December 31, 2010

Outback Bowl '11: LBU Staff Predictions

The time has come. Here are our picks for tomorrow's Outback Bowl.


My prediction rests on the notion that the Florida players actually care that their coach is retiring (yes, yes shoot me for bringing it up). If they give a crap about Urban, and that may be up for argument, then they will come out fast. Penn State will have to weather the storm and keep it manageable until the game sets in. Statistically speaking on paper it should be fairly close. Florida has some horrendous offensive stats (80th in total offense 86th in passing) as does Penn State. The Gators fare a little better on the defensive side but Penn State has been banged up so much this season that it's hard to judge their less that Penn State-esque defensive stats and the Lions will be as healthy as they have been all season. If the Irish Potato cannon can get a couple deep throws in early, and you know he's never seen a deep bomb he hasn't liked, then Penn State has a chance. I think Penn State wins a close one.

Penn State 21 - Florida 17

Outback Bowl '11: Penn State to wear home uniforms

(Photo: PSU/Tony Mancuso)
Maybe you knew this, maybe not. But in case you're wondering, Penn State will wear its home blue and white uniforms for tomorrow's Outback Bowl.

Florida will be debuting a not-very-fancy NIKE Pro Combat uniform, which is really no different than an all-white version they have worn in the past.

Penn State has done an incredible job winning bowl games under Joe Paterno. So good, in fact, that it really doesn't matter what uniform Penn State wears. The Nittany Lions will probably win, regardless.

Through my impeccable researching skills, I've dug up which uniform Penn State has worn in every bowl appearance since beginning Big Ten football play in 1993.

Lady Lions storm back to beat ranked Iowa, 68-59

With last night's win over the Hawkeyes, Penn State is now tied for first in the Big Ten, and is one of only three teams with 12 wins at this stage of the season.

(Photo: CDT)
Junior guard Zhaque Gray drained a three-pointer to complete a late run in the second half as the Penn State Lady Lions (12-3, 1-0) rallied from a seven-point deficit with 6:33 remaining to upset No. 14/13 Iowa (12-2, 0-1), 68-59, in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Penn State outscored the Hawkeyes, 20-4, in the final 6:30 to post their first win over a ranked team since defeating No. 20 Michigan State, 68-60, on Jan. 17, 2010. The Lady Lions claimed their first win in a Big Ten opener since the 2004-05 season.

Sophomore guard Alex Bentley led the Lady Lions' offensive charge with 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including three three-pointers. She also dished out three assists and pulled in two rebounds. Gray was 6-for-12 from the field en route to 14 points to go along with five rebounds and a career high-tying five assists.

December 30, 2010

10 Minutes or Less: 1996 Outback Bowl

Penn State is no stranger to the Outback Bowl. This Saturday's clash with Florida will be the Nittany Lions' fourth trip to Tampa, the fourth time facing an SEC opponent in the game. But today we're taking you back 15 years, to Penn State's first time playing in the Outback Bowl.

The Nittany Lions were coming off a stressful 12-0 season, in which they were denied a national title by the nation's sportswriters and coaches. Many of the core players from that 1994 squad had returned for 1995 in Happy Valley, but a few of the biggest stars were on to the NFL. Penn State had struggled on both defense and offense--compared to the stellar performance a year prior--and lost three games for an 8-3 overall record and No. 15 ranking coming into the 1996 Outback Bowl. But the offensive line, fullbacks, wide receivers, and defensive line were strengths of the team, and all would play a huge part on New Years Day.

The Tigers were just off probation, and in a bowl game for the first time in five seasons. Head coach Tommy Bowden was one of the hottest names in the sport, leading Auburn to its own 8-3 record in the SEC. One of the most explosive offenses in the nation, Auburn was racking up nearly 40 points per game coming into the Outback Bowl.

It was the first year that the Outback Steakhouse restaurant chain sponsored this bowl game, which was known the year prior as the All-American Bowl. Enjoy...

