June 30, 2010

Penn State and Sryacuse to meet at the Meadowlands

Penn State announced today it will play a three-game series with the Syracuse Orange, to take place at the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, beginning in 2013. There is also talk of a deal for two more games, a home-and-home in 2020 and 2021. Unless I completely missed something there, this announcement sort of comes out of nowhere. But who can argue with this move, as it most definitely benefits both programs, albeit in different ways.

Penn State's stranglehold in the New York City metro area has been weakening lately, particularly with the rise of Rutgers and Pittsburgh. The Nittany Lions will want to use exposure like this to keep the brand name the biggest on the East Coast.

For Syracuse, this will offer a big boost to their own prospects in its home Empire State. By 2013, there's a very real chance that the Orange will be a better football team than they were during the last two years facing Penn State--the Lions won by a combined 83-20.

Syracuse AD Daryl Gross was quoted on the possibility of a longer series, which he gave the impression that this thing could go well beyond even the five games already being discussed.
"We look forward to continuing our long term series with Penn State," Gross said. "Playing a neutral site game in the New Meadowlands versus Penn State was the impetus for a longer series."
In terms of a long-term series, Penn State has had little trouble with Syracuse historically, losing only three of the last 25 meetings.

And about the facility? Yeah, it's a pretty spiffy place:
The New Meadowlands Stadium sets the standard for venue excellence, with state-of-the-art technology, comfort and amenities. With a full seating capacity of 82,500 the New Meadowlands Stadium is the third-largest stadium in the National Football League. Highlights include four massive 30' X 118' HD video display boards in each of the stadium corners; a 48" X 1810' ribbon board that circles the interior bowl; 2100 + HD Monitors throughout the stadium; and 20 HD video pylons ranging in size from 20' X 40' to 20' X 60'.
The renewed rivalry with Syracuse is a big move by Penn State. This adds a BCS automatic qualifier to the schedule for five years, two of them coming during the Lions' series with Virginia and Rutgers. In 2012 (UVA) and 2014 (RU) Penn State will play two BCS programs in its out-of-conference tilt. Add in the possibility of Nebraska during those years' conference schedules, and Penn State is setting itself up nicely to maintain a decent strength of schedule.

Should anything else come out on this, we'll let you know. Until then, I know I couldn't be more pleased with Tim Curley on this one.

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LBU Video: Float The Lions! 2005 Purdue Pregame

(FYI: We moved our YouTube account, so be sure to subscribe to our new channel, LBUvideos)
Not all of our videos here are of the 10 Minutes or Less variety.

Today we bring you a bit of a change-up, with the Penn State Marching Blue Band's pregame performance from the 2005 Homecoming Game against Purdue.

This was my last homecoming game in the band, and it was--to say the least--stressful once the game was underway. (PU went up early on PSU)

But the pregame show was fantastic as always, on a crisp, cool autumn afternoon in Happy Valley. Enjoy...

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Linkbacker U is wondering where the recruits are

We are sticking with the pigskin today at Linkbacker U. And you knew we had to stick something in there about realignment, just to make sure the horse is dead.

Recruiting, or lack there of...

The 2010 season is still over two months away. But for many Penn State fans, the 2011 season can't come soon enough. It's early to start evaluating the freshman class for the 2011 team, especially since there doesn't appear to be much of a class at all yet. Black Shoe Diaries points out that the Lions have only received one commitment for the 2011 class, and wonder if it is time to worry.
"It's not even July and, admittedly, players decommit from other schools every year (see Shawney Kersey, Gerald Hodges, Michael Shaw, Pat Devlin, etc.). Still, it's officially time to be concerned about not only recruiting, but also the future of the program. Confront it with whatever emotion and cocktail you deem appropriate."
Personally, I think Penn State has much more immediate issues to worry about first, like finding a quarterback, a Penn State-esque linebacking corps, and someone who can punt.

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN has been doing a lot of player evaluation this off-season. First ranking the top 25 players in the conference (which is still in the process) and now evaluating the Big Ten's best on a position by position basis. Yesterday he chatted about the elite defensive tackles, listing players such as Cameron Heyward, J.J Watt and Karl Klug, but failed to even mention Penn State star defensive tackle and likely team captain Ollie Ogbu. Think Ogbu got slighted? Take a look for yourself.

Paterno won't be Sidelined from the Sideline

It's no secret that Joe has been battling the flu bug and health problems throughout much of the summer, canceling multiple "Evening with Joe" events. Could his health keep Paterno in the press box (his favorite place in the world) this fall? Not according to Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, who expects Paterno to be running out of the tunnel with his Lions.
Coach Paterno has had intestinal issues this summer that have forced him to limit his efforts to team activities and therefore some of his personal appearances have been canceled," university president Graham Spanier said Monday night in an e-mail.

"We have no reason to be concerned about coach Paterno's ability to lead the team."
As for what Paterno will actually be doing on the sidelines during the games, well your guess is as good as mine.
Beating a Dead Horse... Division Alignment

Unless you've been living under a rock, which you probably haven't been if you are able to read this...Nebraska joined the Big 10, which now has 12 teams, and allowing the Big 10 to have a conference championship game. First on the agenda, however is to split the conference up into two divisions. North/South? East/West? Ohio State vs. everyone else? It's anyone's guess at this point how the conference will align once Nebraska joins in 2011, but Bob Smith of Pennlive.com is sticking with geography to figure this one out.

For my taste, 2011 is a long way away. There is enough that PSU faithful have to worry about for 2010.

June 29, 2010

[Updated] Tuesday Recruitin': Cause for Concern; but don't freak out

Updated 2 p.m.

Penn State rarely loses a recruit from the DC Metro area, but UVA head coach Mike London was able to snag Brandon Phelps (pictured) from the Nittany Lions. (Photo: Washington Post)

No intro today. I'm going to just jump right in and give a big old "I told you so!"

University of Virginia's first-year head coach Mike London has been one of my harping points for months now. From my April 6 Tuesday Recruitin':
"But with the arrival of head coach Mike London from Richmond, where he led the Spiders to the 2008 FCS (I-AA) National Championship, things could get tricky in the mid-Atlantic region. I'm not saying at all that London's arrival in Charlottesville will be a seismic shift, but don't be surprised if you hear his Cavaliers come up big once or twice this recruiting season."
Well last week that came to bittersweet fruition, as London picked off very highly touted receiver/cornerback Brandon Phelps, out of Damascus (MD). Phelps had more than 20 scholarship offers, including from Penn State, Alabama, Notre Dame, LSU, and a host of other major programs.

This isn't the end of the world for Penn State; not by any stretch of the imagination. But in a year where the Nittany Lions have been painfully slow to get any recruiting momentum, this isn't the kind of news you want to hear, from an area where prospects usually flock to the Blue and White. I see a lot of potential for London and UVA to make a real impact in the mid-Atlantic recruiting scene over the next few years, if not longer.

