Did we really think that Al Golden could go a season without being named as a target for whatever FBS football program had an opening?
Of course not.
However, the Penn State vacancy, now that Bill O'Brien has taken the job as the Houston Texans head coach, is one that Golden will undoubtedly ponder -- even if he is intent on staying in Miami. He earned his undergraduate degree from Penn State in 1991 and played tight end there for Joe Paterno. He was a team captain as a senior.
The Harrisburg Patriot-News (pennlive.com) reported Wednesday, via a source, that Golden and Vanderbilt Coach James Franklin were both "names mentioned by a source close to the PSU program.''
The article told readers to "expect Vanderbilt's James Franklin and Miami's Al Golden to top Penn State's football's wish list as the Nittany Lions search for the permanent successor to Bill O'Brien.''
Penn State athletic director David Joyner told reporters Thursday that a six-member search committee intends to replace O'Brien as soon as possible, in "days, not weeks,'' pennlive.com reported.
Golden is 22-15 in his three seasons at UM, including an extremely disheartening 36-9 loss last week to Louisville in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Golden's current contract runs through Feb. 1, 2020.
We meet with him Monday for a post-season press conference. Should be an interesting session.
As for Franklin, his Commodores (8-4) meet Houston (8-4) in the BBVA Compass Bowl at noon Saturday in Birmingham.
SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN