Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blue White Roundtable Week of Indiana

Chris from RUTS brings us the questions this week. My answers can be found below but more learned responses can be found at BSD, TNL, WWN, and TNN. On to the brutal examination of my knowledge of the Nittany Lions!
1. Two consecutive games, two dominating performances by the Nittany Lion running game. Why the drastic change in production?

I think the answer is clear. Evan-fucking-Royster! Before Royster hit the field against Iowa the RBs weren't playing with any kind of urgency. Scott seemed perfectly happy to fumble on every other carry and Kinlaw wasn't playing much better. All of a sudden Royster comes in the game nd starts ripping off big runs which in turn loosens up the passing game for Morelli, which then yields bigger runs for Royster and Kinlaw. Evan Royster's emergence is the single best thing to happen to Penn State football so far this year. In fact, every PSU fan should have a tiny bronzed Royster statute on the dash of their car. Give in to your man-crush on Evan Royster, you know you want to!
2. Since the departure of Tom Osborne before the 1998, Nebraska quickly fired Frank Solich, hired a bad NFL coach, and on Monday fired its Athletic Director. Is there any way to avoid this sort of fiasco when Joe Paterno eventually retires?
Yes, there are several things one can try to do to avoid such a calamity. Sadly, none of them will guarantee success but you have to give the new coach the best opportunity to succeed.
You probably HAVE to hire from within the program and make the hire the day Paterno retires. You can't allow a massive search with Ryan Seacrest going door to door to find the next head coach at Penn State. Then, once the individual is hired you have to have the patience to let that coach go without being on the hot-seat for a couple of years. I've heard conventional wisdom say that three years is enough time for a coach to get things going the way he wants, well, I want the new coach to be given a 5-6 year contract with no hint of pressure until at least year 5.
3. Terrelle Pryor is on the verge of crossing Penn State off his list, if he hasn't already. Does Penn State absolutely have to sign a quarterback in this class, or can we afford to wait until next season?
Penn State can wait one more year. Both Clark and Devlin will compete for the job in the spring, I think Clark will earn the starting job and Devlin will be a very able backup (though I've been wrong before Devlin could win the job). It would certainly be great to get Pryor but I just don't think the sky will fall if he goes some where else.
Lightning Round
Describe a scenario in which Penn State ties for the conference title. Obviously, Penn State has to beat Ohio State. What other dominoes need to fall?
First, Penn State needs to beat Indiana as they have the same 2-2 record in conference as we do, however, assuming the Lions beat Indiana and Tosu the following will have to occur.
1. The Illinis will have to lose two more conference games. The most promising opportunities for them to do so are Michigan this week and @ Tosu in a month.
2. Michigan needs to drop at least two conference games. The most likely losses for them are @ Illinois this week, @ Wisconsin on 11/10, and Tosu at home on the 17th.
3. Tosu would need to lose at least one more game (assuming they lose to us on the 27th) that could come when they play wisconsin at home in 3 weeks or @ Michigan to close the season.
The moral of the story is that all PSU can do is win out and even if the Lions do that a Big Ten title might still evade them.
Will Penn State have its typical lazy start in a noon road game?

Sweet Jesus, I hope not!


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