December 29, 2010

Outback Bowl '11: Inside Penn State

Penn State had some low expectations coming into the 2010 season. And the Nittany Lions managed to meet every one of them, and some. The quarterback situation was scary, the offensive line even scarier. The defense had to replace three NFL linebackers and the defensive player of the year at tackle. The schedule wasn't kind, either, with the defending national champs, Rose Bowl champs, Orange Bowl champs, and some other teams that turned out to be much better than many predicted.

But with all the downs, came the many ups this season. Finding one too many very good quarterbacks. An improving offensive line. Some damn good receivers. Silas Redd. Michael Mauti. And a team capable of beating almost any opponent, if not for the gross inexperience on the side of blue and white.

Now Penn State returns to another post-season exhibition against the SEC. The last two times out between the Nittany Lions and the most powerful conference in college football resulted in victories for the slow-pokes from snowy Pennsylvania. We'll see if they can do it once again.

In this post, we'll take a quick look at the team overall, then have a game-by-game rundown.

Outback Bowl '11 Poll: Florida or Penn State?

It's the middle of game week. Kickoff is fast approaching, and while I finish up the final few posts, let's throw one out to all of you out there.

Florida is a big, bad SEC football team, with two national titles in the last five seasons (2006, 2008).

Penn State is a slow, fat Big Ten football team, that simply can't handle all that southern speed.

So, you tell us...

Which team will win the 2011 Outback Bowl?

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December 28, 2010

Big Ten Bloggers Pick’em: Bowl Games

Cramming in our finished assignment 5 minutes before it's due? Feels like college again!

Here are our bowl picks, right on time for tonight's Insight Bowl.

With all the holiday stuff going on, we are down to just two pickers this time around. But despair not, for we've employed a special guest--a genuine 1992 Nickel.

Anthony Zettel Verbals to Penn State

Anthony Zettel (Photo:
Hey, what do ya know! It's a nice big verbal for 2011, from a guy that a bunch of other schools wanted, too!

Tonight, 6-foot-4 defensive end Anthony Zettel (Ogemaw Heights/West Branch, MI) burned home state powers Michigan and Michigan State, to verbally commit to Penn State:
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Zettel was down to four teams, including Michigan, Michigan State and Iowa. He took official visits at all of them, and Michigan was thought to be his top choice through the recruiting process.
This is, to say the least, sweeeet. Zettel was widely regarded as one of the top five recruits in the state of Michigan. For Penn State to pull him away from UM and MSU--particularly UM, since he probably could have earned playing time immediately--is a very big deal.

And for those still harping that this year's recruiting class is so terrible, this should give things a nice shot in the arm. The defensive line needs depth going into the next few seasons.

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December 27, 2010

Outback Bowl '11: Four Florida starters Out

Well this is a nice belated holiday gift:
Florida will be without cornerback Janoris Jenkins and three other starters against Penn State in the Outback Bowl.

Jenkins had surgery on his right shoulder recently and will miss the New Year’s Day game. Right tackle Maurice Hurt and defensive tackles Lawrence Marsh and Terron Sanders also will miss coach Urban Meyer’s finale. None of them traveled with the team to Tampa.
Now remember, Florida has very highly touted recruits all the way down to the scrub team, so don't expect this to be a mega drop off in talent. But the experience factor will definitely come into play.

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We Don't Care To Do An Indiana Preview, So Here's a YouTube Video Instead

Yes, I still publicly proclaim myself to be a Penn State basketball fan. Yes, I will be checking the score repeatedly on my iPhone throughout tonight's Big Ten opener at Indiana while I'm out to dinner. No, I will not do a preview. In fact, I have zero desire to do any such previews for the remainder of the season. However, with Ryan and William both AWOL for the holidays, I'd feel like I was doing a disservice to LBU if I didn't get something posted up here. Hence, in lieu of a preview, let's flash back to a happier time period circa the 1995-96 basketball season (back when PSU soared to a 13-0 start and #9 ranking ahead of Duke, of all teams) with some various clips of that year's Nittany Lion mascot, Brad Cornali, performing during Rec Hall's final days and helping to christen the brand-new Bryce Jordan Center. And LOOK, there's actual people in the stands too!

Outback Bowl '11: Inside Florida

It's game week, and we'll start off with a look at Penn State's opponent, the Florida Gators.