The Wright Fit... for Pitt

This one genuinely shocks the hell out of me. It shouldn't, but it does. It's also caused the message boards to absolutely explode. NJ DL Marquise Wright reportedly committed to Pitt yesterday. Granted the Panthers have done much better lately in New Jersey, but I'm wondering if there was something deeper going on with Wright's recruitment. Last year, the Pitt coaching staff took Joe-Must-Go style heat for losing Miles Dieffenbach and a few others to Penn State last season. That would have put a ton of pressure on the Panthers to steal at least one or two right from under Penn State's nose in the 2011 class. The Panthers don't just pick up a guy like Wright, without a little shenanigans going on behind the scenes. Wright looks like he could be that ill-gotten booty.

Then there is the fact that I totally struck swinging out on Wright. It wasn't more than two months ago that I projected Wright would surely stay a Penn State lean until he commits in late summer:
"When it comes to Penn State... Even though Wright has Penn State as his leader, he appears to want to wait until the end of the summer before pulling the trigger. But that doesn't take away from his interest in the Penn State, which Wright previously referred to as his "dream school." Wright has been to University Park twice since opening up his recruitment. One of those trips was to the Blue-White Game. Wright could be the headliner in a fantastic crop of defensive linemen for Penn State's 2011 class."
How'd that work out for me?

Two More Say See Ya Later

Devon Cajuste, TE out of Flushing (NY), verbaled to Stanford last week. Like Brandon Phelps, Cajuste is from another supposedly strong recruiting region for Penn State. But this one doesn't look to be as serious, because Penn State only offered Cajuste a few weeks ago. Yes, the Lions should have been getting higher interest from a New Yorker like this one, but I wouldn't read into it so deeply.

Kiaro Holts, Indianapolis OT, and top recruit in the state of Indiana, verbaled to North Carolina last week. He told CarolinaBlue.com that UNC just came out on top of his list, after he broke down each school. When I last touched on Holts, I said it was too early to tell on him. At the time, it was too early. But now pushing two months later, it's not surprising to see him go somewhere besides Penn State. We haven't heard a single bit of good news since the offer went out.

[updated...] Here are a few more recruits over the last month that decided to go elsewhere, despite supposedly heavy interest in or by Penn State...

During all the Big Ten expansion drama, NJ ATH Bill Belton gave his soft verbal to Pitt. This just adds to the Wanstache's push for recruits out of the Garden State.

Not exactly a Penn State lean at any point, the loss of IN DT Joel Hale to the Buckeyes wasn't a surprise. But this still was a player Penn State should have been much more competitive with.

And finally, Baltimore DE Marco Jones, who I actually thought would stay open for Penn State, was picked up by someone I already mentioned in the first edition of this post: Mike London's Virginia Cavaliers. Can I say 'I told you so' more than once in a single post? For this one, yes I can.

Going forward...

It's been a bad week for recruiting. I won't sugar coat anything here. The loss of Wright really stings, with the whole Pitt factor and all. But don't fall into the echo chamber of the message boards, especially those on Rivals and Scout. More than a handful of those folks are recruiting nuts who believe that recruiting is the only thing that matters. Well, they only care about recruiting when there's nothing else to complain about. You know, like winning 51 games in five years, two Big Ten titles, and beating SEC teams on New Years Day. These were the same people who were chanting "Joe Must Go!" during the dark years. Now they're bringing back that mantra because one recruiting class might not be very good.

I don't disagree that this year's class will suck. It happens. But what I do disagree with is that this will destroy the entire Penn State football program for decades to come. That's how it would seem if you camp out on the boards for hours on end, every single day. So, do yourself a favor. Don't freak out about this year's recruiting class. It's not worth the stress.

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Linkbacker U is reminding you that Evan Royster is good

Today on Linkbacker U we are not speculating about where Lebron James will play basketball next year. Instead, we're hitting up the Collegian, ESPN, and the CDT for your daily Nittany Lion fix.

Welcome Ernie Nestor, You have no idea what you're getting yourself in to.

Sorry guys. Ed Dechellis isn't going anywhere...yet anyway. But there is a new sheriff in town

"In Nestor, the Nittany Lions are getting a long resume of experience. In 41 years of coaching, Nestor has made collegiate stops at James Madison, Wake Forest, California, George Mason, South Carolina, and most recently Elon, with 11 years of head coaching experience under his belt.

After serving as Elon's head coach from 2003-2009, Nestor spent last season serving as a scout for the New Jersey Nets.

"It's really exciting to join coach DeChellis' program and a terrific conference like the Big Ten," Nestor said in the release. "I have a great deal of respect for how coach DeChellis runs his program and look forward to being a part of that and the challenge of competing in the Big Ten."

What's this mean for the future of Penn State basketball? Too early to tell, but if his years of experience can teach Dechellis how to call a play in late game situations, or better motivate players, then this move will definitely put smiles on Nittany Nation faces.

This just in: Evan Royster is good. Rest of Team, not so much.

Adam Rittenberg of ESPN has been releasing his top 25 players in the Big Ten, and yesterday decided Evan Royster was the sixth best player in the conference. Royster has been Mr. Consistency for Penn State during the past two seasons, racking up 2,405 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on only 396 carries. His career yards-per-carry average of 6.1 is extremely impressive for a guy who has been in a key role for the past three seasons. Some thought Royster would leave Happy Valley for the NFL, but he returned and needs just 481 rushing yards this fall to break Curt Warner's record and become Penn State's all-time leading rusher.

We all know Royster's good, but the team around him? You're guess is as good as mine. Stefen Wisniewski is the only other Lion to crack Rittenberg's top 25, while Ohio State and Wisconsin each have five players on the list. Could be a long year ahead for the Lions...

Josh Hull Signs with Rams

Josh Hull didn't come to Penn State with quite the hype or expectations that Royster did. In fact, he didn't even have a spot on the team. Now the former walk on can try and do it all over again with the Saint Louis Rams, as he
agreed to a contract with the team.

And Oh by the way, we are now two days away from the day that all of New York, Miami, Chicago and New Jersey have been waiting for, Lebron James is a free agent, and I finally turn 21.

Not that anyone's counting.

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June 28, 2010

We Are Penn State 2010

We here at Linebacker-U.com are pleased to announce that We Are Penn State 2010, from the fine folks at Maple Street Press, is set to hit shelves in mid July.

But why, you may ask, are we here at LBU promoting this preview magazine? Well, our friends, that's because this year you will find articles by our very own Mike and Tim! BlackShoeDiaries.com editor Mike Hubbell asked us to contribute to We Are Penn State 2010, and that folks, is an offer we couldn't refuse.

