Run Up The Score has the questions this week and inquiring minds want to know. Let's get right to it.
You didn't think Penn State could make it through an entire offseason without some players getting into legal trouble, did you? Several football players were involved in what is being described as a massive brawl. While names aren't being published by the police yet, some players said to be involved are Justin King, Anthony Scirotto, Chris Bell, and Matt Hahn. We'll let the charges sort themselves out for a week, but here's a more general question: How much can coaches truly control the actions of their players once they're off the practice field?
Well, I'm not yet convinced anything is going to come of this legally. The players were reportedly questioned, but nobody was arrested. College kids get in fights all the time. That's what happens when you mix testosterone with alcohol in the body of a 20 year old male. We'll see what comes of it.
But even if there aren't legal consequences, they still have JoePa to deal with. Rest assured that punishment will be swift and harsh compared to other programs. I suspect they will have to run some extra laps. The second string guys will get demoted to third string for a few weeks to see how they respond. The key players in the so-called "brawl" may sit out the Florida International game, but that will be it. I don't think there is anything the coaches can do outside of the practice field. That's what your team captains are for. Those are the guys hanging out with the other players outside of football. It's up to them to keep everyone in line.
Where will Penn State begin the season in the polls, and where should they begin?
We just snuck into the top 25 at the end of the season in January. With the momentum of the Outback Bowl win and all the players we have coming back, we should be ranked in the pre-season somewhere around #15, and that's where I think we'll end up.
The Blue/White game is quickly approaching! How much does this game really mean in the grand scheme of things? Is it a sign of things to come, or simply an over-hyped scrimmage?
These spring practices are huge in the development of the team. They give the younger players a chance to get on the field at full speed and contact to gauge themselves and show the coaches what they can do.
To an extent they are over-hyped. Fans read too much into them. The spring games are not always an indication of future performance. Didn't Anthony Morelli complete like 13 of 15 passes last year? That didn't exactly carry over into the regular season partly due to the fact the defense isn't allowed to blitz the quarterback in the Blue-White Game. But then sometimes spring games are a good indication of what's to come. Last year the Blue and White squads combined for 44 yards rushing. That was an indication of offensive line woes that plagued us all season.
I like to watch the individual performances. Who's beating their man? Who are the breakout players? That's what I'm interested in seeing. I could care less about the score.
Let's say Joe Paterno retires after this year. Who do you want to take his place, and who is most likely to take over?
First of all, it's not going to happen unless he or Sue have health problems. But if he did retire, I would say his son, Jay, would be most likely to take over.
Psyche! Little late April fools joke for ya. I would say Tom Bradley would be the lead candidate right now to take over. Greg Schiano at Rutgers would get a good hard look though.
Who is the most underappreciated Nittany Lion assistant coach?
Jay Paterno. (Hahaha I kill me!)
For my money, linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden. He's been instrumental in carrying on the tradition of Linebacker U. He's taken average recruits like Paul Posluszny and Sean Lee and converted them into running back destroying monsters in pads. In this last recruiting class we brought in the best linebacker talent in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in Colasanti, Dailey, and Stupar respectively. The guy is a fantastic recruiter and a phenomenal linebacker coach that has every great high school linebacker in the country seriously considering Penn State.
Give us a beer recommendation!
When I go up north I like to drink a Straubs. If you're ever in St. Marys, PA (about 1.5 hr northwest of State College) go visit the brewery. They have something there called the "Eternal Tap". You go in and take a glass and you can drink beer as long as you want. They only ask that you wash your glass in the sink when you're done. I go there quite a bit on business and always buy a case to bring home. My buddy used to have a key to the brewery back in the day. The owner used to leave at night and tell him, "Lock up when you're done." How awesome is that?
Will you be at the B/W game?
Not likely, but I'll watch it on television.
List three other blogs you visit regularly, and tell us why they're so wonderful.
Tough question. I probably read close to 20 blogs a day. Other than The Nittany Line and Run Up The Score these would probably be my favorites.
1. MGoBlog - Brian is easily the best combination of analysis and wit on the internet. Nobody covers the Big Ten as well as him.
2. The M Zone - Obviously nobody tops Orson in the college football comedy department, but Benny and Yost come pretty damn close. Nobody can top their photoshop skills.
3. Burnt Orange Nation - I guess I consider Peter to be a friend of mine. I think he has the best community of readers at BON. Those guys are willing to talk about anything and they are very respectful of differing opinions. Many of them came over to take part in my College Bowl Pick `Em game this year, so I have a fond appreciation for them.
That's all I got. Go see The Nittany Line and Run Up The Score to see what they got.