STATE COLLEGE PA - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions stands on the sideline during a game against the Michigan State Spartans on November 27 2010 at Beaver Stadium in State College Pennsylvania. The Spartans won 28-22. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
So here we thought that Joe Paterno would be the focus of all the media hype going into the Outback Bowl with people speculating that this would be his last game. But then Urban Meyer had to go an announce he was retiring...for the second time. So if you're scoring at home, that's Urban Meyer retirements two, Joe Paterno retirements zero.
I'm sure that much like I did, many of you immediately started wondering how this was going to affect the game. Some people are fortunate enough they don't need to wonder about these things. They are so sure that they have a firm grasp on reality that there is never a doubt in their mind they are right. Thankfully for us, these people find ways of getting jobs as journalists so they can enlighten us all with their brilliance.
Which leads us to Cory Giger's article about why the Outback Bowl has suddenly gone from a tossup to a blowout win for Florida.
All jokes aside -- like he's retired twice at 46 while Joe Paterno is still going at 83 -- Urban Meyer's decision is bad news for Penn State.
Oh please. Do tell.
There's a chance the Florida players will quit on their lame-duck coach and fail to show any passion in the New Year's Day game. That possibility would be great for Penn State.
But I just don't see it happening.
The greater likelihood is the Gators will be fired up and emotional looking to send off their coach the right way. Meyer, meanwhile, will have the motivation of coaching perhaps the final game of his life -- although I think he'll be back somewhere -- and will hold nothing back in the game plan.
Of course, all of this is, like, just Giger's opinion, man. It's based on nothing other than his narcissistic certainty that he is always 100% correct because a small potatoes newspaper and a local radio station in a crappy town that smells like rotten eggs when you drive through it gives him a platform to speak to the masses.
If he had actually taken the time to maybe, like, do some research, he would see that there aren't really a lot of teary eyed hugs going on in Florida over this.
"As (Meyer) was finishing, he was telling us for most of us this will be good because some of us need to start over and make a new impression with another coach. Near the end of the speech the freshman class was going crazy, saying they were all leaving and they kind of lost it for the most part. It really hit those guys hard, but to the others it was not as emotional. It was mainly a dead silence and everyone other than the freshmen were just looking around.
After that it was kind of like a state of shock. Everyone was on the phone calling people they know and the freshman and sophomore kids were all saying the coaches don't care about us — and those kids just kept saying they are going to leave. I mean a lot of players said they were leaving, but the true Gators are not going anywhere."
It sounds to me like the Florida Gators have been a team divided all season. And now they are just more divided. Some players will certainly play their heart out for their coach in his last game. But it also sounds like some players feel betrayed and don't care. So you can choose to believe Giger who's typing away from Altoona, PA, or you can read into the quotes from the players who were there. Make up your own mind.
On To Our Own Issues
Fugi is doing his best to send the Penn State fanbase into a tailspin that ends in a violent crash and giant fireball over Tom Bradley leaving Penn State to go coach Pitt. So far all I've seen is a lot of speculation from western PA writers that Tom Bradley would be a good fit for the job. But so far that's all it has been: speculation. That is until I read this on Lions 24/7 last night.
Hearing that Tom Bradley has made some calls to gauge Pitt's interest level in him being their new head coach. Certainly a situation worth monitoring.
Okay, move me from the "meh" to "slightly worried" column. I'm not so much worried that Bradley is going to get the Pitt job. It sounds like Pitt is going after Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen. What bugs me is that it sounds like Bradley is looking to get out. Maybe he has been told he won't be considered for the job, or maybe he's trying to use the Pitt job as leverage to see how bad Penn State wants to keep him around.
Interestingly, if you read further in the Lions 24/7 forum topic I linked above, there is a poster who claims to have inside access who says Tony Dungy has had conversations with Penn State and expressed interest in following Paterno. Take that for what it's worth, which is basically anonymous internet message board chatter with nothing solid to back it up.
But I'm convinced more than ever that very soon we're in for a major shakeup. Listen to Joe Paterno attempt to do an interview with a local radio station in Tampa, FL yesterday. (This is the best way I can find to post the audio. Click on the play link on the interview with Paterno.)
Change is coming, people. I just pray cooler heads prevail when it does.