Here's a quick rundown of what you'll see from LBU's own:

Shopping For The Groceries: Go farther into the future to see how Penn State is recruiting for 2011 -- by Mike Pettigano

Five To Watch In '10: If Penn State has another successful year, these five players will have stepped up -- by Tim Aydin

May Our Lives Swell Thy Fame: Several Penn Staters head off to join the ranks of Nittany Lions in the NFL -- by Tim Aydin

If you are balking at the $12.99 cover price, keep in mind this is 128 pages of Penn State coverage with no advertisements. You are not going to get another Penn State preseason football magazine like this anywhere else.

We Are Penn State 2010 is due to hit bookshelves in mid July. You should be able to find it in Pennsylvania at your local bookstore, grocery store, drug store, or anywhere magazines are sold. If you live outside of Pennsylvania, you can go to the Maple Street Press website and order your copy here to have it shipped right to your house.


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Linkbacker U gets political and bids farewell to another Lion transfer

We're talking politics and women's sports today on Linkbacker U, but this has nothing to do with Title IX
Well the senate just has to have their hands in everything don't they. Steroid Scandal, BCS, a missed call in a baseball game, and now Big Ten division alignment:
Republican Chuck Grassley and Democrat Tom Harkin made the request in a June 10 letter they sent to Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. In the letter, Grassley and Harkin questioned how the Big Ten's expansion efforts fit with its nonprofit status.
Good to see the government has its priorities in straight. You know, rather than help the economy, or perhaps stop the oil spill, they are making sure that the Big Ten ISN'T making money.

Megan Hodge is back on ESPN...as a nominee

Who could forget the last time Megan Hodge was seen on the ESPN family of networks. The 2009 National Championship victory over Texas is a match that will live on forever in the minds of Penn State and volleyball faithful. Now a Penn State alumni and national team member, Hodge is back on ESPN, as an ESPY nominee for female athlete of the year. This the latest in a of accolades for the former Lion.
Hodge was a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, having earned the honor as both a freshman and a senior and was a four-time unanimous All-Big Ten selection. She was named the Touchdown Club of Columbus 2009 Female Athlete of the Year and a finalist for the prestigious AAU Sullivan Award. Hodge was Penn State's fourth four-time AVCA All-American and just the fifth four-time First Team honoree in AVCA history. Most recently, Hodge was named co-winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup, honoring the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year, and was also voted the Suzy Favor Female Big Ten Athlete of the Year.
Now that Hodge's career is in the rear view mirror, where does she compare to some other Penn State athletes? Cappelletti won a Heisman, but did he win three national championships? Check back soon as we'll break it down.

Emily Phillips Transferring from Penn State

Staying with the women's sports, transfer fever spread from the men's squad to the Lady Lion's this past week as reserve guard Emily Phillips decided to transfer to Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis...yes that's the actual name. The girl had potential and obvious skill, but she obviously wasn't getting playing time behind Alex Bentley and incoming freshman Maggie Lucas.

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June 27, 2010

NCAA 11: Clips of a Penn State dynasty

I guess it's been a boring enough weekend for me to think about NCAA 11 more than once. So here's a string of YouTube clips by madscientist06, featuring the first parts (including two games) of a Penn State offline dynasty in NCAA Football 11.

Just one few pre-viewing thought... I really hate the generic FCS (I-AA) team bullshit that EA has done in recent seasons. You would think that since FCS teams have gained significant notoriety in recent years (read:this) that at the very least their actual school names, uniforms and logos would be included in this game. After all, it wasn't all that long ago that EA actually had the I-AA teams in their NCAA Football games.

Part 1: Kind of odd that the offense is a full four grade points higher than the defense. I'll take it though. Notice the same very lame pre-game routines by the marching bands. "USA," really? I thought there was supposed to be more emphasis on the pre-game atmosphere in this edition. If EA doesn't include even a still shot of "The Floating Lions" or the block "PSU" formation, then what the hell is the point of showing the band at all???

Part 2: The stadium itself looks much cleaner, with more of the details that actually grace the venue. But again, where's the band in the stands? They were on the field pre-game. They must have gone somewhere. EA is really screwing up the bands in this game. Graham Zug muffs the punt, so at least they got that part correct.

Part 3: On special teams (punt returns, specifically) there are two #5's on the field. This is against NCAA rules, and should have been caught by the EA team.

Part 4: The "Play of the Game" should not have been Stephfon Green's garbage-time touchdown run. By the way... 93-0, really?

Part 5: I really like the improved dynasty screens. Recruiting looks to be much better this year, too. During the game, Mark Ingram runs for a long touchdown, but what's with these bogus "records" that EA keeps inserting into the game? I'm sure the previous long-run record was not a 77 yarder.

Part 6: PSU looks quick. No other comments.

Part 7 (final): Nothing really else here, either.

There still seemed to be too many big plays in this game. When a team scored, it always seemed like a big run or catch, especially in the Alabama vs Penn State game. I won't read into this too much, as this was just one guy playing two games. But it could take some decent amount of tweaking on the sliders to get this game a bit more realistic on the field. Off the field and pre-game? Well, that's just a lost cause at this point. The thing I really fear is that all these bad tendencies in-game (like those long, big plays) will be thoroughly exploited by all those 13-year-old assholes out there who just like to stick their fastest quarterback in the shotgun, scramble 30 yards straight backwards, and chuck it 90 yards down the field for a touchdown every time. Oh yeah, and that's after they went for every single 4th down in the game.

Still, can't wait.

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June 26, 2010

NCAA 11: The USC problem

If you're not interested in purchasing an accurate depiction of college football in a video game format, then don't bother reading this post. But if you're like me, and figure that if you're going to fork out $60 we better not get a seriously flawed product, then stick around.

The flaw I'm describing isn't really a flaw in the gameplay, or the nuts and bolts of the game itself. So let me just ask this question...

Is USC's two-year bowl ban important enough to EA for a fix to be released? Probably not, but it's going to be really frickin' annoying to see the Trojans make it to the Holiday, Rose, or even the damn national championship game in EA's NCAA Football 11.

I know I'm probably being overly picky here. But again, $60 is a decent chunk of money these days, and this kind of "glitch" will most certainly bother the hell out of me for the next year. I'm not the only one, either.
And nothing would irritate fellow PAC 10 teams like knowing the real life Trojans can’t make a postseason bowl game, only to let them slip through with a BCS appearance on NCAA 11 by EA Sports.

In other words, if you want to replicate the situation of the Trojans, you’re going to have to do it the hard way. By beating down all that is USC in your dynasty. And if your team is USC, it’s like the real world doesn’t even exist.
Oh, it won't just bother other Pac-1012 gamers. It's going to piss off anyone who likes to play these games to have fun seeing how the teams will "do," before the season starts.

