Vote Bill O’Brien for Coach of the Year
Following a four game winning streak including a thrilling victory over the previously undefeated Northwestern Wildcats, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien is beginning to receive a lot of praise from members of the national media including some Coach of the Year discussions.
The Nittany Lions’ head coach said during a Big Ten teleconference call on Wednesday that a Coach of the Year award is the last thing on his mind. Even so, that won’t stop fans and players from voting for their favorite coach for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year award at coachoftheyear.com. The winner will claim $50,000 to donate to charity and a $20,000 grant to the university’s alumni association in addition to the trophy.
Fan votes contribute to 20% of the decision making process, while the College Hall of Fame Selection Committee maintains 55% of the votes and the national media members hold a 25% stake. Voting takes place through Twitter and will last until the conclusion of November when finalists are named.
Penn State football players–including starting quarterback Matt McGloin— are trying to utilize Twitter to get O’Brien some additional votes and vault him into first place.
Voting for this award halfway through the season seems a bit ridiculous to me. The best example I can use to illustrate that is to take a look at our friends from Illinois. Last season, the Illini were 6-0 and ranked sixteenth in the country before losing their final six games of the regular season. Ron Zook was fired, and they are now experiencing the Tim Beckman era, who unlike O’Brien, will not be anywhere near the top of this list.
With that said, if you choose to base a vote off the sample size of half a season, O’Brien–while not necessarily the clear cut winner– is a pretty good choice as no one underwent a more tumultuous offseason even before games got underway.
As of publishing time, O’Brien sits in third place behind Paul Rhoads of Iowa State and Bill Snyder of Kansas State with 2678 votes. Something tells me with the passionate Penn State fan base and strong social media presence, that won’t last for long.
Go crazy, folks.
Update: 10:40 a.m.— O’Brien has surged ahead of Rhoads and Snyder into first place. He currently has 4330 votes and has a 252 vote cushion on Rhoads. You can keep track of the leaderboard by clicking here.