O’Brien has since very a lot landed on his toes, having spent the final two years in Tuscaloosa coordinating the offense for Nick Saban and the College of Alabama. His quarterback (and attainable future Houston Texans quarterback) Bryce Younger gained the Heisman Trophy in 2021, and is on monitor to be a high 5 choose within the 2023 NFL Draft.
Consequently, Invoice O’Brien has put himself in place to land a fairly profitable school head teaching job in 2023, if that’s certainly what he desires to do. Now, earlier than you snicker (as a result of I do know Texan followers are laughing), I am going to level out that O’Brien’s resume is definitely a really sellable profession report to a school fan base outdoors of the town of Houston (and, if we’re being life like, let’s simply say “outdoors the whole state of Texas”).
O’Brien had an extended profession as a stable collegiate assistant, earlier than shifting as much as the NFL and finally coordinating a New England Patriot offense that went to a Tremendous Bowl in 2011. (Yeah, he had Tom Brady. I do know.) From there, he did an admirable job of holding Penn State collectively in 2012 and 2013 within the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. In Houston, he gained 4 division titles in six seasons. Lastly, previous Alabama offensive coordinators have gone onto first rate success, most notable Brian Daboll (Giants head coach) and Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss head coach).
So the place would possibly O’Brien find yourself? Effectively, let’s study the present openings, as a result of even only a month in, athletics administrators have been busy cleansing home. Present vacancies embrace Arizona State, Nebraska, Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, and Colorado. I might cross off the 2 Pac-12 colleges, ASU and Colorado. They do not really feel like O’Brien-type jobs. However let’s take a look at the opposite three and a pair bonus potentialities:
To the shock of many, Wisconsin fired native son Paul Chryst this week, on the heels of a blowout loss to Illinois. When the chances got here out this week, O’Brien was listed second on the board at 3 to 1, behind interim head coach and Badger alum Jim Leonhard. O’Brien is likely to be a great match at Wisconsin, which performs within the a lot simpler half of the Huge Ten. It might be attention-grabbing to see what could be stated if the Badgers’ brass requested distinguished alum J.J. Watt for an O’Brien reference.
The Nebraska job might be extra wealthy in custom than the Wisconsin job, however most likely tougher to recruit to in 2022. Like Wisconsin, the Cornhuskers’ job is within the simpler half of the Huge Ten. On the odds board for this job, O’Brien sits at fourth total. I feel Nebraska is anticipating a extra “WOW” rent than O’Brien, however he is likely to be the most effective they’ll do.
O’Brien has proven up on some lists as a risk for the vacant Georgia Tech job, and it is sensible. Again within the late 90’s and early 2000’s, O’Brien had success there as George O’Leary’s offensive coordinator. He was really set to observe O’Leary to Notre Dame, till O’Leary’s resume was revealed to have some falsehoods leading to his fast termination. However again to O’Brien — my guess is that, if O’Brien have been to take a school job, it could be one greater up the meals chain than Tech, however there’s a connection there.
Okay, now listed here are two different bonus potentialities that will come open both imminently or after the season:
The Tigers may hearth head coach Bryan Harsin any day now, as Auburn has tumbled to the underside of the SEC West. I do not suppose Auburn would go after O’Brien, however his mere presence at arch nemesis Alabama would put his title on the chances board, and wow, what enjoyable that might be to see O’Brien teaching towards Nick Sabam in an Iron Bowl sport.
Proper now, Penn State head coach James Franklin seems to be secure, as he has the Nittany Lions off to a 5-0 begin. Nevertheless, the warmth can flip up any minute, and with Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio State developing within the subsequent three video games, Franklin is likely to be on the recent seat, if Penn State goes, say, 8-4 or 7-5. O’Brien left Penn State after simply two seasons for the NFL, however did an admirable job whereas he was there, and at all times speaks extremely of the college in interviews. Might there be a second act?