By the way... We will probably try to get an online dynasty going when the game comes out, so send us an email if you're interested in getting in on it. Since there will only be one Penn State team, let us know which other team you'll want to play. We'll revisit this in a later post, but figured a heads up was due.

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June 25, 2010

TMI: The Temple edition


It's two for one week as you get two Too Much Information posts this week. This week on part Deux of TMI we bring you the Temple Owls.

About the University

Temple University is a comprehensive public research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1884 by Dr. Russell Conwell. Temple University is one of Pennsylvania's three public research universities, along with the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University. It is the 26th largest university in the United States and has over 400 sponsored programs. Temple has international campuses in Rome and Japan, the latter being the largest campus of any foreign university in Japan.

Conwell, a Yale-educated, Boston lawyer, and ordained Baptist minister, came to Philadelphia in 1882 to lead the Grace Baptist Church and began tutoring students, [–ed note:keep that in mind] in the basement of the church.

The original Temple

The school became known as Temple College in 1888, and became a fully accredited university in 1907. Similar to Penn State and Pitt, Temple is a state-related university, meaning it receives public funds and offers reduced tuition for Pennsylvania residents but is under independent control. Penn State differs slightly because it is also a land grant university as well. Basically state-related universities differ from state universities in that they get funds from the state but, to the chagrin of many bureaucrats, the state can't tell the university what to do. Don't we all wish we had a sweet deal like that?


Unlike some other universities that get their nickname from a sports reporter after years of existence, Temple started out as the Owls. When Conwell was teaching students in the basement of the Baptist church in 1882, [–ed note: I told you to keep that in mind… did you? DID YOU!?] the students were nicknamed "night owls" because the classes were at night and owls are nocturnal animals. Conwell encouraged the nomenclature with the remark: "The owl of the night makes the eagle of the day." Temple was the first school in the United States to adopt the owl as its symbol.

The mascot's name is Hooter the Owl:

Wait, what... no not Hooters the owl but Hooter the owl.

There, better and that pic just about sums up Temple football for ya.

Football related data

Last season: 9-4

Directed by former Penn State tight end Al Golden the Owls had one of their best seasons last year going 9-4, their best record since 1979. They lost to a good UCLA team in the EagleBank Bowl, a game they were dominating until the injury of super stud running back Bernard Pierce. You could say that Temple is on the verge of a Golden era *snicker*. Ok, stop groaning, I didn't make that up it was some Douche on Wikipedia.

This is the point where I would tell all Temple football fans (and children) to leave the room.


Are they gone? Good.

Temple has been playing organized football and basketball since 1894. While the Basketball team has had a lot of success, winning both the conference championship and the regular season championship 9 times, and making the NCAA's on 19 occasions, the football team sssuuuuuuuuuckkkksss. The Owls have amassed a record of 407–543–52 which isn't too bad but, despite all the years of football, they have no national championships, no conference titles, no Heisman winners, one All-American, and only three bowl appearances of which they won one. Add to the mix the fact that legendary coach Glenn "Pop" Warner finished his last six seasons there, and it's easy to see Temple's history is pretty bad.

Famous Alumni

Ok, here's the deal: Temple doesn't have a long list of really famous Alumni. Despite that, I refuse to say what everyone knows. No, I am not! I REFUSE! You know it, I know it… everyone knows it.

Some famous Owls:

Daryl Hall and John Oates of the band Hall & Oates (duh) went to Temple.

Comedian… actor… ah… ok, television host Bob Saget was an Owl.

Kunal Nayyar graduated from Temple. Yes Kunal Nayyar! Oh come on. Fine how about Raj from The Big Bang Theory. Not as impressive if it was… say Kaley Cuoco but if you aren't watching The Big Bang Theory then shame on you.

Well… that's about it. Sorry. I'm not saying it. Nope. I'm done.

Pudding Pops!

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Linkbacker-U could see Big Ten divisions by August

Let's talk Big Ten stuff today. Well, mostly.
You thought last year's Big Ten kickoff luncheon was good? Wait till this year, when the Big Ten staffers begin their proposals for the new divisional alignment of the conference in 2011. It's going to be a media circus no matter what happens, but if there's some--any--controversial proposals, watch the heads explode from Ann Arbor to Iowa City.

This is all, of course, following a report that the divisions talk will come quicker than we thought.
The Big Ten athletic directors received a memo this week from league commissioner Jim Delany, outlining the priorities and the process for determining divisions. Big Ten associate commissioner Mark Rudner and others are spearheading the project, and will present data to the athletic directors when they gather in Chicago for the Big Ten's media days and kickoff luncheon Aug. 2-3.
So that's the nuts and bolts of the story, but Adam Rittenberg asks the question I'm wondering, and you too are probably wondering: how will the Big Ten screw this one up? You know it's possible, especially with all the talk out there of "competitive balance" between the divisions. Unfortunately, some of the Big Ten AD's are already spouting that talking point.
"You have to look with a wide lens," [Purdue AD] Burke said. "You have to look over a 50-year period and look at who’s been consistent. If you take a snapshot of a five-year period or a 10-year period, you may miss it. Clearly, Michigan and Ohio State and Penn State and Nebraska, if you look at a 50-year history, are your four biggest brands. It doesn’t mean they win all the time, but they’re your biggest brands. I don’t think there’ll be any disagreement among all the Big Ten ADs about that. You’re not going to stack all four of them in one division. You’re going to try to create some level of parity."
What? No one, ever, has seriously suggested placing Nebraska in the same division as Penn State, Michigan, and Ohio State. But I guess this is how you skew public perception, before the public even knows it has perception on the matter. I can't argue, though. I don't think the Big Ten would even entertain the notion of that kind of alignment. But I can totally see the ADs or presidents using this as ammo for keeping certain rivalries intact (Michigan-Ohio State, anyone?), while breaking up others. Ok, done with that crap for today.

Ok, not totally done with divisions crap. One of our newest friend/foe sites kind of tears apart the parity argument we just went over in the above section. So here's a little sanity out of Lincoln, of all places.
The numbers may not agree with [the competitive balance argument].

No question Ohio State has been the class of the Big Ten this past decade, posting a record of 102-25.

But the winning percentages of Wisconsin (66.7) and Iowa (64.0) the past 10 years stack up just fine with those of Michigan (65.3) and Penn State (62.6).

So if you align Nebraska, with a winning percentage of 65.6 this past decade, alongside Iowa and Wisconsin, recent numbers suggest that’d be a pretty even split among the conference’s power programs.
So chew on that for a while. Looking at it that way, the basic east-west divisional alignment should be a forgone conclusion, right? We can only be so lucky.

