With Urban Meyer taking the Ohio State job, there seemingly aren't a lot of high-profile head coaching candidates who have a reasonable chance of landing in Happy Valley -- though it is early yet, and some big names could become available.
For instance, The Inquirer's Frank Fitzpatrick reports today that the university would be interested in Chris Petersen from Boise St.
Fitzpatrick writes that Boise's football program is second only to PSU academically, which will certainly carry some weight with school officials. It's also very interesting he has managed to recruit so well for a university situated in the middle of nowhere, a unique challenge that exists in State College as well.
Boise St. is 72-6 under Petersen, whose team has become an increasingly hot-button issue in college football. The Broncos made waves in his first season, capping an undefeated '06 campaign with their memorable 43-42 upset win over #8 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. In 2009, they went undefeated again, but were pitted against TCU -- to be fair, also unbeaten at the time -- in the Fiesta Bowl rather than a BCS automatic qualifier.
The issue of having a legitimate shot at competing for a National Championship clearly bothers Petersen, who was the latest in a long and distinguished line of BCS bashers this week. Could it prompt his consideration to move on to bigger and supposedly better things? Maybe, but Fitzpatrick reports Petersen has already turned down a large-money offer from UCLA.
It will be interesting to see if anything comes out of this. For now, it sounds like all the noise is on Penn State's end. However, I like their line of thinking. Petersen is an aggressive and creative coach who does things the right way, a good recruiter despite being geographically limited, and has a history of winning big games.