I really have to agree. Mike Riley is many things and to an almost annoying degree: Too nice, to humble, too "golly gee whiz" ingratiating. But most of all he's a man of integrity. He doesn't downplay the bad, and certainly doesn't toot his own horn about the good. When his players get into trouble, he unquestionably does what it right for everyone involved, and by "unquestionably" I mean no one questions his motives and rarely, if ever, question his solutions. Does that sound like just what Penn State needs right now or not?
I just read a post by a fellow ATQ-er about how Mike Riley is the one guy in the entire world of college sports he knows in his heart would have done what JoPa didn't. So does Riley to Penn State make sense?
Next, he seems perfectly cut from Penn State cloth. He's a local kid who's working his dream job, other than a quick fit of insanity that brought the Anti-Riley into Corvallis for a short, memorable stretch that caused the entire state to boil themselves in bleach after he left. He runs a traditional offense that is fairly complex and doesn't cut corners in trying to get it right, often resulting in slow starts to seasons but leading to a very tough team to beat from game 3 or 4 on during most seasons. His teams always play hard-nosed defense whether they have talent on that side of the ball or not. He has done as much with the meager resources and lack of recruiting advantages as can be expected.
So does Mike Riley to Penn State make sense? It does to me. He's EXACTLY the coach they need right now. He is everything the world thought JoPa was. He can win with just decent talent and likely can win big with big-time talent. His integrity is his identity, he's a small-town kid, he's not an empire builder, and he cares about people more than his own reputation.
But he's an unknown hick from a football backwater 3000 miles away from State College who has never won a bowl game anyone would care about. He had 2 shots at a conference title in a row and whiffed both, one of them at home, both to their hated rival. His last 2 seasons have gone from bad to worse following a stretch of play that Oregon State fans thought was great but could put a top-tier Big-10 coach's job in jeopardy. He is NOT the kind of coach anyone would seriously consider to take over the PSU program. Penn State was built on FOOTBALL.
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