Huskers-Lions rivalry. Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota are some of the early suitors for an annual, highly-marketed rivalry game with Nebraska. But when it comes to Penn State, there's a bit of a lost-twin syndrome for Nebraska fans.
In fact, BRN publisher Jason Siffring and I both went to a Penn State game as neutral observers one time. We were both living relatively in the area and drove over to watch Drew Brees and Purdue come play in Beaver Stadium. It was my first PSU experience. At the time, I said to Jason..."Wow, this place is like Bizzaro Nebraska." Comic book references aside (yay for Superman!), it felt very much like going to a Nebraska game except everyone was in blue instead of red.
Considering that Nebraska fans are widely regarded as the most courteous, loyal, welcoming fans in all of sports, that's a serious comparison from Big Red. I would love to see an annual Penn State vs Nebraska inter-divisional game. It would completely crush any of the past ratings for Penn State vs Minnesota, Penn State vs Iowa, or even Penn State vs Wisconsin--all those teams would end up being in the west division, should that alignment happen. If there's an opportunity for five divisional games, and three inter-divisional games in the Big Ten season, Penn State vs Nebraska is a necessity.

Ok, we'll cut it off there for the day.

In Scores of Other Games...

BSD has a great look back at one of the legends of Penn State football, Dick Harlow. Check it out... Penn State basketball players are profiled by VBR, one at a time. It's probably more info on most of them than you ever expected would exist... Michigan comes in at No. 71 in TSN's countdown. Not sure the Wolves will be quite that bad, but whatever... Big Ten quarterback breakdowns come at us from the Rivalry, Esq... Another massive recruiting update from MGoBlog.

Extra Point...

Penn State wide receiver Tariq Tongue posted a video featuring the team's senior class of 2013. Recognized those photos of Stephon Morris and Shawney Kersey? Oh yeah, baby, those are mine!

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June 24, 2010

Inside The Bloggers Unwashed, Unshaven, Studio: Temple Edition

It's been a hectic past week for me: I found out last Friday that I was to start a new full-time job the following Monday down in Northern Virginia which meant I abruptly left State College to go bum with relatives in Maryland. Couple this with the fact that I'm also taking a couple grad courses online and you can see this leaves me very little time for blogging.

One thing that won't be going away though, is our Summer Preview Series. Temple is this week's subject, and along with a cleverly re-named title to my Q&A sessions, we've got a brilliant guest in Mike Gibson from the popular Temple blog Temple Football Forever. As you'll find, he's rather confident in Temple's ability to build off of last year's near-victory against UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl and even makes a couple of bold predictions that I'm not about to spoil for you..that's the purpose of scrolling down and reading the whole damn thing. Enjoy.

LBU: "Temple Football Forever." That sounds like a more effective interrogation method than waterboarding. What led you to embrace Temple football in the first place?

TFF: 14-game winning streak during my formative years as a kid (10-11). The forever part came as a result of a friend's comment at the MAC press conference introducing Temple as the new football school. Basically, we saw it as a reprieve for the program from a President at the time who was anti-football. "Temple football now and Temple football forever," he said. Hence, the blog title.

LBU: I noticed one of the pictures on TFF's header is of the scoreboard at the beginning of the 4th quarter of last year's EagleBank Bowl. I would point and laugh, but then I remember that it really WAS significant progress for the program, how do you see them building off such a historic season?

TFF: Two things. Temple was dominating ... dominating ... a UCLA team which had a first-round NFL draft choice at nose tackle and a UCLA team that traveled to Tennessee and came away with an impressive road win. Then, disaster struck in that Heisman Trophy candidate Bernard Pierce (he really is one) went down with a shoulder injury and you could see the game slowly slipping away. The second thing was quarterback Vaughn Charlton came up microscopically small in the fourth quarter with that 21-17 lead with 6 minutes left. Not coincidentally, he is now a tight end.

Bernard Pierce: Remember the name.

LBU: Name one thing about the upcoming season that excites you and one thing that has you crapping bricks in fear

TFF: The one thing that excites me is that 16 of the 22 starters return and there are significant upgrades at four non-starter positions. The one thing that has me crapping my bricks in fear is that Al Golden has made some head-scratching decisions on game day, but I'm sure Joe does that, too. Wayne Hardin never did. Guys like Brian Kelly seldom do.

LBU: Every coach in between Wayne Hardin and Al Golden had nothing short of miserable tenures at Temple. Why do you think Golden was able to buck the trend?

TFF: The guy gets the East Coast vibe and has boundless energy. Ron Dickerson was too laid back, had no energy. Jerry Berndt never was a proven coach anywhere. (Hardin, on the other hand, had Navy ranked No. 2 in the nation. Navy.) He also had Temple No. 17 in both polls at the end of 1979.

LBU: Is this the year Temple finally does the unthinkable against Penn State? I'm talking of course, about getting in the end zone.

TFF: Yes. Many times if Bernard Pierce's shoulder holds up.

Thanks to Mike, and good luck to the Owls in every game except the one on Sept. 25!

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Linkbacker-U says 'Nice try, Buckeyes'

Maybe the World Cup ain't so bad. At least, not now that the U.S. is no longer part of the "well, at least you tried" group.

When Ohio State takes on Algeria on Nov. 13 in Columb--oh, wait, this isn't that kind of football? Well, it's still a lame idea. Ohio State fans have tried to rustle up support to flood the Horseshoe with vuvuzelas (Can we get this word officially in the spell check dictionary now? It's still coming up with a red squiggly line under it.) when Penn State comes to town this fall. I mean, hey, they must be serious, 'cause there's a Facebook page an errrvrything.

Turns out the playground monitors said no to the idea. And the Big Ten is sticking by it's rules: (HT: EDSBS)
A. Nonpermissible Items -- The arena management is responsible for enforcing the Big Ten policies in this regard. The following items may not be brought into the arena by patrons: Alcoholic beverages, bottles, cans, cups or containers, irritants (e.g., noisemakers) or strobe lights. In addition, the facility may have additional restrictions on items that can be brought into the arena.
Seriously, Buckeyes? No only did you completely rip off Penn State's Seven Nation Army cheer, but now you're ripping off the most impoverished continent on earth? Say it with me... nice!

'Atta Boy, Adam! There is only ONE Linebacker U. You know, Penn State fans aren't all that self-centered, particularly when it comes to knowing our place in the "[position] U" battles. The Nittany Lions (despite some actually decent claims to these monikers) will never be Quarterback U, or Tailback U, or anything other than Linebacker U. And we're okay with that, really. Penn State is the only program in college football where that kind of nickname is as big as the team itself.

But I guess when you're known for little more than a 10-10 tie game in 1966, it leaves some stretching for something... anything.
"Tom from Detroit writes: Hey Adam,Is it just me, or does the Big Ten have a contender for new Linebacker-U? ... Adam Rittenberg: Tom, I think we'd both agree that it takes more than a good three-year stretch of linebackers to earn a designation like Linebacker U... Penn State always will be known as Linebacker U., but Michigan State is certainly building its own legacy at the position.
Try beating Penn State anywhere outside East Lansing, more than four times the last 17 years, then we'll talk.

