Blue-White Roundtable Has a Short Work Week

We're back from the long weekend. Settling back into the daily grind and wondering how I'm going to work off all the pounds I put on this weekend. But the Blue-White Roundtable doesn't have time for such things. The Nittany Line has the questions this week, so let's get to it.

Athlon Sports' College Football 2007 has selected linebacker Dan Connor as a preseason first team All-American and recognized 10 Nittany Lions on their All-Big Ten teams.  Should we start jumping for joy now or is it just meaningless?

I picked up the Athlon College Football preview in the airport the other day and poured over it for two hours on the plane. I was glad to see Dan Connor get some recognition as an All American and we got a lot of love with a bunch of guys listed on the All Big Ten team. You would think we would be poised for a run at the conference championship. But Athlon projects us to finish fifth in the Big Ten behind Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Iowa. In their preseason rankings they put us at #35 behind teams like South Florida, TCU and Hawaii. If we finished fifth in the Big Ten and unranked I will be very disappointed.

I try not to get too excited about these preseason publications and polls. They are often uninformed and end up being wrong like in 2005 when Michigan was projected a top five team and we weren't even ranked.

As BSD reported, Altoona Area High School's A.J. Alexander spurned PSU to commit to Florida State - Now is it time to hit the Panic Button for this year's recruiting class?

I've already talked about that, but I'm definitely getting concerned. Since I wrote that I think I've calmed down a bit. Let's step back and get a little perspective.

Last year around this time is when some verbals started coming in. We got some guys early like Quinn Barham, Chaz Powell, and Kevion Latham. The message boards were on fire with people saying Penn State was getting too many early verbals from second rate talent and they weren't pursuing any of the nationally coveted recruits.

So enter 2007. Penn State has extended offers to 20 of the Rivals Top 100 recruits in the nation including the top two of Tyrelle Pryor and Darrell Scott. Now the message boards are whining because none of these kids list Penn State as their favorite school. But come on. How realistic is it to expect Penn State to send a scholarship to a kid in Colorado or California and wonder why he doesn't instantly fall in love with the Nittany Lions? When you take a national approach to recruiting, you can't expect to get a ton of early verbals if you're not USC or Notre Dame.

These kids have never seen the campus. Never met the coaches. They don't know anything about Penn State other than what they see on Sports Center. There is a lot that can happen between now and February. I'm sure we'll miss out on signing most of those kids. But if Penn State can land four or five of the top 100 recruits and fill out the rest with some solid role players and backups we'll have a pretty good recruiting class. Having said all of that, if we don't land some of these prized recruits we're going after it could be a very disappointing class.

First the "special water bottle" and now dog fighting:  Has Mike Vick finally done enough to warrant some sort of punishment from the Falcons yet or is it just another case of Ron Mexico being Ron Mexico?

Much like most of the NFL offseason I haven't been following this story very closely. This is a tricky question. On one hand if I say punish him, someone is going to ask why I'm so lenient on the Penn State players who were involved in the apartment fight. The difference is what Vick allegedly did was cruel and calculated. The apartment fight was boys being boys. Honestly though, I don't care what happens to Michael Vick. I think he's the most overrated player in the NFL.

The free agents have been flying all over the place in the NFL, which one team has benefitted the most from free agency and put themselves in a position to contend?

Again, I don't follow the free agency signings of the NFL offseason other than the big ones that make Sports Center. Usually it's rare that signing an MVP type player makes that big a difference because of a salary cap. Giving the franchise player $20 million a year just means you have less money to pay the other 40-some guys on your roster. The great teams are the ones that can load up on slightly better than average talent and pay them average salaries. Unfortunately, signing a seven year veteran that has never made a Pro Bowl rarely draws that much attention in the media. So I'm afraid I'm not very informed about who sured up their backup cornerback situation this year and can't specificially answer your question.

Lightning Round

Which would you rather see: a Big Ten away game or a Professional football game of your team of choice?

Big Ten away game hands down. I have no interest in going to an NFL game. The closest one for me would be the Eagles, and honestly I'm scared to go into South Philly.

Did you eat anything this weekend that makes you worry about your next cholesterol screening?

Eating a dozen hot dogs and cheese burgers can't be all that bad for you, can it?

That's all I got. Go check out The Nittany Line and Run Up The Score in his new home to get their answers.

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