Hit 'em Where It Hurts. The Ohio State athletic director has sent an email to his fan base encouraging them to switch cable providers because it has become "very unlikely" that Time Warner and the BTN will reach a deal by week one.
"While negotiations are ongoing with Time Warner, it appears very unlikely that an agreement will be reached before the first game of the year, and anything beyond that is problematic," he said.
Smith called Time Warner's decision not to carry the network a "huge disappointment." The letter encouraged fans to go to www.BigTenNetwork.com and type in their ZIP codes to obtain information about providers.
Time Warner responded by saying Ohio State has no idea what they are talking about.
"It appears the university is not being fully briefed on the status of the negotiations," the statement said. "We've had positive discussions with Fox in recent days including the active exchange of proposals.
"There's no stalemate or breakdown in discussions as Smith's letter would have our customers believe. On the contrary, talks are moving in the right direction."
The statement concluded: "We are ready to carry the Big Ten Network."
"Moving in the right direction" is a tried and true way of saying we are still a long way off. The reality is that most of the BTN games are in the first four weeks of the season, and even if a deal is reached this week the logistics of getting the games actually airing on the network mean it probably won't be available until it's too late.
Three > Two. Interesting quote regarding where our running game currently stands.
"We will definitely spread it out between all of our backs -- me, Brent and Stephfon," said Royster, a native of Fairfax, Va. "I think we'll have a steady rotation. Maybe two series per back and then if one back steps up and is playing a little better than the others then let him get more reps than anybody else."
So while Brent Carter doesn't get much press, he adds to an incredibly deep set of running backs Penn State is carrying into the season. I have a lot of things I'm worried about as the season approaches; running back isn't one of them.
And Then There Was One Still Two. In a story that probably isn't news, it appears as though neither quarterback is pulling ahead.
Senior Daryll Clark was listed first in the team's pre-camp depth chart, in an "or" situation with redshirt sophomore Pat Devlin. Word leaking out of Penn State's closed practices is that neither passer has pulled ahead in convincing fashion.
I'd be worried if we had a thicker non-conference schedule, but I don't have a problem with this not being decided before the season. Both will have a chance to perform and earn the starting job, which is the way it should be.
Also, Jay Paterno has jokes.
Quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno mulled over that possibility.
"If it's too close to call, we send it to the Supreme Court like they did in 2000 and let them vote," a laughing Paterno said.
For those of you thinking we may be running a 2006 Florida type system, don't get your hopes up.
"I think I've made it clear that I would prefer to play one quarterback," coach Joe Paterno said. "But the way the game is played today, where the quarterback is really physically so much more involved in it, I think you've got to be careful that you're ready with two."
"You ideally want to have a No. 1 guy, because you want leadership," Jay Paterno said. "You want to know who goes into the game at the end. Game's on the line, two minutes to go, we've got to drive to win the game, there's got to be a guy who knows that's his role."