Things haven't exactly gone as planned, never mind as hoped, for Florida in 2010. A 7-5 record, 2nd place finish in a terrible year for the SEC East, and the prospect of losing most of the coaching staff by the time 2011 starts; Gators fans have every right to be pissed off.

But what a win in the bowl game would do for a team that's been more and more depressing to watch as the season drew to a close? Urban Meyer could retire (again) a winner, from a place that he's brought back to the top of the elite in college football.

In this post, we'll take a quick look at the team overall, then have a game-by-game rundown.

December 23, 2010

Penn State still has all its coaches. So now what, geniuses?

As far as anyone knows, by Tom Bradley and Ron Vanderlinden not leaving for Temple, Penn State will retain its staff for the foreseeable future. Will things stay put all the way though next football season? Probably, but not definitely.

Here are a few quick thoughts on the matter, as this entire situation we will promptly put on hold until anything new or more substantive comes up...

December 22, 2010

Florida's Steve Addazio gets Temple job over Tom Bradley, Ron Vanderlinden

Tom Bradley [1]
Temple will pass on Tom Bradley, as well as
Ron Vanderlinden. (Photo: LBU/Mike)
We'll have more in a few minutes little while, but for now, from
Temple University is expected to hire Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio as its next head football coach, sources close to the situation told the Daily News today.
So there it is. Tom Bradley was informed earlier today that he wasn't their choice, according to the report. So you have to assume Ron Vanderlinden got a similar call, but it wasn't mentioned in the report because he wasn't as high-profile as Scrap.

Check back in a few minutes little while.

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On the 'Group Email' circulating about Joe Paterno

How much do we love internet gossip? Enough where an unverified, voraciously-meaty email has become the focus of every twitter account and message board the last 12 hours.

Joe Paterno
The chatter about Joe's retirement
is louder than ever. But does anyone actually
know what they're talking about?
(Photo: LBU/Mike)
What's hysterical about all this, is that I'm not the only one writing up a post just to say how nuts things are when it comes to the perpetual discussion of Joe Paterno's impending retirement:
Retirement rumors are a staple of the Penn State football beat, an ever-present slant that commentators with nothing substantial to discuss pursue relentlessly. Just like I am about to…
Talk about summing up everything we're reading on the internet these days, huh? I have to shamelessly agree with that sentiment, but also with the idea that this time, things seem different.

Penn State Loses to Maine: Tim Curley Likes The Direction of This Blog Post

The new official mascot of Penn State basketball.
Yep, that really did just happen. A senior-laden Penn State team led by one of the most dynamic players in program history lost by double digits at home to Maine, 74-64. Mighty Maine came into this game sporting a 5-5 record that included losses to the likes of such basketball powerhouses as Brown, Quinnipiac, and Delaware State but somehow, Penn State managed to make the Black Bears look like a potential NCAA Tournament Cinderella team thanks to a shitty defensive performance, particularly on the perimeter, where Maine connected on 11 of its 19 attempts. The offense wasn't much better, shooting a paltry 39 percent from the floor as Talor Battle and DJ Jackson were the only two players showing any scoring ability, racking up 26 and 18 points respectively. Jeff Brooks, a pleasant surprise for most of the non-conference slate, pulled a fine disappearing act with only two points to go along with his six rebounds (although in fairness, Brooks did find himself in serious foul trouble, eventually fouling out late in the game) and Andrew Jones once again proved that he couldn't post up against Hank The Angry Drunken Dwarf, putting up a quiet four points and three rebounds.

December 21, 2010

Coaching moves Penn State fans should care about

If you haven't been keeping up with news outside of Happy Valley, here's a quick rundown of three big coaching moves in the northeast region, and how each of them could affect Penn State next year and beyond.

December 20, 2010

Outback Bowl '11: Three stay home; Kevin Newsome transfer looking more likely

Kevin Newsome stiff arm
Kevin Newsome didn't join the team
this week in Tampa. (Photo: LBU/Mike)
Three underclassmen on Penn State's football team were left behind when the team traveled to Tampa this week for Outback Bowl preparations. This is according to Sean Fitz at
Sophomore quarterback Kevin Newsome, redshirt sophomore tight end Mark Wedderburn and true freshman offensive tackle Thomas Ricketts did not make the trip.

