Penn State coach O'Brien downplays national coach of the year talk

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 9, 2012 2:28 PM

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien is brushing off talk he should be considered a frontrunner for national coach of the year.

O'Brien has led the Nittany Lions to a 4-2 record, including four straight victories and an upset over previously unbeaten Northwestern. After a rough start to his tenure — a 24-14 loss at home to Ohio — O'Brien has earned praise for the turnaround and the way he has handled the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Sandusky, maintaining his innocence, was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison.

O'Brien has no time to worry about that. He's trying to keep it "business as usual" for the Nittany Lions as they prepare for an Oct. 20 game at Iowa.

The coach says there are so many challenges in his first season that the experience is like, "drinking water from a fire hose."

Halfway through the season, O'Brien says it's too early to consider any major coaching awards. He says being in contention is the "farthest thing from my mind."

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