Penn State Loss An Urban Meyer Gain, Tommy Schutt Ohio State-Bound


The Penn State head coaching vacancy requires a special human being. PSU differs so vastly from any coaching position before it, there is no blueprint for changing the program’s landscape. Shining some light through the dark cloud the Jerry Sandusky case has caused is a delicate process requiring the perfect selection. A replacement chosen haphazardly just to have someone at the helm will only further damage a university already deeply scarred.

But the 24-7-365 clock of college football never stops, and every moment without the man who will guide a new generation of Nittany Lions leaves PSU vulnerable on the recruiting trail. The most significant loss came Monday, with defensive line recuit Tommy Schutt backing off from PSU in favor of another program introducing a new head coach in 2012, Ohio State.

For OSU, the Schutt commitment is a cause for celebration, per Urban Meyer has been on the job just over a week and already making an impact. For PSU, Schutt’s decomitt is indicative of the negative byproducts the ongoing vacancy poses the program, examined via Victory Bell Rings. OSU is a beneficiary of the myriad problems plaguing State College, but ultimately the Buckeyes could have a road map for how PSU can recover on the field.

There’s no comparing the OSU vacancy Jim Tressel left to the immense and dark shadow cast by Joe Paterno’s ouster — indeed, there’s no comparing PSU to any past opening as stated above. However, when Tressel stepped down in May a plethora of questions bogged down Columbus. How much of a mess in terms of NCAA sanctions does the new coach have before him? Can OSU replace a legend? What coach has the experience and ability to succeed, and quickly?

Urban Meyer fulfilled the requirements OSU has in a football coach. His game management is renowned, and his recruiting chops are proven. Impending NCAA sanctions made OSU a difficult sell, but his agreement to come out of retirement suggest the horizon isn’t so bleak.

Before it can choose its coach, PSU must have its house in order in terms of administration. The Happy Valley mess is unprecedented, and requires a complete overhaul. Remember though, it wasn’t so long ago that OSU was a seeming cauldron of unpleasantness that had some questioning whether the NCAA would lower the death penalty on it. Just half-a-year later, the right coaching hire injected energy into the program that have made the concerns of the off-season seem like ancient history.

OSU has a jump on its recovery process, and each passing day ups the ante for the 16th Nittany Lion head coach. The next month will determine where this program stands on Signing Day 2012, and its place in college football for the decade to come.