Bill O'Brien hasn't been head coach in Happy Valley for too long but he's already making news in the Northeast. The first year Penn State football head coach told fans and media members that he wants to see the Meadowlands Kickoff Classic restarted.
Speaking to a room full of fans and media Wednesday night in New York City, BOB said he would like to see Penn State play in an annual season-opening game against a national opponent at MetLife Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands by 2015, and said that "plans were in the works" to make it happen. BOB directly referenced the old "Kickoff Classic" style games played from 1983-2002 in the old Giants Stadium on the same site in New Jersey.
The old Kickoff Classic was played from 1983-2002 in the old Giants Stadium. Boston College played in two Kickoff Classics -- in 1985 against BYU (a 28-14 loss) and in 1995 against Ohio State (a 38-6 loss). After the NCAA changed rules regarding season opening extra games, the game was discontinued.
BC is one of a dozen programs to have played in the old Kickoff Classic more than once. Penn State lead the way with four appearances, followed by Nebraska, Ohio State, Syracuse and USC (3). With the Eagles seemingly shut out of Atlanta-based Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic, this would be a great alternative, season-opening event for northern college football programs.
While it's unclear whether Penn State would commit to an additional non-conference game away from home, it's encouraging that O'Brien is at least putting the idea on the table.
Just one potential snag in O'Brien's plan. Syracuse football is planning on making the Meadowlands a home away from home Syracuse and USC will play at MetLife Stadium this fall on September 8, the first of several Orange games at the new stadium. Syracuse will take on Penn State in August 2013 and Notre Dame in 2014 and 2016. There will be an additional 10 Orange football games scheduled in the Meadowlands between 2019 and 2038.