn't have much to lose either)
Like I said, where I start to lean towards Obrien is when you look at what he did with McGloin. Un-frickin-believable.

LouGroza's picture

Many times coaching changes result in immediate success. If a roster has players with or without experience is inconsequential. Emotion plays a very big role in college football and the infusion of new energy along with the us versus the world mentality can mean a lot. PSU lost players but they were not the sisters of the poor. O'Brien had McGloin throw short high percentage stuff that suited him perfectly. Any smart coach would have done that IMO. With their schedule, remember the terribly weak B1G that all talked about, a PSU type of talented roster, the emotional high created by Mauti and co., and being able to gamble like he did made it a very manageable season.

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

"Many times coaching changes result in immediate success": Paging Tim Beckman, Jerry Kill, Kevin Wilson, Will Muschamp, Luke Fickell, RichRod, Lane Kiffin, etc, etc
"If a roster has players with or without experience is inconsequential. Emotion plays a very big role in college football and the infusion of new energy along with the us versus the world mentality can mean a lot."... Maybe, but that 'us against the world' thingy completely backfired on us in 2011.
"PSU lost players but they were not the sisters of the poor."... This is true, especially on defense. I'd been saying for months they could go 8-4, and wasn't entirely surprised, I didn't think they'd go 6-2 in the Big Ten. I thought's they'd go 4-0 out of conference and 4-4 in the B1G. The fact that they kept getting better throughout the year is what impressed me the most.
"O'Brien had McGloin throw short high percentage stuff that suited him perfectly. Any smart coach would have done that IMO."... it never suited him in the past. Also, I watched every PSU game this year. McGloin took plenty of shots downfield. That's one of the reasons his top receiver - Allen Robinson - averaged over 13 yards per reception. Also, if you truly believe O'brien didn't really transform McGloin but rather just "played to his strngths", then the same could be said about Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller. In fact, I'd argue Meyer played to Braxton's strenghts in 2012 than Obrien played to McGloin's strengths. Statistically speaking, Braxton didn't make significant progress as a passer, at least not the kind of progress we were hoping for. Not to say he wasn't better than 2011, but he still made some pretty dumb reads and held onto the ball for far too long often (Braxton - a mobile QB no less - was sacked 28 times in 254 passing attempts, compared to only 20 times in 446 attempts for McGloin. That's one sack every 9.1 passing attempts for Braxton, and one in every 22.3 attempts for McGloin).
"With their schedule, remember the terribly weak B1G that all talked about"... the same B1G that OSU played in. Their schedules were relatively even (Sagarin had PSU at 58th and OSU at 60th in SOS).
Like I said, I think it was a coin flip. Both coaches impressed me. If anybody besides Obrien or Meyer had won it, I'd be scratching my head (side note: I'm a little confused as to how in the hell Pat Fitzgerald wasn't a finalist. Not that I think he should have won, but he certainly deserved to be a finalist).

hail2victors9's picture

Take away Carlos Hyde, "Philly" Brown, Drew Basil, Kenny G, Heuerman, a 2nd team LB of your choice and then 8-10 bench players that don't see the field much, but might if there was an injury or opportunity.
Now imagine instead of Braxton you have a lifetime 54% passer with 3100 yards, 22 TDs, and 14 INTs. 
Your school is in the news everyday for heinous crimes covered up by your former head coach who recruited you.  The media doesn't care about your team's football talent and discusses nothing more than the crimes that happened years before your players arrived on campus.  Your friends, family, and complete strangers question why you'd stick around.  12 of your former teammates abandoned their football family; maybe one was your roommate.  6 more left the team for other reasons. 
You turn to a man that you've known, at most, for 6 months to lead your team as a first time head coach.  No one is even sure if he'll stick around.  People that don't even care about football hate you because of the jersey you wear.  Your football career is beaten within an inch of its life and left on the side of the road. 
Now go win 8 of your last 10 games.
Not arguing that BOB deserved more than Urban, or that Urban didn't deserve it.  Just wondering how some don't understand just what an accomplishment it was to go 8-4.

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!
~Bo Schembechler

TheHumbleBuckeye's picture

Well said Hail.
Like I said, for me it's a coin flip between Meyer and O'Brien (honorable mention to James Franklin). But in the end, if you look at what he did with McGloin, that's where I give BOB the edge. That's truly a testament to good coaching.
Little surprised Pat Fitzgerald wasn't a finalist. He did an incredible job this year.

LouGroza's picture

He's a good coach no doubt. As much as you try to make it seem as though he was working with nothing, he had a decent roster there. They had PSU type players there. Much better than many other teams in the B1G even after players left. He was an NFL QB coach so he was able to work with McGloins strengths. Mauti and that group quickly galvanized the us against the world motto bringing into play the emotion that makes college football what it is. They should have beaten Ohio and Virginia while only losing to OSU and Nebraska, which they did. The Wiscy win was an emotional win by definition, without Mauti even. No really good coach that I know of accepts excuses or wants pity. Can't help but think some of what he received for these awards was just that. Those that don't understand an 8-4 accomplishment such as this may think anyone could have coached OSU to 12-0.

tennbuckeye19's picture

Coach of the Year doesn't mean "best coach" or "best team" or anything like that. I don't have any issue with O'Brien winning. His team won more games then I thought they would and took the "us against the world" mentality about as far as they possibly could. Finishing 8-4 for them was a big deal.