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Nitt Picks Reverts Back To 2005

More preseason rankings are filtering out -- CFN has Penn State at #17, Sports Illustrated puts the Lions at #22.  So does the Kansas City Star.

Jay Paterno is shopping around his Spread HD concoction, giving the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a few clues:


"It's a different system than people have seen the last couple years," Paterno said. "The whole idea of it is to give us the best chance to win. We want to get to the point where we have an established running game, and, if we need to, we can throw the ball to win games in the fourth quarter."

Center A.Q. Shipley said the new offense is eerily similar to the one Penn State used in 2005, when it was 11-1, beat Florida State in the Orange Bowl and finished third in both polls at the end of the season.

"In terms of receivers, running backs and the whole scheme of things, it's going to be a lot like '05," Shipley said.


"I'm thinking people will notice the difference in our offense," [Derrick] Williams said. "We have so much talent. What coach Paterno and the offensive staff are trying to do is get everybody to touch the ball and give you an opportunity to make a play. We have so many weapons and so many ways to get the ball into the end zone. It's exciting. There's definitely a lot more opportunities than before."

Okay.  Let's hope this is for real.

Our new friend Travis Sawchik -- you'll hear more from him as the Coastal Carolina game approaches -- reports that CCU quarterback Jamie Childers is recovering and resting at home as he deals with the after-effects of viral meningitis.  He's hoping to be ready for the Penn State game.  Sounds like a bad, bad idea to me, but we wish Jamie the best in his recovery.  Scary stuff.

Chris Baker is reportedly looking to continue his playing career at Hampton University.  He could have been reunited with Chris Bell, who ended up at Norfolk State after initially telling the staff at Hampton that he would be enrolling at Hampton:

Pirates head coach Jerry Holmes and offensive coordinator Corey Sullivan said this week that Bell told them during a recent visit that he would be transferring to Hampton. They said he then changed his mind and said he would register in summer school at Norfolk State. Sullivan said that Bell told him he plans to play football for the Spartans.

Spartans' coach Pete Adrian said that he could not comment, and I have not been able to run down a phone number on Bell. Holmes was perturbed that Bell reneged on the commitment he supposedly gave to Hampton.

"He came over here talking about trust and character, then backed out after telling us he was going to transfer here," Holmes said. "I'm disappointed."

That...that is an unfortunate headline.  Still, a good article about how Penn State is dealing with is disciplinary shenanigans:

Linebacker Navorro Bowman dealt with being suspended after an October altercation during a dance at the school's student union. Bowman indicated he has absorbed a hard lesson.

"Just pick your troubles wisely. Just stay out of trouble," he said. "Everybody learns from their mistakes and I did learn from it."

Bowman was dealt a personal blow this summer when his father died.

"My teammates ... supported me and came to the funeral," he said. "That meant a lot to me."

Senior Rich Ohrnberger, a starting guard, has managed to steer clear of legal entanglements, but he's found himself visiting Paterno's doghouse because of his impish personality.

His epiphany, he said, was "figuring out that you're an adult now and you're being perceived that way, you have to act that way."

Ohrnberger was reluctant to specify his behavioral changes.

"I don't know," he said. "The little kid stuff that doesn't fly any more. We're big boys now."

Okay.  Let's hope this is for real, too.

Linebacking Jesus Updates:  Paul Pozluszny ready to bring the pain, hardcore to the brain.  Dan Connor gets some first-team reps in Carolina.