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Bill O'Brien should be the next football coach at Boston College.

Bill O'Brien will be the next football coach at Boston College

It should have been wrapped up, but this is Boston College and there is always drama.

That will be created (reportedly in Atlanta) in the next two days when a "search'' committee, which may include former BC QB Matt Ryan, concludes the interviews and  make a final decision by end of week, with a final approval coming from Father Leahy back at The Heights on Friday..

Another factor also comes into play.

BC has hired Parker Associates, an Atlanta based search firm to conduct the process.

That is not necessarily a good thing. Sevrral years ago, Boston University was looking for a a men's basketball coach. It hired Parker.

A member of the Parker search  toteam called the coach at Brandeis and began telling him about what BU had to offer in terms of location, which was 13 miles from the Brandeis campus.

""I know where BU is located,'' said the Brandeis coach, who didn;t get hired.

Parker often has its own stable of coaches and AD's .to fill is jobs, which allows Parker to collect fees on both  ends.

And it often goes for potential stars-or what feels are potential stars--which could mean that someone like Toledo coach Jason Candle could become a major player..

There are four names on the final list, which includes O'Brien, UCLA coach Chip Kelly.. Notre Dame assistant coach Al Washington and a fourth candidate who very well could be Candle.

Other names may include former Wisconsin Coach  Paul Chryst, Candle and Texas assistant Kyle Flood.

The turmoil started at BC last week when Eagle coach Jeff Hafley, after four years at the Heights without tangible signs of improvement, took a job as the defensive coordinator of the  Green Bay Packers.

Hafley had dealt all of last season with a "must win 8 regular season games demand by BC athletic director Blake James.

BC stumbled out of the gate, losing its opener at home to Northern Illinois as well as two of the next three game to Florida State and Louisville.

Even with a contract extension which was going to pay him slightly more than 4 million a year through 2026, Hafley's immediate future was in jeopardy.

The Eagles bounced back a five-game winning streak but then concluded their regular season with losses to Virginia Tech, Pitt and Miami.

That was enough for James, who was ready to make a switch.

James had been watching and gauging the interest of O'Brien, who was back on Belichick's staff with the Patriots after a successful run at Alabama with Saban.

There was a major roadblock.--Father William J Leahy who has run the show since 1996.

Father Leahy has veto power over everything in athletics and has used it several times in the past.

And je used it in December, telling James  BC was not ready to pay that much money in a buyout (12

 million dollars, so an un uneasy status quo was maintained, especially for Hafley, who still had the 8 win edict facing him..

Hafley, as all coaches these days, had to deal with the new trend in football which has created free agency with NIL, payouts for players as well as a transfer portal chaos.

When Hafley went to the Packers he astutely let it leak out that coaching college football was not as much fun. 

James had his opening. 

But he has to deal with the BC process dictated by Father Leahy

For now, let's make a rare bow to BC which appears ready to hire the right guy at the right time.

That would be O'Brien, with stints at the Patriots (and Bill Belichick) and Houston Oilers (above .500), Alabama (and Nick Saban) and a two-year successful transitional coach following the scandal ridden end of Joe Paterno's era at Penn State.

James has talked to O'Brien, who grew up in Boston, for several months about what might happen if Hafley did not win 8 games. And O'Brien listened, giving James assurances that if things developed at The Heights, he would regard it as a destination, rather than steppingstone job, almost a pre-requisite for BC officials.

A potential roadblock was O'Brien's agent, a Jerry Maguire figure in Jimmy Sexton. 

BC officials hate dealing with agents and that may have slowed the process down as numerous incentive clauses as well as other issues dealing with assistants' salaries and embracing the new wild world of NFL/college football.

 But BC is moving as rapidly as it can and O'Brien still looked like the clear leader until Parker emerged as a major factor.