IN NEWS THAT NO ONE'S SURPRISED TO HEAR: Penn State Women's Volleyball is preseason ranked #1 to start the 2015 NCAA season. The reigning two-time national champs weren't ranked number one to start last year, despite returning the now two-time ESPY-nominated fan-favorite potty mouthed Micha Hancock, but now that the team has to reload without the star setter, the AVCA saw the error of their ways and decided perhaps it wasn't in their best interest to bet against Russ Rose. You don't want to make him get out of that sideline chair, after all.
There are a total of six Big Ten teams in the top 25, including Wisconsin, who Penn State knocked out in each of the last two NCAA tourneys--and who also garnered one first place vote. The Lions got 54 out of the 62 first place votes cast, and I personally would like to find out who cast the other eight votes. Not that I will track them down or anything.
#DOWORKCAEL: One of Illinois' hyped wrestlers who redshirted last year, Jered Cortez, announced yesterday that he would be transferring to Penn State:
Excited & fortunate to announce that I will continue my academic & wrestling career at Penn State University. WE ARE! pic.twitter.com/kmTEa4IxZh— Jay (@Jayy_Bird133) August 13, 2015
There's a lot of speculation around the wrestling boards (much of which can be detailed in bveo12's fanpost from last night) as to why Cortez left, but one thing's for sure: Cael's getting a good one, and he fills a position of need for the future. Since he's transferring within the Big Ten, he'll have to sit out this season, but he'll be ready to step into the void created once Nico Megaludis and Jordan Conaway depart after the 2015/16 season (early speculation has him at 133, but he could possibly bump up to 141--he was supposedly slotted to take over from everyone's favorite* Jesse Delgado at 125 in Champaign).
In week one opponent news...most of us who think Temple might be a problem think it's because of their defense. Temple offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield thinks their opponents should be wary because of their depth at wide receiver and running back.
But we have the best DT tandem in the country, so I ain't skerred on that front.
BLEACHER REPORT LINK WARNING. They have their list (I mean, slideshow) of the biggest games that'll determine the outcome of the Big Ten this year, and Penn State hits the list twice. I'll save you a click: it's the two games you think it is.
FALL CAMP UPDATES. Centre Daily Times has them. So does Audrey Snyder at the PPG (yay female football beat writers!), who also talked to Brent Pry about linebackers (double yay!). PennLive says that we should listen to
Chris Nick--DeAndre Thompkins is one of the freshmen standing out in camp. Scout loves Saquan Barkley in practice, and the official team site goes in depth on the offensive line.
DOES SOMEONE WANT TO BUY ME THESE SHOES? Because I want them:
Recruiting Notes: PennLive has a Brendan Ferns update, and Steve Wiltfong (the national guy to trust over at 247) just predicted two more four stars to PSU--and one of them is a shocker, who was longtime considered a virtual OSU lock. Beware, the last link is a premium link.
Other quick hits: The Daily Collegian has their complete fall sports preview, for those missing that series on BSD...the National Champion Lionettes named their first coach in team history...one of the assistant directors of Hard Knocks is a Penn Stater, and 247 interviewed her about fighter BOB...tWWL's Big Ten blog profiled how specific players in the conference can win the Heisman, and Christian Hackenberg was their Penn State player...More Thompkins talk? Okay then.
*note the sarcasm: Delgado was nobody's favorite. Obligatory fuck that guy.