July 2, 2010

Linkbacker U promises to tend to its knitting this summer

FRREESSHHHMMAAAAN!!! Not only that, but summer semester freshmen to boot. There's absolutely nothing like summer session at Penn State for those looking to get ahead in their--ahem--studies. But by having your first semester be a summer semester, you're taking some risks, especially for the two dozen freshmen football players who are starting their careers this week. Mike Poorman, Penn State prof and columnist for StateCollege.com, reads the riot act to this year's crop of hot shot freshmen...
Here is a list of do's and don'ts for the next six weeks.

Follow them for the remaining summer session, which ends with final exams on Friday, Aug. 13. Right now, it looks like summer drills will begin in Aug. 9 – that's the same week as finals. Tough week, so – like Coach Paterno says – tend to your knitting now.

DO remember that Penn State has won its last two away games at Alabama.
DON'T even think about that Joe Paterno is 4-8 against the Crimson Tide.

DO study your playbook.
DON'T play too much EA College Football 2011 when it comes out on July 13.

DON'T read any newspapers, websites or those preseason magazines at Sheetz, Giant, Wegmans or Walmart.
DO buy fruits, veggies and bottled water when you shop at those places.

DO have fun and enjoy the summer scenery.
DON'T put yourself in a position where you get a DUI or underage drinking charge.

DO listen to seniors Stefen Wisniewski, Evan Royster, Ollie Ogbu, Brett Brackett and Graham Zug and junior Drew Astorino.
DON'T think you know it all. You don't.

DO know that 83-year-old Coach Paterno has been on injured reserve for part of the summer.
DON'T send him a "get well" card; he might not like that.

DO try to ignore that Penn State has lost its three games at Kinnick Stadium and seven of its last eight games at The Horseshoe.
DON'T forget that Penn State has won 28 of its last 34 games (.823 percent).

DON'T let it bother that Joe is six wins away from winning 400 games.
DO realize that if you win five of your first seven games, his shot at No. 400 will come at home in Beaver Stadium. At 8 p.m. on Oct. 30, on Halloween Eve. Against Michigan. On national TV.

DO feel great about the "Lift For Life" fundraiser the team is holding at 1:30 p.m., July 9, in Holuba Hall. Penn State football players have raised nearly $400,000 for the Kidney Cancer Association in seven years.
DON'T forget that fans can visit the donation page.
Be sure to check out the rest of them in the article.

Riling up the masses... Summer time sucks for college football news. That leaves many of us out here trying to keep the hits coming, and the hardcore summer readers happy. What's better to do that than throw out some offensive line red meat?
"But none of this can happen if the offensive line doesn't hold up, and that's why the pundits are missing the mark in pointing at the quarterbacks. There is reason for concern on the line. They have to replace Dennis Landolt who solidified the tackle position for three years. There was a lot of shuffling along the line in the spring as the coaches looked for the right combination.

But there is also reason for hope."
Mike mentions Brian Cook's SN article about Joe Paterno's age (sigh) and how Penn State's quarterback situation is a "disaster." And dutifully points out how even the bloggers out there--who are supposed to be the ones who aren't caught up in the main stream echo chamber--are falling into the trap of generalizing about something, even though it doesn't take much to find the specifics.
Once you get past the irony of a Michigan blogger calling the Penn State quarterback situation a "disaster", step back and ask yourself, "Is it really that bad?"
That was a great line, and had to be included here. But Mike goes on to remind everyone that the quarterbacks don't mean squat unless the offensive line can hold a pocket for more than two seconds. I have a feeling you will see a lot more of these kinds of defensive articles coming out of us Penn State bloggers this summer. Probably a few into September, too. Once the media sets the storyline, it's tough to sway it. Unfortunately, Penn State's storyline for 2010 is "doubt."

School Percent Expenses
Indiana 58.6 $6.94
Michigan St. 56.9 $9.03
Minnesota 55.2 $5.11
Illinois 45.4 $4.77
Purdue 37.1 $4.70
Michigan 24.6 $4.45
Wisconsin 23.9 $5.44
Northwestern 23.6 $3.72
Penn State 23.0 $4.40
Iowa 16.5 $4.44
Ohio State 14.5 $4.69
Moron--er, more on, athletics revenues... We got another dose of money talk from Fanhouse, this time tackling basketball expenditures. I should warn anyone reading this who already gets chest pains when discussing Penn State basketball: reader discretion is advised for the following information.

Penn State apparently is second to last in the Big Ten when it comes to money pumped into its basketball program (men's basketball only in the article), with $4.4 million spent during the 2008-09 academic year.

Only Northwestern spends less money on men's basketball, among the 11 member institutions of the Big Ten. The table on the right illustrates the percentage of money spent on men's basketball compared to the money spent on football. That means Penn State is spending only about a quarter of the money on basketball as it is on football. That's not terrible, considering its about on par with Ohio State and Iowa. But just look at Indiana, Michigan State, and Minnesota. Those are some heavy investments in hoops. (Although I bet Minny's expenses are mostly due to Tubby Smith's presence)

Also, Penn State's gross athletic revenue was $95.97 million for 2008-09. That's good for sixth nationally among BCS football programs. The only Big Ten team to top PSU is Ohio State, which comes in at second ($119.85 million) behind Texas, of course.

Et cetera...

Tim Shaw is a good boy... Willie Harriot, when alcohol is involed, was a bad boy, and will pay for it... The sky isn't falling, and Joe will coach in 2010 (wow, this was an actual news story apparently)... The STEP program is still on some minds... Penn State vs Alabama through the years... Speaking of PSU-Bama, the hype continues to swell

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