August 22, 2010

Linkbacker U has no room for a Pitt Stop

Cross-State Clash Not in the Fold

Wow I can't wait for rivalry week. I am so excited for Penn State to battle Michigan State for the prestigious Land Grant Trophy! There can't be a bigger rivalry in all of sports than Penn State and Michigan State football.

Obviously, beyond the tally in the win column, I could give two you know whats about this "rivalry" nor can anyone else really. The current generation of Penn Staters hardly even know that the Land Grant Trophy exists. Every Penn Stater and their grandma, especially the Pennsylvania natives, are foaming at the mouth to see Pittsburgh on the schedule.

Sorry to break it to you, but the likely nine game conference schedule means it is not going to happen, says Jerry Depaula of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

"That is one of the challenges I am struggling with as we contemplate going to nine conference games," Curley said. "That reduces your ability to move around the country to make these games happen."

Now I understand the desire by most Penn Staters to stick it to Pitt, but as Jersey native, its the Rutgers series in 2013/2014 that I'm really looking forward to....if it's not a conference game by then.

Prom or Practice? Is Enrolling Early Worth It?

Thinking back to my fondest memories of high school, my second semester of senior easily tops the list. I was already accepted into Penn State and had no responsibilities besides enjoying my final days of high school as much as possible before I left for the valley.

But we've been seeing more and more that players are sacrificing that final semester to enroll in college in the spring. Paul Jones and Dakota Royer enrolled early, and it hasn't quite worked out for them

But was enrolling early really worth it? Surely it was a tough decision for all of the early enrollees who just want to see playing time, but many of the Lions are finding out that their teammates who didn't enroll early are having just as much preseason success.

Though Joe Paterno has been adamant about not particularly liking the early enrollment trend all across college football, only time will tell if the rest of this year's early enrollees will feel the same way.

Great job by the Collegian's Footblog. Obviously enrolling early works much better for some players than others, but it seems that the freshman Bolden, who starts his first non-summer class today, may end up getting the nod to start.

Tate Forced to Not be a Cocky Tool Anymore

I think Tate Forcier missed the memo last year that he actually didn't end up winning the Heisman Trophy. That was Sam Bradford. And he doesn't make Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer poop his pants, that's Tim Tebow.

Now, he may have to accept that he's not even going to be the starting quarterback at Michigan. And that, has finally scared him humble.

Forcier did his best to stay quiet Sunday during media day, until he asked for and received permission from Rodriguez to talk to reporters. After posing for pictures with Robinson and Gardner, the returning starter said he didn't know what his chances were to keep his job when he was peppered with the first of many questions.

"It's way too soon to tell," Forcier said. "Coach Rod keeps it as open as possible and I don't think he's close to a decision."

The three QBs each had a chance to impress the coaches Saturday during a scrimmage at the Big House, but Rodriguez wasn't saying much about the competition less than 24 hours later.

"It's a race that is not going to be settled in the next couple of days," Rodriguez said.

You'd think playing for Michigan would have been enough to make him lose his ego...

A Freshman QB? I'm not the Only Skeptic

Robert Bolden has been the sexy pick to start at quarterback in recent weeks. Is this warranted? Who knows. Hardly anyone has actually seen these practices, so no one knows for sure. But I've been saying for a while that if there was ever a year to start a young quarterback Pat Devlin was the guy. I tend to think it will go with Newsome or McGloin, and Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror agrees.

As a starter, the development of Bolden could be severely impeded by a whipping at Alabama, which could then set the quarterback position back even further. If Bolden is viewed as the best player down the road, it's doubly important for him to be standing by mid-October.

One thing possibly working in favor of a freshman starting could be the fact that JoePa has deferred more decisions to his assistants the last few years, and especially lately, and he's given particular leeway to his son Jay, the team's quarterbacks coach and or "co-offensive coordinator" as the BTN called him.

JayPa might be more eager to roll the dice than his dad.

Except that they're still his dad's dice.

Personally, I expect the staff to ultimately go with whichever one has the best chance of making it as an NFL fullback/ special teamer. I'm still banking on Newsome.

Adam Highberger Puts off Dental School, Transfers to DII School to Ball

He was one of the four players to leave the program last year, and was easily the least talked about. The walk-on Adam Higbherger said he wasn't going to use his last year of eligibility in order to attend dental school. He will, but not so fast my friend. Highberger announced that he is instead transferring to the Division II Quincy to use his last year of eligibility.

``I will never look back in my life when I'm 40, when I'm 45 and say, `Man, I wish I would've used that extra year of eligibility.' ... I know I'm going to leave it all on the floor.''
He was obviously not the most talented player on last year's team, but his effort was never questioned. Let's hope he's able to stay healthy for his new school and make a positive impact.


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