September 23, 2010

Blue & White Roundtable: The It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia edition

This week's roundtable brought to you by Nittany White Out which won't be available at a home game until 2011 (see what I did there? Nevermind) As always, check out the other members of our esteemed group:

William World News
Joe Pa's Doghouse
2 the Lion
Penn State Clips

We're a quarter of the way into the season, and at this point we're starting to see how Penn State stacks up this year. What's the biggest positive and negative you've seen so far?

By far the biggest positive is Robert Bolden, not only from a performance standpoint but from a 'wow, a freshman is still QB for Penn State' point of view. The fact that JoePa gave this kid a chance still floors me and the fact that he's stuck with him is simply astounding (the old man must be getting soft). Joe has said many times in the past that freshmen are not ready for the rigors of college football and to hand over the keys to this offense to one still makes me shake my head, I never saw it coming. But Bolden has played very well and continues to improve every week and has Penn State fans dreaming about what the future holds for this young Nittany Lion. If Penn State can find a running back, this offense will do some serious damage which brings me to the biggest disappointment this year: the running game; and specifically Evan Royster. This was supposed to be Royster's year, he was plastered all over preseason magazines and there was even Heisman talk. That's all gone and now pundits are debating about other options in the running game. Sure you can point a finger at the offensive line but at the end of the day Royster has done nothing on his own and we knew the line was going to be somewhat suspect coming in to the season. Bolden cannot be counted on to be the whole offense (not yet) so Royster either has to get things going or Penn State has to look at other options.

The Big Ten has had mixed success this first month--Ohio State beat Miami, but Iowa lost to Arizona. Michigan and Michigan State have been better than advertised, but Penn State and Wisconsin have underperformed. As a conference, how do you think the Big Ten stacks up?

The fact that two Big Ten schools beat Notre Dame is a huge plus. I don't think Notre Dame is very good but hey, the national media does and that gives the Big Ten some backbone. Penn State's debacle at Alabama doesn't help matters but no one thought they would pull an upset anyway so no biggie there. Really, Iowa's loss to Arizona is the only disappointment so far this season (ok, Minnesota is a huge disappointment but who is surprised by that). With the way Iowa played by the seat-of-their-pants last season you knew they were bound to cough a game up and it happened last week. OSU continues to be the flagship for the Big Ten and TP is getting a lot of hype so I think the state of the union is pretty good right now.

It was recently announced that Penn State had extended the Temple series for another three years. How do you feel about playing the Owls on a regular basis?

I think it's a win-win situation. Look, I know the Owls will never be mentioned in the same breath as Alabama or Texas but they will be a bowl team every year during this new contract. Considering the crap Penn State has scheduled lately, getting a cross-state school and a bowl team on the out of conference schedule is a plus. For Temple, at the very least they get some serious television exposure which will help recruiting. Temple is slowing becoming a team to reckon with and Penn State better not take them lightly.

Temple's Al Golden seems to be a popular choice to replace Joe Paterno, whenever it is that JoePa decides to call it quits. How would you feel about Golden taking over as the head coach of Penn State?

I have no problems with Al Golden as the next head coach at Penn State as long as he's aloud to pick his own staff. Penn State has gone against conventional Nittany wisdom lately (read: Cael Sanderson) so I'm hopeful they actually do a national search the day Joe retires dies on the sideline. But if they must go with a guy that "has ties" to Penn State Golden is probably tops on my list.

Extra Points:

How many times will the BTN announcers mention that Al Golden played and coached at Penn State?

1,325… by half

Which of the embattled starters is most likely to have a breakthrough game on Saturday?

I'll saaayyyyy Nick Sukay.

Who finishes with more rushing yardage: the entire Penn State backfield or Bernard Pierce?

Benard Pierce NO doubt.

Temple has scored 9 points total in the last four meetings between these teams. Do they surpass that in this game alone?

Absolutely by a bunch.


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