STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 9: Students and those in the community visit the Joe Paterno statue after football head coach Joe Paterno was fired during the Penn State Board of Trustees Press Conference, at Beaver Field, November 9, 2011 in State College, Pennsylvania. Paterno and Spanier have lost their positions amid allegations that former former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was involved with child sex abuse. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Talking about the next Penn St. Nittany Lions coach isn't like talking about the next Ole Miss or UCLA coach. This isn't just a question of who can recruit the area, who has ties to the program, or whose style fits the school. For one thing, finding a coach without any ties to the program might be preferable, but that's another story.
Penn State is also unlikely to land in any NCAA trouble, despite Mark Emmert's tough talk, because it doesn't appear that anything that happened had anything to do with any athletes or any competitions. Jerry Sandusky was retired by the time of the 2002 allegation.
Still, the next coach is going to have to be someone willing and able to clean up the biggest mess in college sports history, which could continue to get worse and worse even after he's hired.
If you'd like to see a list, Bodog.com's is reasonable at the top and then just starts naming names toward the end, but it is a decent look at who will be in the conversation at the media and fan level. Urban Meyer was already the presumed favorite, Tom Bradley is the current interim, Al Golden has ties to PSU and was handed a mess in Miami ... it's a list.
Urban Meyer 2/1
Tom Bradley 2/1
Al Golden 4/1
Mike London 9/2
Kevin Sumlin 5/1
Pat Fitzgerald 6/1
Kik Ferentz 15/2
Dan Mullen 8/1
Chris Petersen 10/1
Greg Schiano 25/1
Jon Gruden 50/1
For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries.