There was a lot of grumbling within the Penn State fan base when seating at Beaver Stadium was rearranged as part of the STEP program last year, but apparantly ticket holders will tolerate it, for the most part.
In recent months, 2010 football season ticket holders were given the options of retaining, upgrading, downgrading or waiving their seat locations for the 2011 season. The responses, reflecting percentage of 2010 ticket totals, are as follows:
Retain - 69 percent (committed to same seats as 2010); Upgrade - 20 percent (committed to relocating to a better seat, based on availability); Downgrade - 4 percent (committed to retain tickets in a lower priced seating zone than 2010 location); and Waive - 7 percent (have waived opportunity to purchase season tickets for 2011).
With 93 percent of current season ticket holders intending to renew season tickets for the 2011 Penn State Football season and an opportunity for new Nittany Lion Club members to purchase season tickets for the first time, Penn State fans have again demonstrated why the Nittany Lions perennially enjoy one of the best home game atmospheres and a loyal road following regardless of where the team travels to play.
So it looks like our old friend Mr. Euler will be pretty lonely outside this fall as most people have decided to stay on through STEP. The athletic department might want to hold off on popping the champagne, though. Remember, Alabama, Iowa and Nebraska come to Happy Valley next season, forming one of the better home schedules in recent years. Contrast that with 2012 when the highlights of the home schedule are Navy, Ohio State and Wisconsin and there's still the potential for some to jump off the ship, especially if the economy is still in the dumper by then.
Mr. Paterno Will Be Fine, Thank You Very Much
Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer had a joint press conference in Tampa yesterday, and some of the rumors about Paterno's health that have been flying around popped up.
Paterno said rumors that the game Saturday between the two 7-5 teams at Raymond James Stadium would be the final one of his Hall of Fame career are "ridiculous."
He said he feels "great," reiterating what his wife, Sue, said Monday, and he said he plans to return for the final year of his contract in 2011.
"I'm different than Urban," Paterno said. "I've got people calling up saying, 'When the hell are you getting out?' " Paterno said, chuckling. "I've got a whole different slant on it. People think I'm going to quit this year or next year.
"I, honest to goodness, have not thought of it. ... I don't see any reason for getting out of it yet.
But wait, there's more.
"I don't know. People think I'm going to quit this year or next year. I haven't even thought of it," he said. "I honest to goodness have not thought of it.
"The situation around me is very stable. The athletic director was a kid that I recruited as a walk-on, the coaches have been with me ... the [school] president has been with us now maybe 14, 15 years. We have a lot of fun together. I don't see any reason to get out. ... I feel great," he said.
So there you have it. From his mouth to your computer screen. You'll notice we didn't talk about last week's rumors much here at BSD. We wanted to, but then we envisioned the likely scenario of well...that, and decided against it. So, in case you hadn't already, it's probably time to turn off the sirens and take off the tin foil hats for now. Joe says he isn't going anywhere, and siding with Joe's word over the word of an anonymous e-mailer with an anonymous source has been the safe bet since before there was e-mail, so...yeah.
O, and about halfway through this video, there's some more from yesterday's press conference, so enjoy.
Florida Kind Of A Mess
Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror has a laundry list of Florida's problem's heading into the Outback Bowl, and would like to take back his comments from a couple weeks ago.
We're talking about a bunch of 18- to 22-year-old kids here, and kids don't always respond well to any level of adversity. Pile on as much adversity and uncertainty as the Gators have, and it would mean disaster for a lot of teams.
I speculated several weeks ago that Meyer's resignation could be the kind of thing that brings the Florida players together and gives them motivation to send their coach out on a winning note. But given everything else that's happened to the team since then, that theory can be tossed out the window.
So it looks like Cory has arrived at a conclusion many people did a few weeks ago. Good for him. Better late than never, I suppose.
Paul Jones was apparently ambushed while the team was at Busch Gardens yesterday and offered a couple good minutes of sound for FOS.
Some people were a little miffed when the staff redshirted Jones earlier this year following a nice performance in the spring game, but it's exciting to hear a player with four years of eligibility left say the game has already slowed down for him. Who knows if he'll be able to rejoin the quarterback discussion over the winter, but you've got to like his chances with an extra year of maturity under his belt.
Also, funny to hear Jones call the Florida weather "like a Pittsburgh spring."
In Scores Of Other Games
- The Citrus Bowl field will be fine for the Capital One Bowl this year. [Times Daily]
- Iowa beat Missouri 27-24 last night in the Insight Bowl and Hawkeye fans are celebrating. [BHGP]
- In a clash of Penn State's next two Big Ten opponents on the hardwood, Purdue curb stomped Michigan last night in Ann Arbor behind big nights from E'Twaun Moore and JuJuan Johnson. In other league action, Wisconsin beat Minnesota.
- Speaking of basketball, now is probably a good time to point out that BTPowerhouse, a blog dedicated to Big Ten hoops recently launched on the network. I'll be doing some work over there, so if you're a basketball fan, be sure to check it out when you get a chance.