The college football world was once again rocked by a bit of head coaching news on Friday when Bill O’Brien made waves from Columbus. As spring practices are set to kick off around the country, O’Brien is reportedly on the move a bit east.
Bold: Bill O’Brien to Boston College
It’s been reported that Bill O’Brien will officially take the head coaching vacancy with the Boston College Eagles. The news, first reported by Kevin Stone of the New England Football Journal, comes after O’Brien had just recently assumed the role of offensive coordinator with the Ohio State Buckeyes on January 19.
O’Brien’s return to New England is now swift but may leave fans desiring more after he led the New England Patriots offense to a bottom-three ranking during the 2023 NFL season. But O’Brien’s college success is worth noting.
Prior to his time with the Patriots a season ago, O’Brien was the offensive coordinator with the Alabama Crimson Tide and led QB Bryce Young to set multiple school records and a Heisman Trophy. BC fans will surely hope for more of this kind of success than his notable ending with the Patriots and Houston Texans at the NFL level.
According to Stone, O’Brien’s acceptance of the head coaching job at BC is set to be announced on Friday or Saturday.
O’Brien’s Return to College
O’Brien is set to return as the leading man on a college football sideline for the first time since the 2013 season with Penn State. He was the head coach of the Nittany Lions during the 2012 and 2013 seasons, compiling a 15-9 record and leading PSU to a 10-6 record in the Big Ten.
O’Brien was notably the head coach who the Nittany Lions anointed following the departure of Joe Paterno and amid their abuse scandal. Because of his efforts at helping turn the program around despite multiple sanctions and much scrutiny, O’Brien was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year and tabbed as the national coach of the Year by ESPN and the Paul Bryant College Coach of the Year Award.
He parlayed that success into four division crowns with the Houston Texans in the NFL, but returned to Saturday football with the Tide in 2021. During his time as the offensive coordinator at Alabama, O’Brien led the Tide to a 24-4 record by averaging over 41 points per game.
While some criticized O’Brien’s lack of development, the facts align with his stewardship over a college football program. He led Young to a Heisman Trophy and the No. 1 overall draft selection. O’Brien steadied the Penn State ship and put them on a path toward success.
And he was scheduled to help Ohio State get over the proverbial Michigan hump they’ve found themselves in during the Ryan Day era. Though he’s heading out of Columbus now, a week-long saga for a new coach was apparently always set to be a one-horse race with O’Brien leading the charge.
The next step in this process is surely confirmation of the report and a formal announcement from BC. But after that, the college football landscape will change once again in the ACC and the Big Ten.
Who O’Brien brings on his staff at BC and how the Buckeyes replace him are arguably more intriguing as O’Brien leaving for the job in the first place.
Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!