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Nitt Picks Is Running Scared

With the news that Paul Jones will redshirt in 2010, fans can take one name out of the running for Penn State's starting quarterback job.

As Bob Flounders observes, though, the winner of the race might not matter if the offensive line continues to struggle.

I hear none of the quarterbacks — sophomores Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin and true freshmen Robert Bolden and Paul Jones — stood out. Because none of them had any time to make plays.

The Lions’ defensive front overwhelmed the PSU offensive line on most snaps. And at this point, after listening to Paterno express serious concern with regard to the O-line throughout the spring and again last Thursday, you have to wonder if the defensive line is that good or is the Lions’ offensive line going to be the worst thing about the 2010 team.

Regardless of how good Penn State's defensive line is, this is really bad news for the Lions. The offensive line struggled big time against monsters like Adrian Clayborn of Iowa and Cameron Heyward of Ohio State on their respective defensive lines last season. If Penn State can't handle its own guys in practice, how are things going to get any better against solid opponents who are scheming against it?

Still No Pitt-Penn State

As was mentioned in Nitt Links earlier, Athletic Director Tim Curley was asked about Pitt yesterday...

Games that are scheduled include visits to Temple next year and Virginia in 2012. Penn State also recently announced a game against Syracuse in 2013 in the New Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., and a home-and-home series in 2020 and 2021.

"There are 500,000 Penn State alumni, and, depending on where I am, whatever part of the country, I am catching it everywhere," Curley said. "Our alums on the West Coast, which we have a lot of, want us to come out and play out there. We have a great base in Florida, and they want us to play there.

"We had a really great series with Pitt and, certainly, with all our alumni in (Western Pennsylvania), we do hear it."

More of this please.

The "seven home games" excuse has been hammered to death in this discussion, and many on both sides agree it's kinda bogus. Notre Dame-Michigan and the Florida rivalries are all examples of recurring out-of-conference matchups that have been maintained with seven home games remaining in the equation for everyone involved, and there's no reason that if they really wanted two, Penn State and Pitt couldn't do the same thing.

Hit them with the truth more, Tim. Pitt fans and media have an inflated sense of self-worth and a blurred vision of what the rivalry means (or should mean) to Penn State and college football. As a Pittsburgh guy, sure, I'd love to see them play every year, but that'd be selfish. As Curley noted, Penn State has alumni everywhere. You can't focus on one old rivalry in one area every year and expect the rest of your alumni base to get excited about it. You have to spread the love to the Syracuses and Virginias of the world.

Does that mean Pitt and Penn State should never play again? Of course not, and the sooner they do, the better. But Pitt got a 4 year run that ended in 2000. Penn State was due to play teams like Notre Dame, Syracuse among others they hadn't seen since the '90s or earlier. That's just the way to cookie crumbles.  Sorry Pitt-ers.

Mountain Whacky

Things are getting nutty out west. BYU wants to go independent, threatening the Mountain West's BCS auto-bid hopes. The Mountain West just poached Fresno State and Nevada, threatening to crush the WAC, which is now down to six schools, and Sen. Orrin Hatch is threatening to crash the party for everyone if they don't play nice.


The MWC might not be done yet, either, as some are talking about UTEP, Tulsa, and Houston as possible candidates for further expansion beyond the 13 teams currently committed to the league. If that happens, and the league gets an auto BCS bid, look out.  Superconference No. 1 will have been formed, and it could only be a matter of time before the wheels of realignment really get going with the big boys once again.

In Scores Of Other Games...