Big Ten-SEC football challenge? Nah. But who's fault is that really, Dave Curtis?
Do you ever see college football doing what college basketball does with nonconference challenges between leagues—for example, a Big Ten-SEC challenge in September, where each team plays?

Curtis: I've always loved this idea, but it's unfeasible. Big schools value home games way too much to sacrifice one every other year. Take, say, Penn State. The Nits always play at least seven home games, and sometimes (like last year) play eight. They don't need a big road win to help their BCS status—sweeping through the Big Ten and getting four road wins there would be plenty.

Penn State is no innocent victim in this scheduling war, but to pick the Nittany Lions out of the pack is a bit misleading in this instance. But as you saw in this Wizard of Odds post a few years back, the SEC is head-and-shoulders beyond any other conference in terms of avoiding travel for away football games. I mean, seriously, if the SEC were game to play an annual matchup with the Big Ten in, say, Washington, D.C., then I would give them credit due. But for now, no dice.

The Big 12 10 conference south and to the west of the Big Ten might be stabilized for now, but dont' think for a second their media isn't still thinking that it's only a matter of time before the other bomb drops in this conference realignment thing.
Let’s not kid ourselves about what saving the Big 12 was all about — what was best for Texas. Oklahoma has since postured, as has Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and others for the sake of their “pride.” But that’s all it was — posturing.

When it came down to it, if Texas said “jump,” just about everyone in the Big 12 was going to. In this case, they said “stay,” and the conference survives to see, well hopefully, at least another few years.
For us in the Big Ten, this expansion thing is on the back burner. But for the Big 12 remnants, this thing is still boiling over onto the floor.

Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom... The Big Ten media is in a rather different state right now. We no longer are inundated with cliffhanger articles about who will join and when. Nope. Now we get to enjoy the next 12 months of prognosticating which teams will end up in which divisions. Like about a million others the last few days, here's one that is kind of... not really... doesn't... oh well, just read.
The scheduling model that was used by the Big 12 - teams faced the same three interdivisional opponents in back-to-back seasons, once at home and once on the road - seems more palatable to me. It makes for fairer scheduling and results in a truer champion, but it means two-year breaks from the schedule for teams outside the division... If the Big Ten goes that way - and it pains me to say this - then those annual OSU-Penn State games probably have to be sacrificed... As good as the series has been in the 17 years the Nittany Lions have been in the league, this is relatively recent as rivalries go; the schools met only a handful of times before then... If something has to give, and lots of somethings probably will have to give before this process is finished, having Penn State on the scheduling rotation doesn't seem that serious, particularly when there's a chance the teams still could meet in the title game.
Tell all that to the World Wide Leader. If you think ESPN is going to allow the breakup of one of college football's best annual matchups, you're nuts. I know, I know. The Big Ten Network is gaining steam by the second, and has much more clout with the conference--and college football as a whole--than it did a few years ago. But the big bucks are still with ESPN, whether we like it or not.

And Russ Rose still won't smile. Penn State women's volleyball is arguably the greatest collegiate women's sports dynasty... ever. Seriously. So naturally, they took home some hardware at the Big Ten Network Awards Show this week. Our ladies won the Women's Team of the Year, and Rose won Women's Coach of the Year.

This has been--next to actually winning the last 100 NCAA titles--probably the best week for Penn State women's volleyball, with a bunch of it coming at superwoman Megan Hodge, who received every award under the sun. The latest? The Suzy Favor Big Ten Female Athlete of the Year.

Some Big Ten team blogs were disappointed, some elated. Others, well, just had to throw in a photo of John L. Smith winning the Land Grant Trophy. (Yeah, that actually did happen.) But you can't diminish the fact that the BTN is doing everything it can to promote Big Ten sports as a whole, not just football and basketball. I really like the way the BTN is operating.

In Scores of Other Games... ESPN has a really good series this week about college football's strength and conditioning coaches, featuring Penn State's own John Thomas. He's probably one of the most valuable unknowns in the Nittany Lion football program. There's also a companion piece looking at weight room and locker room traditions, with, you guessed it, Penn State's big white "S" rules. So go take a look. Jared Odrick is doing fine down in Miami. Gambling is bad. But having fun is cool with us. Kevin over at BSD gives us Vegas lines on how Penn State will do this year, along with almost everything else for 2010. Rose Bowl, presented by... someone. I guess all that money pumped into the Mets' Citi stadium had to come from somewhere, because Citi is no longer going to sponsor the Rose Bowl.

Stay tuned for Tim's enhanced interrogation with Temple Football Forever, and Galen's profile of the fittin' Owls.

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June 23, 2010

If this were Beaver Stadium, you just set a the new record!

We did it.

Well, actually you did it. All 110,754 of you who have visited Linebacker-U.com since we launched in January of this year. Why did we pick 110,754 for our milestone? Because, if you don't already know this (and shame on you if you didn't), Beaver Stadium's current record is 110,753, set on Sept. 14, 2002 when the eighth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers rolled into town. The Nittany Lions obliterated Big Red that night, in one of the greatest night game atmospheres in college football history. I thought this was appropriate, given that NU is our new conference mates.

So, thank you so very much. We couldn't have done this without every single one of you!

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10 Minutes Or Less: 2005 Wisconsin at Penn State (Senior Day)

(FYI: We moved our YouTube account, so be sure to subscribe to our new channel, LBUvideos)
The 2005 season may have lost some of its luster among Penn State fans, what with the 40 total wins, another Big Ten title, and three New Years Day bowl games since the departure of Tamba Hali, Michael Robinson, Alan Zamaitis & Co. But for those who had experienced the four losing seasons, anemic offenses, and calls for Joe Paterno's head, this season was--save for one second in Ann Arbor--a euphoric resurgence to glory.

After what felt like one emotional game after another--wins at Northwestern, against Ohio State, the loss at Michigan--you would expect a fan base to have a tough time maintaining the same level of enthusiasm this late in the season. But for the Nittany nation, there was five tough seasons' worth of pent up energy to burn. Unfortunately for the visitors, on this day they would feel the full force of that energy.

Wisconsin was having a surprisingly successful season of its own, rolling into Happy Valley with a 9-1 record, tied with Penn State for first in the Big Ten. The Badgers' record-setting offense led the Big Ten coming into this game, scoring 39.7 points per game. Heisman Trophy and Doak Walker Award candidate Brian Calhoun entered the day No. 5 nationally in both all-purpose yardage (184.1 ypg) and rushing yardage (135.3 ypg) and led the nation with 21 touchdowns. Then he, along with the rest of the Badgers, ran into Penn State.

