July 19, 2010

Linkbacker U is bundling up for a COLD championship game

Frozen Tundra Championship?

We've talked before about the possible site of the Big Ten Championship game, once it is instituted presumably next season. Most likely locations? Ford Field and Lucas Oil Stadium. But as the great Lee Corso would say, NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND. It appears that the legendary Lambeau Field is now hoping to host the game.

This brings an interesting question. What is the Big Ten looking for in their site? Tradition? Location? Climate? Obviously the tradition of Lambeau field is second to none, but is the game really going to generate enough revenue in the middle of Wisconsin? And I know Big Ten football is all about defense, but does Jim Delaney and company really want this game outside? To me, Soldier field is the ideal location. Primary market, with plenty of hotels and places to stay for visitors, and an outdoor stadium with great tradition.

Nittany Nation Feeling Blue

Somewhere, President Obama is smiling. For one year, he doesn't need to share his White House with 110,000 "Nittaly Lions", as there will not be a White House this year at Beaver Stadium. Thank God. Even when the team is good, these white outs get a little redundant after a while. Now that there is a crappy home schedule and likely a crappy team to go with it, a White House would have been an absolute disaster. Are you really going to get excited over a white out to see a three loss Penn State team face the mediocre Wolverines?

There simply is no buzz with the team or the schedule this year, and the school made a good decision in keeping it that way.

Call to the Hall

For those who got to witness the good ole' days when Penn State was actually living up to or surpassing expectations, then this should come of very little surprise to you. Curt Warner, no not the retired quarterback, but the all-time leading rusher in PSU history has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

3,398 rushing yards for Warner. As long as he doesn't get hurt (knock on wood) Royster will easily surpass that figure this year. So who's better, Royster or Warner? Don't forget Franco or Cappelletti. And where do Tony Hunt and Ki-Jana Carter come into the fold?

Still no word on the quarterback situation, as the coaching staff still tries to determine who of the four is the least bad. But Jay Pa did say they are working hard, and is worried perhaps more on how they do in the classroom, than on the field this summer.
"The thing you worry about even more in the summer is the academic part," Paterno said. "Simply because it's new for them, because the last couple years they haven't been in school in the summer and focusing on a couple things. But, they've both been the kind of guys that are asking about what they need to do and what they should be doing. For the most part if they continue on with the program, like everybody else is doing, they should be fine."
As long as their not "fighting" outside of McDonalds, their grades couldn't mean less to me.

Temple Trap?

So we spent last Thursday talking about who is the most likely "trap game" for Penn State this coming season, or team they have the best chance of losing to outside of Iowa, Alabama, and Ohio State. If you recall, the three that I highlighted as most likely possibilities were Michigan State, Temple, and Northwestern in that order. Well, I'm not alone, as ESPN's Adam Rittenberg also predicts the Owls to cause a lot of problems for PSU in this season's match up.
"Adam Rittenberg: Some good points here, Erik. I would point out that Temple turned out to be a lot better team than the one Penn State faced in Week 2. The long winning streak against Temple is a reason why this could be a trap game. Did you think Notre Dame players ever thought they'd lose to Navy? Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying Penn State will struggle as much as Notre Dame did in 2007. But this Temple program is no longer a joke, and while a win against Penn State would qualify as a pretty huge upset, Penn State can't overlook the Owls. The Northwestern game might be more of a trap, though, for the reasons you mention"
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