The Nittany Whiteout brings us this weeks questions, my crap-tastic answers can be found below but please visit our other contributors: BSD, RUTS, TNL, TNN, TBE, and WWN.
1) The annoucement 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?No. I will also say that I am in the camp of people which says: "Let Joe coach for as long as he wants." So, take this for what you will. I don't see Spanier and the Board forcing Joe out after this year. Now, does that mean that some decision won't be announced after the 2008 season? No. I think there will be an announcement about a successor or an announced retirement date for Joe. However, he will coach at least another year.
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?I think it is going to be an in-house hire. I have written previously about how neither scenario seems to make a lot of sense, but I think it will happen and that Scrap will be the guy. I don't see Schiano swooping in. I just don't. And now a killer photoshop courtesy of the Juleser.
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?What has gone wrong? Well, the team recruited a couple of bad apples and some young guys have made some big mistakes. That is the short answer. The longer answer involves me having to turn a critical eye at both this and other blogs. The blogs coupled with the year long blood-lust for PSU news puts these kids under an intense spotlight. The players personal pitfalls are fodder for us to discuss in the off-season so we want to know! This hunger for news does not let Joe handle a lot of these things in the same fashion he did in 1975. Similarly, this drive for news makes it feel like this has never happened before. (though, to be fair, I don't think there has ever been a player draw a knife on another player before).
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 breathern 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?The fact that PSU has not dominated the Big Ten is certainly not the fault of the Big Ten. I have come to really enjoy Big Ten Football, however, there are clearly things about the conference which need to change. The teams should, and finally will, get a bye week in 2009 (I believe). There should be at least one more conference games. The fact that a team could effectively duck the 2 of the best teams in the league in any given year is simply unacceptable. They should add a program and have a championship game. It would be great to watch and give us something to talk about instead of the SEC championship game.
I think PSU should stay in the Big Ten but I would love to see the league adopt the changes above.
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.)In the Big Ten? I consider both Tosu and Michigan a rival. I know, however, that they could care less. I think PSU needs to look outside of the conference. Lets get Alabama and Nebraska back on the schedule. I remember watching those games when i was little (the 80s) and loving it! Lets get these kind of games back!
Bonus question: Are you going to the Blue White Game.No. I am not. I live a couple of thousand miles from Beaver Stadium and I can't afford the time off/plane fare. However, I will be in Las Vegas that Saturday and I'm looking for a spot to watch the game. So, if anybody knows of a spot that PSU fans will be watching the game, please let me know.