On that unseasonably warm November afternoon, 109,865 fans packed Beaver Stadium, becoming the second-largest home crowd (at the time) in Penn State football history.

For Penn State, it would end up being one of the most emotional senior days of the Joe Paterno era. From the offensive leaders like Robinson, to the stacked defense that featured Hali, Zamaitis, Calvin Lowry, Chris Harrell, Matt Rice, and Anwar Phillips, these seniors would not let this opportunity slip through their grip.

What we were treated to was one of the most dominating performances ever by Penn State against an eventual 10-win Big Ten team. Wisconsin even capped their own season with a Capital One Bowl win over a supposedly "faster" Auburn team out of the SEC.

Of course, I couldn't possibly finish this write up without mentioning that this game would also be my own senior day. After marching the previous 28 pregame routines with the Penn State Marching Blue Band, this one would be my last. It was the perfect ending, the perfect setting, and the perfect outcome on that sunny afternoon in Beaver Stadium.

(Annotations by Tim)

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Linkbacker U is talking Wide Receivers, Rivalries, and the Offensive Line.

Former Lion Wideouts Trying to Make it in NFL

Was there a single Penn State fan who didn't like Jordan Norwood? One third of perhaps the greatest wide receiving corps in school history, who could forget this circus catch against Northwestern? After serving primarily on the Eagles practice squad so far, Norwood's trying to make the jump to the big leagues. Norwood's not the only former PSU wide receiver who needs to step up his game, as Derrick Williams isn't quite doing as well as he did (or at least was supposed to do) in college either.

Can Nebraska be Penn State's Actual Rivalry?

Quick, name Penn State's biggest rival. You may say Ohio State due to the close competitions in recent years for the Big Ten title, or Iowa for simply ruining ALL of Nittany Nation's hopes and dreams. Maybe even Michigan for their dominance over Penn State prior to the past two seasons. But as you know, it is Michigan State that shows up on the schedule during rivalry week, and Nittany White Out ponders if perhaps Nebraska can replace Michigan State on the schedule and give Penn State a mutual rival it is so severely lacking.

Stefen Wisniewski Named to Outland Trophy Watch List

New quarterback, and two new inexperienced members of the offensive line. Smells like trouble? Not with guard Stefen Wisniewski, who is once again a member of the Outland Trophy Watch List. The award is given to the nation's best defensive tackle or offensive lineman, and Penn State is going to need Wisniewski to be just that if the team is going to have any chance of a BCS bowl.

While you were working (or sleeping) TUCKER HAAS!

We told you to tune into Fox News yesterday to watch nine year old cancer survivor Tucker Haas perform Boom Boom Pow, but just in case you missed it, we've got it right here.

June 22, 2010

Tuesday Recruitin': Mangiro down to four; So long Shuler?

Tuesday Recruitin' took a break for a few weeks, but is now back with the latest Penn State football recruiting news.

The fans have been grumbling of late about the lack of solid verbal commits for Penn State's 2011 class. That's justified, when you consider that Penn State had EIGHT commits by this time last year. Many of those guys were very highly touted recruits, too. So it's not like Penn State piled up two- and three-star (I HATE star ratings, by the way) recruits for the first half of its 2010 class.

But we could see some very positive movement by the end of June, from some of Penn State's most highly recruited prospects.

Alex Mangiro

Mangiro's list is down to four, after he dropped Boston College last week. The problem is that one of the other three competing for Mangiro is Ohio State. It looks like he wants to keep things relatively local, except for the Buckeyes. Mangiro's list is now down to four, with OSU, Penn State, Rutgers, and Pitt making the cut.

There was a bit of negative recruiting going on, and could still be going on, with at least one of Mangiro's suitors. Apparently Joe Paterno's retirement has been brought up enough times for Mangiro to mention it in an interview with Scout.com's Matt Alkire. Even though Mangiro doesn't seemed phased by any of it, it is still interesting that coaches are still trying to use that against Penn State.

Even though Ohio State is always a tough nut to crack in a head-to-head recruiting battle, it would seem Penn State's immediate threats are Pitt and Rutgers, if only for the location issues with Mangiro. He does want to visit all four schools before he makes his decision prior to the football season, which would bode well for Penn State. Mangiro has already been to University Park a few times, but hasn't yet done much with the other three.

I won't go into calling him a sure thing, but Mangiro could make Penn State recruitniks very pleased by the end of the summer.

Visits Set/Coming

Shawn Oakman is looking to visit on June 27. Oakman has looked like a solid Penn State guy from the beginning, and still does. But if you wanted some extra drama sprinkled on top of this news, Oakman is visiting Pitt two days before his trip to Happy Valley. His leaders right now are PSU, Pitt and Temple (obviously staying local), which should signal a decent road for the Fightin' Paternos.

Miles Shuler could be Rutgers-bound, but Penn State is still hoping for a strong push this summer. He's apparently trying to set up a visit sometime soon, but no word yet on when. His dad has been very high on the Scarlet Knights, and is supposedly very active on the Rutgers message boards.

• Roanoke (VA) Cave Spring safety Michael Cole was up for the Blue-White Game, but wants to come back to Penn State for another round. He's a rising prospect in the Virginia region, which Penn State loves to dive into for recruits. Cole is looking at local schools like UVA right now, but his enthusiasm for another visit to Happy Valley is encouraging.

• Fairview (PA) defensive end Jordan Kerner is hoping to get an offer from Penn State during his visit this weekend. Boston College, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Rutgers and West Virginia have all offered Kerner, and he'll head to Happy Valley next weekend. He visited for the Blue-White Game, and has been in contact Mike McQueary.

Conner Crowell should get to visit Happy Valley next week. The trip should include UConn, North Carolina, Ohio State, Rutgers and West Virginia among other programs.


Devon Cajuste
Flushing, NY/Holy Cross High
6-4, 215 lbs

I missed this one a few weeks ago, so shame on me. But Penn State apparently offered Cajuste in early June. He's a decent wide receiver prospect, with fantastic academics. His offers list stands at Boston College, UConn, Harvard, Penn State, Rutgers, Stanford, and Syracuse. As a junior, Cajuste caught 40 passes for 921 yards and seven touchdowns. He also competes in track and field where he runs the 100, 200 and 400 meter dashes and participates in the high jump and javelin. His personal best in the high jump is 6-foot-2.

Etc... Quarterback Cardale Jones got an offer from Purdue last week, but he's still very high on Penn State. It's supposedly just a verbal offer, but that depends on where you hear it... cornerback Kyshowen Jarrett had been offered a while back, but Scout just confirmed it for themselves... 2012 defensive end Noah Spence from Bishop McDevitt HS was on campus this past weekend. He spent most of his time with Larry Johnson, Sr. so we know the big guns are already being brought up for him... I promise I'll finally update the recruiting board tomorrow. Pinky swear!

