I believe RUTS will have a little BSD roundtable for you later today...or maybe tomorrow...or next week. He's currently AWOL and not responding to email. So we figure he either a) finally had the reality of marriage set in and jumped on a plane to Las Vegas to indulge in hookers and booze one last time, b) he's been abducted by an Amish cult that has enslaved him into giving up his worldly ways to pull a plow and impregnate the hairy women folk, or c) the last batch of home brew went horribly wrong. So here is a quick Nitt Picks to keep you occupied.
The Examiner asks if their glowing post about Penn State's awesome running backs was a little over the top. So they polled around to some of the other preseason publications and came to this conclusion.
Everybody seems to be saying the same things. Penn State does have the best running back unit entering this season, at least in the Big Ten. The hype is real. Some may even consider Royster a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, albeit a very long shot considering Tim Tebow (Florida, 2007 Heisman winner) and Sam Bradford (Oklahoma, 2008 Heisman winner) both return this year and Colt McCoy (Texas) is a trendy pick.
Really. It's ok to admit Penn State might be good at something. Gregg Doyel and the SEC homers will laugh at you, but sticks and stones and all that. After a while you get used to it.
Not surprisingly, the NCAA presidents shot down the Mountain West's proposal for an eight team playoff system. One of their main points of contention was the interference with the academic calendar, which The Nittany Line rightfully shoots out of the water.
As for the 'academic calendar' bullshit, please, please give me your schedule. Give me two weeks between Thanksgiving and the middle of January and I'll give you an 8 team playoff.
Week 1: 8 teams become 4
Week 2: 4 teams become 2
Championship game is played the same time it always is.
You're telling me your academic schedule can't handle that?! You're telling me you even care about academics in football? I seriously doubt it.
I have nothing else to add to that. Teams already practice three weeks for the bowl game with the final week being on location. If the NCAA can pull college basketball players out of class to travel for away games in the middle of the week and send the best teams to a month-long tournament where the first two rounds are played on Thursdays and Fridays, you give up any moral standing when it comes to concern about a student athlete suffering in school. (Ok, maybe I had a little bit to add to it.)
Here is a fascinating read I came across in a message board about an Alabama fan who struck up a poolside conversation with a former Penn State coach while on vacation.
This person, we’ll call him "Glenn" (because that’s his name), wasn’t bragging, because it was me pulling the info out of him over that two hour conversation. Instead, what he revealed was a content fanbase, confident in their leader who was committed to doing things the right way, with class. We swapped stories, though his were much more interesting. But he talked about Coach Paterno helping him get his start in coaching, letting him coach at Penn State for two years before setting out to coach elsewhere. He said Paterno didn’t recruit players, he recruited families, and if he got a bad vibe about a family, that was it.
There's more there including his encounters with Virginia Tech and Florida fans, so go check that out.
In Scores of Other Games