Wrestling Wreport: Penn State destroys OSU

Ed Ruth enjoys stomping on guys bigger than him
What looked like a close match on paper, although I was predicting a comfortable 11 point win, turned out to be complete domination by the men in Blue @ White. Penn State amassed 3 pins and 3 majors while winning the takedown battle 23-4. One of the more anticipated bouts of the night did not happen. At 174, No. 13 Nick Heflin of OSU and No.11 Ed Ruth never occurred because Heflin was unable to pass a skin check before the match so Ohio State was forced to forfeit and Ruth moved up a weight to wrestle for an injured Quentin Wright at 184. The other matchup of ranked wrestlers occurred at 157 where David Taylor ranked 3rd took on No. 13 Curt Sponseller of OSU.

Lady Lions beat Delaware 64-55 for their best start since 2002

Last basketball season, the Lady Lions started off with a fantastic 16-4 record. But down the stretch, things began to come apart. Penn State went 1-8 in the last nine regular season games. And while the Lady Lions were able to salvage a WNIT berth, it was definitely a disappointment to see such a promising season go down so quickly and so hard.
Maggie Lucas led Penn State with 16 points
in the win over Delaware.
(Photo: PSU/Mark Selders)

But can this season, as the Lady Lions are 10-2 with two games left in the non-conference slate, secure a different fate?

Penn State has been torching opponents with 85 points per game, with an average margin--win or lose--of 18.4 points in PSU's favor. The only losses have come in double overtime at Boston College, and at a Green Bay team that's been in and out of the top 25. Penn State has scored 90 or more points in regulation on four different occasions this year. In two of three overtime games, the Lady Lions have eclipsed 100 points.

But the high-flying offense hasn't been the only show in town. This past weekend in the BJC, Penn State faced Delaware. No big deal, right? Never heard of Delaware being all that great before. But hold on...

December 18, 2010

FOUR the Glory! Penn State sweeps Cal for a Fourth Straight National Championship

Can you say FOUR-PEAT?! (Photo: PSU/Tony Mancuso)

Penn State wasn't supposed to win this year. Three years of unprecedented success, three national titles, a half-dozen all-Americans. Surely it couldn't be done again. Not with this team. They were too young, too inexperienced.

Well, the Nittany Lions not only won big in 2010, they won it all...

December 17, 2010

Bowl Preview 2010-11: December Bowl Games

Tomorrow is the official start of college football's post season. No, there's nothing quite like the mystique and tradition of the Meineke Car Care Bowl or the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl.

Despite what many of us had been bracing for, Penn State is not featured in this first part of the bowl season preview. Today, we'll give you the quickest rundown of each December bowl game, and whether or not it could be really worth watching. Part 2 will debut closer to January, probably on December 30-31. So stay tuned.


December 16, 2010

Penn State dominates Texas, advances to another NCAA final

In a rematch of last year's national title bout, Penn State swept Texas tonight (25-13, 25-13, 25-22) in the NCAA women's volleyball semifinal. But unlike the classic battle from 2009, the Nittany Lions completely dominated the Longhorns, only trailing a few times in the third set. Most of the match, Penn State led Texas by double digit margins.

But to those watching the game, one couldn't discern which was scarier--the dominance of senior captain Blair Brown, or the equal dominance of Penn State's young freshmen like Deja McClendon, Ariel Scott and Katie Slay.

December 15, 2010

Wrestling Wreport: Penn State opens up Big Ten play

Penn State will welcome Big Ten wrestling foe Ohio State to Rec Hall this Sunday December 19th for a 2 PM dual. Before we look ahead though we have to look back at the utter ass-whipping the Lions put on old rival Lock Haven to the tune of a 48-0 shutout. It was a day of complete domination from start to finish. Penn State rolled up three pins, two technical falls and two majors to shutout the second opponent this season (45-0 over Harvard in November). Lock Haven could only manage 3 takedowns in the entire match.

