Give credit where credit's due--even to Ohio State. Ramzy over at Eleven Warriors wrote a post about a game that sticks out in his memory: a fateful day in September.
The Big Ten home opener 12 seasons ago was against 1-4 Penn State. Despite their record - which included a 24-6 mortification courtesy of Toledo - the Nittany Lions were still one of those no-substitute-for-being-there tickets...
For at least one play I would have the best seat in the Shoe.
That play was a pitch-sweep right, to Jerry Westbrooks - and the white shirts read it perfectly. Ohio State's third-stringer had his legs taken out by #43, the right corner...
Westbrooks and everyone else picked themselves up off the turf to return to the huddle. Everyone else except for #43, who stayed on the ground with his right arm awkwardly flapping briefly before going still.
Number 43 was, of course, Adam Taliaferro, lawyer, New Jersey County Freeholder, and, now, member of the Penn State Board of Trustees. It's nice to see that the positive impact that Taliaferro's had on the lives around him isn't just relegated to Penn Staters, or to those with spinal injuries--he's inspiring many. Kudos to Ramzy for putting into words what many couldn't.Speaking of cool guy tips...Cory Giger was on hand for the Coaches Caravan stop in Altoona, and his write up mirrors most of what we've heard about all the stops: BOB is happy to be at Penn State.
"This is the best job in college football...
"I have no idea what other people have thought about this job," O'Brien said. "I just know what I thought, what I saw, what I heard and the people that I met. I just know that this is a very special job, and I'm thrilled to be the head coach here."
The article also details what the other coaches at that stop, hockey coach Guy Gadowsky and mens' volleyball coach Mark Pavlik, but you can't help but think that when Giger quotes O'Brien as saying, "I'm not here to be Joe Paterno," the columnist may be pretty excited about that fact. Give it time, Giger; O'Brien may be annoyed as well soon enough.
The Standard Speaker also had someone on hand at the Hazleton stop on the tour, and Donnie Collins takes a more pragmatic approach:
He has the right ideas.
But with all due respect to a campaign through the east that would awe President Obama, O'Brien's campaign for acceptance and support from the Nittany Lions faithful won't really be tested until September.
For all the attention he is attracting now, his staying power will be determined like every coach's staying power is determined. By wins. By losses.
That's a bitter truth. But it's a truth.
With Joe Paterno gone, [Rose] is now Penn State’s longest-tenured head coach, as well as the most successful with five national titles, including four straight in the past decade.
"I’m a coach," Rose said plainly. "He made a statement on one of the interviews that, for me, was what I like to see."
Coach Quese also weighed in, having been in a similar situation to O'Brien's; she also has nothing but positive things to say about the coach's first few months. From one perspective, the coaches caravan seems to be, in addition to unifying the fan base, further unifying the coaches of all different sports on the Penn State campus. This can only be a good thing, in the face of the past few months.
Caring may be creepy...but is it getting less so? Bob Flounders interviews Maxprep's Tom Lemming about Penn State recruiting, and, to the surprise of few, the news is good.
"What I've noticed is they're omnipresent, they're ubiquitous, they're everywhere. And you never saw that with the old staff, ever. They stayed in their areas of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland.
"You didn't really see them much in Illinois, Florida or Texas. Now they seem to be everywhere. Wherever I got to see a kid, he's mentioning Penn State on his list. That's a great sign.''
Flounders touches on a few individual players the staff is still targeting, specifically Alex Anzalone and Robert Foster, but more interesting is the suggestion the interviewer puts out that the staff may think about signing another quarterback, beyond Christian Hackenberg, who's already committed to the Nittany Lions.
In scores of other games...Fugi alert! A breakdown of a possible Penn State Hockey game at Beaver Stadium...StateCollege.com takes a quick look into the new football playbook...Boston College fans seem to be no happier about next year's Big Ten/ACC match up than many Penn State fans...And fans of both teams have nothing on Yahoo, which calls this match up the least watchable of the challenge contests...CornNation has a weekly breakdown of conference baseball, where Penn State stands poised to go to the NCAA tournament...The Penn State main campus in University Park may be looking to expand its renewable energy use.
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