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Linkbacker U is talking Megan Hodge, Big Ten Hockey, and Boom Boom Pow

Linkbacker U is hitting to all fields this morning, patrolling the grid iron, hardwood, and the ice in today's edition.

Student Ticket Sales off to Smooth Start

We'll start today's tour in Beaver Stadium, as today marks the second day of Student Ticket Week in Pennsylvania, where students from across the commonwealth are seeing what 7 A.M. looks like for the first time. Today the juniors rush to reserve their seats for the "greatest show in college football". If yesterday's results were any indication, juniors should have no trouble securing a ticket. Quite a difference from the good ole' days of 2007. Must have been Anthony Morelli.

Megan Hodge Awarded NCAA's Best Female Athlete

Remember those high expectations we all had for Morelli? Didn't live up to them did he? Well Megan Hodge certainly lived up to the hype, and yesterday was a co-recipient (along with UConn women's basketball player Mia Moore) of the Honda Broderick Cup for top women's collegiate athlete. Make all the jokes you want about women's athletics, but anyone who watched Moore's UCONN team or Hodge's Lions can attest to the level of dominance these teams, and players demonstrated.

Icers in for a Name Change? Varsity may be in team's future.

If you recall, you were able to catch Hodge and Moore winning their championships on the ESPN family of networks, and were able to follow PSU's streak all season long on the Big Ten Network. Volleyball has caught on like wildfire in Happy Valley, and with the recent ratings success of the NHL, Patriot News columnist David Jones wonders if a switch to varsity is on the horizon for the Penn State Icers.

Boom Boom POW!

Speaking of things that caught on quickly in Happy Valley, remember Tucker Haas? If the name sounds familiar, you probably were at Thon 2010. Or recognize the name from his facebook group. Or his youtube video. Well this morning, he makes his television debut on Fox and Friends as he willl be performing his famous rendition of "Boom Boom Pow" at 8:50 A.M.

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June 21, 2010

TMI: the Kent State edition


Real life interfered last week so I wasn't able to post last week's TMI on the normal Friday time slot but fear not, it's just bumped up to Monday instead. With that in mind I give you Too Much Information: the Kent State edition.

About the University

Kent State University is a public research university located in Kent, Ohio, United States. The university has eight campuses around the northeast Ohio region with the main campus in Kent being the largest. The university was established in 1910 as the Kent Normal School as a teacher training school. It was initially known under the working name of the Ohio State Normal College at Kent, but was named Kent State Normal School in 1911. In 1915, the school was renamed Kent State Normal College due to the addition of four-year degrees. In 1929, the state of Ohio changed the name to Kent State College as it allowed the school to establish a college of arts and sciences. Of course Kent State is infamously known for May 4, 1970 when an Ohio Army National Guard unit fired at students during an anti-Vietnam war protest on campus, killing four and wounding nine. Although that tragedy stands out, Kent is known for joining with the University of Akron and Youngstown State University in establishing the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in 1973. It was the world's first medical consortium.


Kent State's athletic teams are known as the Golden Flashes. They compete in the Mid-American Conference East division and field 16 varsity athletic teams and one club team. Around 1920, the teams were known as the "Silver Foxes" because then-president John McGilvrey raised silver foxes on his farm. After McGilvrey's controversial firing in 1926, the new administration held a contest to choose a different team name and "Golden Flashes" was chosen. The school colors of Navy Blue and Gold were originally Orange and Purple but when the basketball team's uniforms were taken to a local cleaner, the hot water caused the colors to fade to blue and gold. The team and student body liked the new colors and voted to officially change them. Kent State's official mascot is Flash the Golden Eagle.

Here's Flash molesting a random cheerleader

Football related data

Last Season: 5 - 7

The football team was founded in 1920 and played their first game against Ashland College, a 6-0 loss. Their first win was in the form of a forfeit with their first real win coming on November 14, 1925, a 7-6 win over West Liberty State College. In 1923 Kent State suffered the worst loss in school history, a 118-0 loss to Baldwin-Wallace College. Football has not been kind to Kent, they've been part of the Mid-American Conference since 1951 but have only one conference title and only two bowl appearances (both losses).

Famous Alumni

There's quite a few famous people that called Kent home. Lou Holtz and Nick Saban both graduated from Kent as did Antonio Gates. Gates didn't play football though, he was a basketball player in college. Drew Carey, Michael Keaton, and Don King all went to Kent. Several members of the band Devo went to Kent State.

All those names pale in comparison though, to Kent State's most famous Alumni, Carl Monday! That's right, investigative reporter and masturbator hater Carl Freakin' Monday went to Kent. Fire up YouTube!

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Linkbacker-U is talking Student Sections, QB's, and Nebraska

The often times self proclaimed "best student section in the country" has a chance to start proving themselves today as tickets went on sale at 7 a.m. this morning. Can the students actually fill their section this year? You know, in time for kickoff? If you recall, only during the Ohio State and Iowa games did the student section come close to reaching capacity, and even then it took a quarter for them to leave their tailgating sites and enter the stadium.

Don't forget this new season brings in a new era for Penn State football, one that very few of the students who purchased tickets toay are probably looking forwar to. Daryll Clark's graduation means a new quarterback lining up uner center this fall. The new signal caller will be teste in a way that Clark never was, going on the roa in his secon ever start to take on the nation's top team In Alabama. Patriot News columnist Bob Flounders doesn't think Joe Paterno's choice to replace Clark will be able to duplicate the former quarterback's success.

The tough 2010 schedule Penn State has in front of them is already set. But 2011? That's a different story. Nebraska should be a competing member in Big Ten athletics in time for the start of the 2011 football season, which has many athletic directors scratching their heads as they comtemplate the best way to realign the conference and incorporate Nebraska.

With this marking the first day of ticket sales for Penn State students, take a look at the best student section that you probably have never seen before. Think "We Are Penn State" is cool? Check out the Utah State Aggie basketball fans.

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June 20, 2010

Penn State Football 2010: The Poster

Penn State the T-Shirt!

Penn State the Lunchbox!

Penn State the Breakfast Cereal!

Penn State the FLAMETHROWER!

Ok, maybe not. But you have to admit, that would be awesome. Of course, it would have to be a blue flame thrower (zing!).

But until they release that, you'll have to settle for the latest Penn State football must-have: the "official" 2010 Penn State Football Poster.

I have to admit, it's not too shabby this year. Probably my favorite part of the Penn State football tradition is just that--tradition. There is nothing in college football so iconic than the plain white helmet with a single blue stripe.

So if you're able to swing by campus this summer, or feel like dishing out a few extra bucks for shipping, pick one up for your Penn State shrine room. We know you have one. And if you don't, then shame on you!

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