December 13, 2010

Paterno honored in Big Ten championship trophy

Along with the much anticipated announcement today of the Big Ten logo and division names, the conference unveiled what will be the new Big Ten Championship Game Trophy--The Stagg Paterno Championship Trophy.

But Paterno wasn't the only Penn Stater to have a trophy named in his honor. The Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year trophy is named for Michigan State's Bubba Smith and Penn State's Courney Brown. The Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year is named for Penn State's Ted Kwalick* and Iowa's Dallas Clark.

Jim Delaney:

Big Ten unveils bland new logo, awful division names

We finally have a new Big Ten logo, as well as names to go along with the Big Ten's new divisions... and all three are absolutely horrific, embarrassing, and just plain dumb:
'LEADERS' DIVISION -- Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin

'LEGENDS' DIVISION -- Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern

After hitting such a home run with signing Nebraska, and how smoothly everything else went with this expansion process, the Big Ten has utterly choked here.

Stay tuned for more, because I'm sure there will be a ton of it.

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December 12, 2010

Miami hires Al Golden

Al Golden sidelines [1]
Now we'll see what Golden can really do.
(Photo: Mike/LBU)
Al Golden--considered a prime contender to one day replace Joe Paterno--has been hired to replace Randy Shannon as the next head football coach of the Miami Hurricanes.
"From the beginning of this process, one candidate stood above the rest as the right fit," athletic director Kirby Hocutt said in a statement. "We are proud to welcome Al Golden to the U. His desire, leadership, communications skills and preparedness stood above the rest, and he is the right man to meet the championship expectations of this program."
You have to give Miami credit, they went with a guy who knows how to run not only a tight ship in a bad neighborhood, but also bring poor teams to do great things.

Virginia Tech won't be so easy, not that beating Mount St. Mary's was

How much longer can Talor Battle
carry this team by himself? Not much.
(Photo: Baltimore Sun)
Big Ten Conference play is coming up very quickly and Penn State players are having trouble finding their role on this squad. Mt. St. Marys did not look very threatening coming into Happy Valley, but when it's Penn State we're talking about, nothing is as easy as it seems going in. It took a gargantuan effort from Talor Battle to get the ugly win. But more importantly the Nittany Lions need to get healthy for their next road game against Virginia Tech.

Penn State just seemed out of sync when the squad faced off against Mt. St. Marys this week. Penn State was missing starter David Jackson and Billy Oliver who has been a role player off the bench for Penn State and their missing presence was definitely noticed. The Nittany Lions did not seem to have the vigor to pull away from the Mountaineers. Things did not look good when Mt. St. Marys tied the game at 53 with 20 seconds left in the game. With no shot clock, Penn State failed to get any ball movement and Talor Battle (who was 0-6 beyond the arc so far) threw a hail mary estimated at 26 feet. No one was more surprised than Battle when he made that shot. All that matters is the win and Penn State can chalk one more up.

December 11, 2010

Penn State beats Duke 3-1, Advances to the National Semifinals

(Photo: Tony Mancuso/
Duke reached up and flicked Penn State's ear, snatching Set 3 from their overconfident hosts. But that made the Nittany Lions very, very mad, so Penn State proceeded to pound the Blue Devils into the Rec Hall floor in the fourth and final set, winning 3-1 3-1 (25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 25-17) in the NCAA women's volleyball regional finals tonight.

Penn State got off to its typical start, winning the first two sets by decent margins. But then things got shaky, as Duke started to tighten up and play well, while Penn State played like its expected the Blue Devils to just roll over in the 3rd set.

Penn State sweeps Oklahoma, Regionals Live Tonight

Blair Brown
It's not easy to win a national championship in any college sport. It's very tough to win two in a row. It's nearly impossible to win three straight. But Penn State is only three matches away from winning four consecutive women's volleyball national championships.

The Nittany Lions swept Oklahoma last night, 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-15), in the regional semifinals held at Rec Hall. While the win over the Sooners (23-11) was a sweep, we have to keep in mind that Oklahoma wasn't even one of the top 16 seeds in the tournament. Now with the regional finals up tonight (6:30 p.m. live on ESPNU), things will start to get tricky for No. 4 seed Penn State (29-5).

