Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Bar Down The Street

It's a nice place, really, and from now on we'll meet over there.

I can't really explain how fun this whole creating a blog thing has been. It all starts with a post no one will ever read. With time, you get a couple of good people to drop your URL and all of the sudden you have a couple of readers. Sitemeter becomes your drug and the addiction is underway. You make bad jokes, you complain, you rationalize, you copy FJM's format, you even dive into pointless research, but mostly you enjoy it.

Last week Mike at Black Shoe Diaries emailed me and asked if I'd co-author over there. This is normally where I'm suppose to say I have mixed feelings but, to be totally honest, I don't. I'm excited.

Still, leaving TBE is a bit of a downer, but if I can get over the 2005 Michigan game I can get over this. For those of you who have subscribed or check back daily, I'm glad I could kill 15 minutes of your day. The rising numbers only fueled the fire so I appreciate it. As far as what is changing: almost nothing. I'm not go to be posting any less content and you are still going to get the same weak-grammared, conclusion-lacking style you've come to expect.

It's that time. I'll do the hard part, you just have to click it:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Your Moment of Zen

Prepare yourself for a bit of a shake up tomorrow. In the meantime, something to hold you over...

My favorite part, other than the obvious, is Tamba's very calm walk back to the sideline.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Legend Of Link: Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing Today

-The NYT's weak effort at college sports coverage, The Quad, is ranking all 119 teams (um, what about #120?) this year. Before they got to #97 they had already named two Penn State opponents: Temple and 'Cuse. Missing Minnesota, who came it at #101, kept PSU from having three on the list.

-Even with bonus points for being creepy, I still don't think Mariah Carey's overhand bowling is as bad as missing home plate by 45 degrees. (H/T: AA)

-I unfortunately missed this year's National Spelling Bee, so I wasn't able to get my bets in, but from what I hear it was a good time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Guess I Have To Post On This: Schiano Rumor

Yes, this.

The great thing about the internet is that, with a properly timed post, a person can say something outlandish with not much to go on and get like 8 gazillion people to read it. It also helps if you do it during the offseason when bloggers are hungry for post material. This is not a sarcastic comment, it's part of what gets me through the work day.

A source told The Phanatic Magazine
Here we go again...
that a succession plan to replace Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno is being ironed out.
Ironed out. I see, so it's pretty much done?
The source also stated that the university, by NCAA by-laws, can not have any official contact with Schiano, who is under contract at Rutgers, but has put out feelers to gauge Schiano's interest.
I'm no lawyer, but it does seem like it would be difficult to create a contractual succession plan with a coach who is under contract and is not allowed to even speak to PSU as a potential employer.
That interest, according to a source, appears to be substantial and mutual.
This is not news. Schiano is a blue blood and besides has (what is reported as) a very good relationship with Paterno, he turned down "duh" opportunities at Michigan and Miami. I hate to bust anyone ego here, but it's fact that the reason for this was not entirely his love for New Jersey. I mean have you driven on the Turnpike? Bad jokes aside, it's pretty clear that he said "no thanks" in order to be considered for the Post Paterno Position.
Barring a last-minute power struggle or change of heart, the source indicated that this will be Paterno's last season in Happy Valley, and that Penn State would move quickly after Schiano at season's end.
So which is it? A power struggle or change of heart? Becuase the former indicates that Paterno is being forced out, while the latter makes me think Paterno is stepping down on his own. This sentence means you don't know which one it is.

Besides that, I don't see how the first sentence (about ironing it out) can coexist with this statement. You can plan on going after Schiano after the season, but that's hardly a succession plan. It would be the school saying that they want Schiano, but why would they announce this publicly before the 2008 season? For starters, it's clear Paterno doesn't want a farewell tour. Besides that, what if Schiano says no? He's going to have to take a pay cut of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and if the situation is public Rugters is sure to counter with an offer that would double or triple that gap. It doesn't make any sense.
[Solid recruiting has] led many surrounding the program to assume either Bradley or Johnson, Sr. would take over once Paterno retired, while the other (particularly in Johnson, Sr.'s case) became the right-hand man, defensive coaching staff leader and head of recruiting.

That is not the case, according to the source, who maintains the board of trustees would rather go outside the program while attempting to maintain some Penn State ties.
I'm not sure what to make of this. If PSU lifers Bradley and LJSR want to stick around in their rolls, why would the BOT not want this? Besides, when you hire a brand new head coach, I'm pretty sure they get to create their own staff.

I'm not here to say that Schiano won't be PSU's next coach, it could very well happen. Be we already knew this.

Bottom line (this is where I state my opinion and pertend it's fact): this is either not real or, if it is real, irrelevant because this 'source' is just outlining the different scenarios we've already heard of.

Phil Steele: A Smart Man

Pre-season predictions are a bit of a double edged sward. On one end, you like seeing seemingly independent predictions of your team ranked near the top because it confirms that you aren't totally blinded by your homerizm. On the other side, however, is the furthering of your preseason expectations, a dangerous thing and often painful thing when it turns out Morelli really can't read defenses (I ked, he just wan't very good).

Enter one of the most respected college football analyst: Phil Steele. His 2008 top ten, via EDSBS, in reverse order for some reason:

10. Penn State.
9. Georgia
8. USF
7. Missouri
6. West Virginia
5. Clemson
4. USC
3. Oklahoma
2. Ohio State
1. Florida
While #10 isn't MNC contention, it's still about 15 spots higher than most of the less-qualified, way less informed "journalists" like to put the Nittany Lions.

My feelings continue to be mixed.

Penn State In Maryland: A Retrospective Look

With the ridiculous recruiting of LJSR in a state that is in the process of changing its name, I got to thinking: why the sudden surge? Of the eleven commitments Penn State currently has, six are from LJSR's territory.

Well where were these guys last year?

Of Maryland's Top 20 players in 2008, PSU was considered* by recruit #4, #6 and #11...but received commitments from none of them.

Same goes for 2007, consideration was only given by #2, #5, #6 and #15 (this is really strange considering the #10 prospect went to Akron). Again, none of them are currently in State College.

So the trend probably continues into 2006, right? Um, not so much:


That's seven of the top nine. So this type of dominance isn't totally unprecedented, but still a bit strange considering how inconsistent PSU has been in Maryland.

So why the sudden influx of players? Could this just be the result of a decent shot a freshman playing time? Or have the recruiters taken some notes over the past two years of relatively weak classes and decided to change the game plan a little bit?

*To be honest I don't know if the inclusion of PSU on the list means they were offered or are considering. Does Rivals eliminate a school from the list of the player decides to take that offer out of consideration? I don't know.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Evans Named The "Sixth Scariest Defender" On Off-Season Filler List

I suppose all lists in May are filler lists, but Evans is getting some recognition:

6. Maurice Evans, Penn State, DE: Last season, Evans ranked among the nation's top eight in sacks (12.5), tackles for loss (21.5) and forced fumbles (five). Not a bad trifecta. He also had 54 tackles, deflected three passes and returned a fumble 55 yards en route to earning All-Big Ten honors. Penn State ranked No. 11 in the nation in total defense last season, and Evans was a major reason.
Everyone's favorite over-rated linebacker, James Laurinaitis, didn't make the list. Somewhere, his dad is wearing a spedo.