The next era of Penn State football is beginning. And while it appears to be a foregone conclusion the team will be mediocre at best, thanks to incredibly strong NCAA sanctions. But Bill O'Brien isn't going to let that stop him. As he made the rounds today, he outlined the reasons Penn State will continue to be a successful institution.
And what he mentioned are strong reasons for new recruits to come to Penn State. Where else can you play 6 or 7 home games a season in front of 108,000 screaming fans? Despite the sanctions, Penn State will still be a nationally broadcasted team. And Bill O'Brien has coached teams in the Super Bowl. So there are still reasons to come to Penn State. Good reasons.
Unfortunately, that won't be enough. The current players have expressed their commitment to Penn State. Maybe they'll all stay. Some players will leave. Who will leave remains to be seen. And certain players can't be blamed for leaving. Silas Redd for example. He's a fantastic player, with a real chance to get drafted and play in the NFL. And on a Penn State team that could recruit normally and play in Bowl games, Redd may have had a chance to do something wonderful. But rumors have him talking to USC.
So all that's left now is to play some football, and let the chips fall where they may. The NCAA has seen to it that Penn State will be a sub par program for the foreseeable future. Once the current crop of players leave, Penn State will be a broken and battered program. Instead of scheduling small weak programs for us to beat up on in the opening weeks of the season, we will be that team. And that's not what PSU fans are used to.
But it will end. The sanctions will end, and when O'Brien gets a chance to recruit with the promise of bowl games and scholarships, the ship will right itself.
In the meantime, only 38 days until we play Ohio. And I can't wait.