Outback Bowl '11: Media Day Quick Hits

Not much in the way of real news, mostly just fluff stuff from the Outback Bowl Media Day this week. But we'll quickly touch on some of the more substantive bits from the day, including injury updates, which for this Penn State team is critical, and Kevin Newsome.
Michael Mauti tackle
Michael Mauti should be fully healthy
for the Outback Bowl. (Photo: Mike/LBU)

  • Anthony Fera should--should--be ready to go for the game. This could be huge, as he was sorely missed on kickoffs the final few games. It initially wasn't expected for him to return, but this is good news, albeit tempered a bit by the uncertainty. 
  • Kevin Newsome met with Joe Paterno this week, to discuss options for transferring. Paterno said he doesn't want to prevent Newsome from playing, and told the true sophomore QB to at least wait through the bowl preparations and game. Newsome is set on playing quarterback, which doesn't bode well for him staying at Penn State. If he was interested in switching positions, then there would definitely be a place for him. But nothing yet has been decided.

December 9, 2010

Always for the Glory: NFL Update Week 14

It was a fantastic week for one of Linebacker U's very own, as Sean Lee erupted onto the scene with two interceptions, one going for a pick-6. Oh, and Lee's interceptions came against some quarterback named Peyton who wore a horseshoe on his helmet.

Adding to that, Cameron Wake is now the NFL leader in sacks this season (12), while Tamba Hali picked up two more sacks, and a forced fumble, in the Chiefs' divisional win this week.

And finally to note this week, Jeremy Kapinos--who gets bounced around the league like a pinball--hooked up with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Report: Kevin Newsome looking to transfer

Kevin Newsome passes in the fourth
Kevin Newsome could be looking
to take his services elsewhere. And really,
who could blame him?
(Photo: Mike/LBU)
Unless you've had your head in the sand these last few months, you knew it was just a matter of time before one of Penn State's four very talented quarterbacks started to look for another program. Can't say the news is surprising, but it looks like Kevin Newsome is the first name to come up, according to BWI:
"Multiple sources close to the Nittany Lions have indicated to Blue White Illustrated that sophomore quarterback Kevin Newsome intends to seek a transfer."
To tell you the truth, there's a bit of relief that comes with this news, for both Penn State and Newsome. Penn State now can play around with three great quarterbacks, all of whom have at least two years of eligibility after this one.

Wrestling Wreport: the Nittany Lion Open edition

Penn State sent 29 wrestlers into the Nittany Lion Open Sunday night and for the most part it was a dominant performance yet again. The Lions sent 16 wrestlers into the quarterfinals, 11 into semifinals, and 8 in the finals. The finals in two weights (141 & 157) were matchups of Penn State teammates as Penn State crowned 4 champs.

December 8, 2010

Ben Kline flips verbal from Pitt to Penn State

With Dave Wannstedt abruptly getting the boot this week, Dallastown(PA) linebacker recruit Ben Kline has decided his career would best play out in Happy Valley instead of Pittsburgh. Kline had been verbally committed to the Panthers since June, but reopened his recruitment with the news of Wannstedt's firing earlier this week.

Sean Fitz had the report today, with this from Kline:
"I was weighing my options and everything and trying to figure out everything that I wanted to do. Obviously with Coach Wannstedt being let go, I love those guys out there and everything and I really feel for them, but once that all happened it just kind of solidified that Penn State was the place for me."

Urban Meyer steps aside... again

"It just ain't the same without ya, Timmy!" (Photo:
Urban Meyer is out, but seriously, for realzies this time:
“I have been a Division I football coach for the last 25 years and, during that time, my primary focus has been helping my teams win titles,” Meyer said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, and I am a fierce competitor to my core. At this time in my life, however, I appreciate the sacrifices my 24/7 profession has demanded of me, and I know it is time to put my focus on my family and life away from the field. The decision to step down was a difficult one.

“But after spending more than two decades motivating and celebrating the young men I’ve been so proud to coach, I relish the opportunity to cheer for my three terrific kids as they compete in their own respective sports. I know how fortunate I am to be in a position to make this choice and to have a family that is as loving and supportive as my amazing wife and children have always been.”

