Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blue & White Roundtable: the spring is in the air edition

The annual spring football thirst quencher known as the blue/white game is only days away and that can only mean one thing here in the Penn State corner of the blogosphere: time to dust off the roundtable. This time around Nittany White Out does all the heavy lifting question-wise with a bonus question thrown in by William F. Yurasko.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the Roundtable.

1) The announcement Wednesday is that contract talks are on hold until the conclusion of this season, and that Joe might not even need a contract to coach, how do you see this saga ending? Is this the final year for Joe Paterno?

I highly doubt this is the last season roaming the sidelines for Joe Paterno. It can't be, what are all the bloggers going to write about if they don't have Zombie Paterno to fall back on? Seriously, I can't envision a happy ending to Paterno's career and that's just really depressing considering all he's accomplished. I really hope it doesn't come down to Spanier openly firing Joe because that would be disastrous on every conceivable level, if Spanier has to step in he needs to do so delicately and if it comes to that point I doubt Paterno would go quietly. In the end the one man that could put an end to this entire thing is Paterno himself, if he would just say "I'm going to retire in [insert some reasonable number of years here]," I think the majority of fans would be happy even if it was 3 or 4 more years.

2) Joe will clearly not been on the sidelines in 10 years time. Whether he is awarded another extension or is forced out against his will, a new face will inevitably be on the sidelines for the Lions in the years to come. Which candidates would top the list when it comes to a coaching search? Should it be an in-house hire or should we start off with a blank slate?

If Jay Paterno is part if the "in-house" package clean the freakin' slate. I feel bad for most of the coaches that have been with Penn State for so many years because they're the ones that are caught in the middle of this whole thing. If Penn State does go outside they need to think outside the box.

3) It almost seems as if we find another athlete in trouble with the law each morning when we read the newspaper. What has gone wrong with the once pristine image of the Penn State program?

I wish I had an answer for that it just seems that this group of players has so many rotten apples. Now with Sean Lee hurt they really don't have too many leaders on the field. I can tell you this much the shine has completely worn off Penn State and they're more of a running joke than a program to look up to anymore and that's a big change from 10 years ago.

4) After 14 years in the Big Ten, Penn State has not dominated the conference in football as most presumed when we joined winning only 2 Big Ten titles in that span. In 1994, Joe Paterno's undefeated Nittany Lions were also backstabbed by its Big Ten brethren when most conference members voted for Nebraska instead of Penn State. Is the Big Ten the right home for Penn State? Or would Joe Paterno's dream of an all-eastern conference be a much more ideal conference for the Nittany Lions?

I think Paterno's all-eastern conference would have been great 30 years ago but I don't know who you would put in place now. Penn State is a good fit in the Big Ten they just haven't been holding up their end of the bargain football-wise. The Nittany Lions are competitive in just about every other sport (*cough* except basketball *cough*) and I believe Penn State helps strengthen the Big Ten on a national level. Don't even get me started on the whole 1994 thing, my doctor told me that's bad for my blood pressure.

5) With the lack of our traditional rivals in the Big Ten conference, and our unwillingness to reschedule any of them in any consistent manner, which teams are emerging as Penn State's chief rivals in the Big Ten? (USC-Notre Dame proves that rivalries aren't all about geographic significance.)

I'll throw a curveball in and say it's slowly becoming Wisconsin. The Badgers and Lions usually play a close, hard-nosed game and some have gotten a little chippy – anyone remember Zack Mills and Michael Robinson playing the role of punching bag? I know, I know it makes me queasy as well. Wisconsin is also similar to Penn State in that they both usually have a decent defense and a couple good players on offense that can score but neither offense is going to make defensive coordinators lose sleep at night.

Bonus question: Are you going to the Blue White Game?

YES! It's also a chance for us fans to get in some spring tailgating and it looks like this year we will finally have some beautiful weather. I'm thinking plenty of food, plenty of beer and ride the tilt-a-whirl until I puke. Good times.

1 comment:

Nick said...

man, where are my points? you're not that hungover