Nitt Picks Still Cares

We wouldn't normally give something like this the time of day, but seeing as it's already been dropped in our laps, it's probably worth setting the record straight for our little Blogspot friend. In his full post, Danny from his Ohio State blog notes, in addition to a host of other fallacies:

It also brings up another point I wanted to make, and that point is that Paterno's two National Championships came before he played in a legitimate conference. Hell, they came before he played in any conference. Isn't that the one knock people have against Boise State and TCU and Utah, that it doesn't matter if they go undefeated every year because they don't play a grinding schedule? If the BCS had existed during Penn State's two titles under Joe Pa, the computers would have laughed them out of the room, much they they do to Boise State, TCU and Utah at the end of every year. The Big East was founded in 1979, the ACC in 1953, and the Big Ten has been around forever. If Paterno and Penn State wanted to join a power conference, they could have pushed to do so 20 years earlier. The fact is that they liked playing easier schedules and still getting the same amount of praise.

In 1982, Penn State defeated No. 2 Nebraska, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 13 Notre Dame, No. 5 Pittsburgh and No. 1 Georgia on it's way to the national championship. In 1986, the schedule was decidedly weaker, with Penn State only beating No. 2 Alabama and No. 1 Miami on the way to the title.

In comparison, Ohio State's 2002 championship included wins over No. 10 Washington State, No. 17 Penn State, No. 19 Minnesota, No. 12 Michigan and No. 1 Miami.

Penn State's 1982 schedule is clearly superior to any competition Ohio State played in 2002, let alone the schedules Boise State and Texas Christian play today. In fact, TCU's schedule is so weak that it's considering the Big East and BYU is getting out of the same conference to try and gain relevance by playing a national schedule like a Notre Dame or Penn State circa its independent days.

To imply that Joe Paterno beat anything less than worthy competition in his national championship seasons in an insult to people who think.

Cam Newton Is The OMG

In more fine internet writing, Clay Travis of Fanhouse treated us to this masterpiece yesterday.

Cam Newton is Jesus in cleats. Put him on the football field and he parts defenses as Moses did the Red Sea.

Everyone falls before him, the wheat to Cam's scythe. He's celestial -- it's no surprise that he dressed up for Halloween as an angel -- otherworldly, the creation of an advanced intelligence. The man who will redefine the quarterback position for the next generation of football players. Vince Young with throwing mechanics, Tim Tebow without the eye black, Matt Jones without the cocaine. There hasn't been a more exciting quarterback in the SEC since ... ever.

...and if you're waiting for the part where it gets reasonable, don't hold your breath. This fine Fanhouse production comes on the heals of Terrelle Pryor's coronation as the Big Ten's only Heisman threat by the site in July, something I'm sure Denard Robinson didn't read. 

We've given the Bleacher Report its fair share of flak around here in the past, but Fanhouse isn't far behind in terms of near-sighted logic and sensationalism. That's not to say Cam Newton and to a lesser extent Terrelle Pryor aren't worthy of a certain degree of praise, but it's either/or, with us/against us arguments like this that make the Internet a scary place sometimes.

Shotglass Fallout

The whole Penn State shot glass logo ban is still the talk of campus, and as the Daily Collegian reports, Penn State seems to be an outlier with the new policy.

While the University of Iowa does not allow its name or logo on flasks or botas, they permit the name or logo on shot glasses because shot glasses are keepsakes, Iowa’s University News Services Director Steve Pradarelli said.

"These are first and foremost collectibles," he said.

He said flasks and botas, which are leather pouches used to carry alcohol, are too closely associated with alcohol consumption at parties and viewed as unsafe.

At home, my family has a set of regular glassware with Penn State logos on it that we don't even use because we want to keep it nice. The same is probably true for a large majority of fans out there who might own Penn State shot glasses. As the article talks about and as we discussed the other day, there are riskier forms of drinking that Penn State could be taking a stand against. My guess? This PR stunt will die quietly sometime in the near future.

Step Up, Young Fella

Dustin Hockensmith of the Patriot News has a list of five players Penn State can thank for getting things going in the right direction, and it's loaded with new faces, including one we talked about last week.

DB Malcolm Willis: Injuries forced the hard-hitting Willis into a prominent role earlier than coach Joe Paterno would have chosen. The true freshman has played aggressively, flying around and delivering the hard hits previously lacking in the secondary. When Nick Sukay went down with a pectoral tear and Derrick Thomas was removed for disciplinary reasons, the Nittany Lions were searching for a 'stopgap' player who could play either nickel back or free safety. What they may have found instead was a long-term fixture who could play BOTH positions.

The big test for Willis and his teammates in the Penn State secondary will come this week when Northwestern's Dan Persa comes to town. The Allentown native is second in the conference in passing yards and boasts the league's top completion percentage at 74.4.

Minnesota's Adam Weber torched Penn State for 299 yards in the Nittany Lions' 33-21 win over the Gophers two weeks ago, so it'll be interesting to see if Willis and Co. can step up against Northwestern's potent attack at home on Saturday.

Expansion, Expansion

The Big East reportedly has adding two football teams on it's agenda, and it's setting the bar high.

According to some sources, Central Florida is at or near the top of the list of possible candidates and likely will be involved in the finished product.

The two other early leaders are Villanova, which already is a conference member but plays football at the Division I-AA level, and TCU, which has had some preliminary discussions with the conference.

Central Florida would mark the fourth C-USA team added to the Big East since Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College jumped ship after 2004. Villanova would be the second FCS program to jump to the Big East since 2000. The ship is sinking fast on traditional powers like Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia. With no ranked teams, the conference is almost surely on its way to losing BCS, a doom fans of those schools will almost surely not accept.

There's been little movement on Big Ten expansion since Nebraska was added in June, but Jim Delaney hasn't closed the book on it yet, either. Could the Big Ten suits just be waiting for the Big East to collapse on its own to give themselves leverage to add long rumored candidates for expansion like Pitt, Syracuse and Rutgers with a less than equal share of the revenue pie? Something to think about.

In Scores Of Other Games

  • Penn State is losing the Blood Cup to Michigan State 244-183 as of this morning.
  • Mississippi State's Nick Bell dies of cancer. [ESPN]
  • McDonald's All-American recruit Maggie Lucas is freakin' it for the Lady Lions. [Daily Collegian]
  • Add our Facebook and Twitter pages today and spread the word.
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