December 7, 2010

Ron Vanderlinden reportedly looking at Ball State job (updated)

As if the speculation and punditry around and about Tom Bradley wasn't bad enough, we have here a real threat to be the first major defection from Joe Paterno's staff in years, via Steve Wiltfong at 247sports:
Update: Nick pointed out the extended report, that Joe Paterno had actually made a call to BSU in Vandy's favor.

While losing Vandy wouldn't be as disastrous as losing Scrap to Pitt, this would be just as big a hit as losing Larry Johnson, Sr. Vanderlinden has been one of the most productive position coaches Penn State's ever had, never mind one hell of a recruiter.

Pitt fires Dave Wannstedt... mostly

Honestly, didn't see this one coming. Pittsburgh apparently fired head coach Dave Wannstedt today, though the official Pitt site has it as a "resignation." But will he actually leave the university? Uh, believe it or not, no...
He will remain at Pitt in the capacity of special assistant to the athletic director.

"The past six years have been among the most gratifying of my entire career," said Wannstedt, a 1974 graduate of Pitt and former standout offensive tackle for the Panthers. "To be the head coach at my university was the realization of a lifelong dream. It has been an honor and privilege to serve Pitt and its football program.
Sounds like they just pulled a new position out of thin air. At least Penn State gave Fran Ganter a real job after he was pushed out of the coaching staff.

This story is far from over, just like the supposedly dead rivalry.

While we're on coaching changes...

BlogPoll 2010: Week 15 Rough Draft Ballot

Another regular season is in the books (except Army-Navy) and now we look at bowl season. This week saw little change, but given extra time to prepare, you never know exactly how end will turn out. After thinking about it all week, bumping Nevada up all the way over Boise St. was a bit of over exuberance so I flipped them back around, though I'm still thinking of slotting Arkansas ahead of both and there's also a couple new faces entering at the bottom. Questions, corrections, suggestions and objections are always welcome.

Outback Bowl '11: The Coaches Teleconferences

Both Joe Paterno and Urban Meyer participated in teleconferences yesterday. Here are some of the finer points to take from them. One of those, I want to mention now, is on the possibility that one or two Penn State players are thinking about leaving early for the NFL. Joe said that, not me. To any Penn State football players that just finished up that 7-5 regular season, I have but one name to tell you: Aaron Maybin.


December 6, 2010

Outback Bowl '11: Matt McGloin will start at QB

2010 Penn State vs Michigan State
F- it, let's go deep! Right?
(Photo: Mike/LBU)
Joe Paterno confirmed today what many had expected, that Matt McGloin will be Penn State's starting quarterback in the 2011 Outback Bowl.
"I think that Matt is the quarterback. Now the other kid has a lot of ability but he is a true freshman in the truest sense of the word- he wasn't even here for spring practice. He came in and unfortunately we had to start him a few games early until the other kid (Rob Bolden) started to show some promise. I think we are all right at quarterback. We are not great. We have had some problems with our offensive line early but we are getting a little bit better. I think that Matt has done a good job for us."
This isn't surprising, but it's definitely good to get it out of the way now. For all the pushing I've done for Rob Bolden to be the starter, I'd rather just see a deliberate confirmation like this that McGloin is the guy.

I'll have a meatier post tomorrow on Paterno's teleconference. It was pretty brief, but there were some neat things said.

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Penn State rebounds against Duquesne, but injuries could derail any momentum

Penn State only has a handful of games before Big Ten Conference play begins in less than a month. These games are not against the toughes teams, but they are still vital in the development of the team.

Penn State - 77 Duquesne - 73

Penn State was still feeling the hangover left from their terrible loss to Maryland last Wednesday as they tipped off against Duquesne this weekend. The Nittany Lions had a very slow start and to make things worse, David Jackson and Billy Oliver left the game in the first half from injury.

After being down 33-30 to the Dukes at half, Talor Battle took over the game like only Talor Battle can. Battle scored 31 points shooting 12-18 but even an even more impressive 5-8 for 3. Jeff Brooks also got back on track with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Without Jackson and Oliver, Tre Bowman steeped up and got his first serious amount of playing time. Bowman contributed 6 points in 17 minutes.

