Friday, December 07, 2007

Linebacker U: The Battle for the Throne (redux)?

Penn State and the Aggies will meet in this year's Alamo Bowl (Dec. 29th 8 Pm EST) in a rematch of the 1999 Alamo bowl. The 1999 contest was built up to see who deserved the title: Linebacker U. Now you might say "JB, that is poppycock! PSU has always been and will always be Linebacker U." Well, if that is the case then you weren't paying attention to Texas A&M circa 1999. Observe:

"The game gets me pumped up," Glenn said. "They do have Arrington, but we have linebackers who are just as good. We just don't get the recognition they do.

"We've got Brian Gamble, who is a freshman who came in and is doing a good job. Cornelius Anthony has made a lot of tackles and Roylin Bradley speaks for himself, when he comes and plays. With the depth that we have, our linebackers are just as good. I believe our linebackers and our backups could start anywhere."

When asked what team really is "Linebacker U," Glenn had a quick answer.

"I believe it's really Texas A&M," Glenn said. One indication in the disparity in talent can be found by comparing the honors lists of the two schools. Punter Shane Lechler was the only Texas A&M player selected for the All-Big 12 team. The Nittany Lions had three players -- defensive end Courtney Brown, Arrington and middle linebacker Brandon Short -- as consensus All-American selections.

Find the Article here.

You may also remember that this got Lavaar a little fired up.

"History says that Penn State is Linebacker U., forever," Arrington said. "Anybody else who claims that name is just a wannabe. That's the reason I went to Penn State, to play for Linebacker U. That's something I'll defend, with all my honor."

Hell YES! That is what I am talking about!

Find that article here.

PSU also went on to steamroll the Aggies 24-0 in that game.

This year, PSU yet again has a potential AA at Linebacker in this year's Bednarik Award Winner, Dan Connor (3rd straight year the award went to a Nittany Lion), and the Lions arrive at the Alamo Bowl after a disappointing year. This year, however, there will be no debate over who has the best Linebacking corps. The Aggies' two leading tacklers are LBs Mark Dodge and Misi Tupe with 108 and 89 tackles respectively. The duo also has 4.5 and 4 TFL on the season. These numbers, however, seem quite piddly in comparison to Dan Connor and Sean Lee who racked up 136 and 124 tackles respectively. The two standouts also had 14 and 9.5 TFL this season.

The two talented Nittany Lionbackers also lead a defense which gives up 8.5 fewer pts/game this season. The choice is clear, PSU was, is, and always will be Linebacker U.

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