April 20, 2010

The Blue and White Roundtable makes its triumphant return

Break out the stock photo!

Just when you thought it was safe to check out your favorite Penn State blog the week of the Blue & White game, we go and break out the Blue & White Roundtable yet again. This week's questions come via Nittany White Out. Check NWO Thursday for the Roundtable roundup. Onward…

1. Big Ten expansion talk is heating back up, with word coming out of an "accelerated timetable." We'll split this question three ways:

a) What should the Big Ten do?

I think that most Penn State fans, and most Big Ten fans are in agreement that expansion is necessary if the right schools are sought after. The rumors are flying which schools that might be, everything from Notre Dame to Syracuse to Texas. The total number the Big Ten powers want to add is also a matter of wild speculation, some believe the Big Ten could end up with 16 teams. With the lucrative contract with the Big Ten Network, the conference has a lot on the table to offer, and it would be silly for any team to not give it a serious thought. Expanding more than one school though might be a bit unreasonable so I expect Delany to get his ducks in row and go after one particular school.

b) What do you want the Big Ten to do?

Personally, I would love for the Big Ten to add three schools including Pitt and Rutgers, the third really isn't a big concern; I'd love to see Texas part of the Big Ten but I think that is just a pipe dream. Yeah, I understand that neither Pitt or Rutgers are traditional powerhouses in football but it would rekindle some old traditions with Penn State. The Nittany Lions played Pitt and Rutgers on a yearly basis when they were an independent and we all know there are a lot of old-guard Penn State fans out there that want to revive the Pitt rivalry. Rutgers is no longer the football pushover it once was and would add a nice geographic fit to the Big Ten. I know it probably won't go down like this but hey, the question was "what do I want the Big Ten to do" so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

c) What will the Big Ten do?

I'm guessing Jim Delany will give the go-ahead for expansion very soon and we'll see the Big Ten go after one particular school not named Notre Dame. The Big Ten bylaws state that 8 of the 11 institutions must approve of the school for admission so you know Delany has done his homework and thought this thing out. Whoever the Big Ten go after you can bet it's as close to a sure thing as you'll ever see.

2. Back to Penn State: Though Joe Paterno has continued to insist that there is a quarterback competition this spring, in your eyes is there any chance that it isn't Kevin Newsome under center against Youngstown State next August?

Tim and I covered this last week and although we don't see eye to eye on which quarterback should start, I think we are firmly in agreement that there is no way in Hell someone other than Newsome will trot onto the field in the first series against Youngstown State. This is Penn State and this is Joe Paterno; freshmen don't exist and loyalty is reworded. Newsome spent his year on the bench behind Clark so he'll get the chance no matter what the other quarterbacks do. It's Kevin's job to lose and he'll get plenty of leash from Joe. If he doesn't come through be prepared to here plenty of blame heaped on the offensive line not giving him enough time or the wide receivers not helping him out, I can almost script the press conference after the Alabama game.

3. What do you make of Penn State's current recruiting situation, with no commits as of this Monday before the Blue/White Game while a team like Ohio State already has 9?

I don't think it's at all time to panic, Penn State is going to have a relatively small class and they are going after some good prospects. There are plenty of guys that have Penn State on their radar, the verbals will come in time. The Blue\White game will host a lot of Penn State's top recruits so we'll get a chance to see the guys that are seriously considering the Nittany Lions.

4. Aside from the QB situation, what is one aspect of the team you're going to be looking at closely during the scrimmage this Saturday?

I'll be focusing on two positions this Saturday: Offensive line and Linebacker. Gone are all three starting linebackers and while there is a lot of talent there isn't much experience. I realize the schemes will be dialed back and the defense will play mostly in a base formation but it will be a good test to see how quick the linebackers get to the ball and how sure they tackle. The Blue/White game is usually a chance to see how fundamentally sound the team is and I'll be watching the linebackers closely. It will also be interesting to see if Doug Klopaz gets the starting nod at center with Wisniewski at guard. That was the lineup during the coaches clinic scrimmage but I'm guessing things have changed since then. With the defense playing a vanilla scheme the offensive line's performance will be easy to ascertain. If the first string line can't block well in the Blue/White game it could be an early warning sign that it's time to hit the panic button.

Lightning Round:

1. Will you be watching the Blue/White Game in person, or on ESPN2?

If the weather is going to be nice I'll be there, otherwise its ESPN2 all the way.

2. Who will be starting at linebacker come the Youngstown State game?

If you forced me to guess right now I would say Mauti, Colasanti, and Gbadyu but I think that will change as the year goes on.

3. Which game will be selected as this year's night game/White Out, or

will there be none?

Unless both teams have catastrophic seasons early on Michigan will be the first (and possibly only) big home game.

4. What round will the Penn State players be selected in this year's draft?

Jared Odrick – first round
Sean Lee – second round
Navorro Bowman – late second or third round
Josh Hull – last round
Mickey Shuler – undrafted free agent
Don't forget to check back in on Thursday for Linebacker-U's coverage of the NFL Draft live on CoveritLive.


  1. Yes I did, I did an internet search to make sure I wasn't forgetting anyone and he didn't come up. Don't know how I missed Clark.

  2. So what do you think is in store for DC then? I wouldn't be surprised if some team takes a late round pick on him.

  3. If DC goes it will be a late pick. If someone takes him they will be looking at him at a different position or for use in the wildcat. He doesn't have the height the NFL is looking for and he has a low release which is a double whammy.