Blue-White Roundtable: Now In “Spring Game” Flavor

Well, it’s been a while since I mooched off these questions.  The Usual Suspects who put together these things (BSD, RUTS, WFY, TINNOMJ, TNN, TNL) had a few segments during February and March, when the only things on my mind are the swishing of nets, shot clock buzzers, sneaker screeches, and Dennis Hopper telling me to “run the picket fence” at the opponent but  “don’t get caught watching the paint dry.”

On another interesting note that sticks out like a sore thumb:  It seems the Usual Suspects, after practically swearing they had way too many people in their “inner circle” have added a couple more members since I last answered one of these Q&A’s.

Tangled Up In White And Blue

The Big Eleventh

I see how it is fellas, I know when I’m not wanted…But anywho, let’s get to the questiones:

The announcement Wednesday is that contract talks are on hold until the conclusion of this season, and that Joe might not even need a contract to coach, how do you see this saga ending? Is this the final year for Joe Paterno?

I think it all depends on how we do this year. Another disappointing 4+ loss or worse season and Spanier may have a little more leeway in forcing Joe into retirement but if by some stroke of Lady Luck we have a performance similar to 2005, then I think the situation evolves into that down at Florida State where JoePa will likely get one year contracts until he decides he’s had enough.

I used to think that this year would likely be the end for sure of the Paterno era, but now I’m holding back on those thoughts. Get back to me on this come Thanksgiving…

Joe will clearly not been on the sidelines in 10 years time. Whether he is awarded another extension or is forced out against his will, a new face will inevitably be on the sidelines for the Lions in the years to come. Which candidates would top the list when it comes to a coaching search? Should it be an in-house hire or should we start off with a blank slate?

The only in-house hire I’d be okay with is Tom Bradley and that’s provided that Bradley is allowed to shake up the coaching staff however he deems fit (bye, bye, JayPa!). However, since I don’t see Bradley being given that much leeway, I would like to see somebody from the outside brought in and start with a blank slate, this program it seems just needs a fresh start, a good ol’ flushing out.

I’m keeping a close eye on Greg Schiano and Al Golden, as they’re both likely near the top of the list amongst outside candidates: Schiano needs to avoid losing momentum from Rutgers’ 11-win season a couple years ago and Golden needs to continue to build upon the momentum he’s created at Temple and make them bowl eligible within the next couple years.

It almost seems as if we find another athlete in trouble with the law each morning when we read the newspaper. What has gone wrong with the once pristine image of the Penn State program?

It seems some people are taking the Joe Lieberman approach of blaming the media (i.e. word of these incidents first pop up on internet message boards that thousands of people read whereas in the past, they would not have spread like wildfire).

I also think part of the problem is the coaching staff, starting from JoePa on down.  Remember a year ago, fresh off Apartment-gate, when JoePa announced that his players would be cleaning Beaver Stadium after every home game that fall?  It was such an effective disciplinary strategy that it led to the most number of off the field screw-ups since the “dark years.”  The continual misbehavior from the players shows that aside from the fact they clearly lack judgment, they also don’t have much respect for the current staff and feel that they can get away with practically anything short of pulling a knife on a teammate.

After 14 years in the Big Ten, Penn State has not dominated the conference in football as most presumed when we joined winning only 2 Big Ten titles in that span. In 1994, Joe Paterno’s undefeated Nittany Lions were also backstabbed by its Big Ten brethren when most conference members voted for Nebraska instead of Penn State. Is the Big Ten the right home for Penn State? Or would Joe Paterno’s dream of an all-eastern conference be a much more ideal conference for the Nittany Lions?

An all-Eastern sports conference would have made far more sense considering PSU’s geographical location to the Big East schools.  Unfortunately, schools like Pitt, who ironically enough now bitch about not having a regular series with us any longer, told us they weren’t interested in being in a conference with us and thus, JoePa’s plan never came into fruition.

As it stands now, from a monetary and academic standpoint we are best off sticking around in the Big Ten…Even if our football team has struggled to live up to expectations and the men’s basketball team has struggled to finish in the middle of the pack.

With the lack of our traditional rivals in the Big Ten conference, and our unwillingness to reschedule any of them in any consistent manner, which teams are emerging as Penn State’s chief rivals in the Big Ten? (USC-Notre Dame proves that rivalries aren’t all about geographic significance.)

I forget which blogger wrote it, but I’d agree with him on Wisconsin.  Ever since this series first started back in 1995 when the Badgers upset PSU at Beaver Stadium and put an end to what was then the nation’s longest winning streak, the games have been competitive for the most part.  Plus, the series is currently 6-5 in favor of Wisconsin so it’s been a fairly even series thus far.

Bonus Question from WFY: Are you going to the Blue-White Game?

Sadly, the answer is “No.” My first final is in T-10 days and considering the fact I need to make a significant leap in performance from last semester in order to avoid getting the boot, I’m not exactly losing sleep over my decision. It does suck though that for the second straight year, we’re going to have non-rainy weather and I won’t be there.

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