Jackson was sent to the hospital as a precaution, but is now day-to-day with a neck strain. Oliver returned to the bench after his collision but did not return to the game.

Lady Lions down Texas Tech 76-68 in BigTen/Big 12 Challenge

Mia Nickson
UConn, the Raiders are not. But Penn State went up against a previously undefeated Texas Tech squad yesterday afternoon in the Bryce Jordan Center, and not only held their own, but came away with an important 8-point victory.

The Lady Lions (7-2) had just come off a heartbreaking loss at Boston College--yet another overtime game this season--in which Penn State overcame an 11-point deficit, but fell short in the end. After such a close, tough contest, it's easy to suffer a letdown. With 8-0 Texas Tech on deck, it was make or break time for the Lady Lions' non-conference season.

Minnesota hires Jerry Kill as head football coach

Minnesota wasted no time this off-season in finding its new head coach. The Gophers hired Northern Illinois--the 2010 MAC runner up--head coach Jerry Kill to replace interim head coach Jeff Horton, who filled in after Minnesota fired Tim Brewster. The Minneapolis Star Tribune had the story yesterday:
"Kill led the Huskies to a 34-23 victory over Minnesota on Sept. 25, en route to a 10-3 season that landed in the AP Top 25 for one week, until Friday's 26-21 loss to Miami of Ohio in the MAC Championship game. Kill has a 23-16 record at NIU, and led the Huskies to bowl games all three seasons, including the Humanitarian Bowl later this month."

December 5, 2010

It's Official: Penn State vs Florida in the 2011 Outback Bowl


See what happens when you step away from the computer?
"The Penn State Nittany Lions and Florida Gators will square-off in the 25th Anniversary Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day, bowl officials announced today. It will be only the third meeting between the two schools’ in history and the fourth appearance for both schools in the Outback Bowl."
Get ready for some sloppy football, folks.

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This round of Big Ten expansion is over

The Big Ten sent out word this afternoon that its active search for new conference members is over, but did leave the door slightly ajar for possible future expansion.
"During today’s meeting it was decided that it was appropriate to focus completely on conference affairs at this time. “We have been thoroughly engaged in the process since last December,” said COP/C Chair and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie. “Following detailed discussions at today’s meeting, my colleagues and I can report that we believe that this process has reached its natural conclusion. We are pleased with the addition of Nebraska and look forward to working with our colleagues there in the years ahead.”

Florida the likely SEC rep for Outback Bowl

Reports are flowing from the Sunshine State, that the Florida Gators are a virtual lock to play in the 2011 Outback Bowl.

With four hours to go before the bowl selection specials (BTN, 8:30 p.m.), it's pretty likely this thing will be old news by the time those shows hit the air.

Now, if Florida is the likely SEC team for the Outback, and Penn State is the likely Big Ten team, then... well, you get the idea.

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Nittany Digs: Lions coast through first two NCAA rounds, set new home win streak record

You can bet this team isn't getting ahead of itself, after sweeping both Niagara and Virginia Tech in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament the last two nights in Rec Hall. But they were overall encouraging performances for a team that hasn't been able to match its established, albeit unprecedented, success the past three seasons.

Mixed in with the victories, Penn State set yet another record, notching its 91st and 92nd consecutive home-match wins. That's a good stat considering the next two matches--the Regional semis and finals--are in the friendly confines of Rec Hall. Penn State is 44-3 in NCAA matches at Rec Hall after its win against the Hokies, and is 68-25 overall in NCAA matches.

December 4, 2010

Early rumors, logic put Penn State in Outback Bowl

It's been floating around the past two hours or so, particularly since Auburn blew up South Carolina in the SEC title game, that Penn State will end up in the Outback Bowl this January 1.

The logic here makes sense. Penn State is a bigger name and draw overall than Iowa, which would be the Nittany Lions' next-in-line competitor for this bowl slot. Originally, the strong indicators were that the Gator Bowl would suck up Penn State, to face Florida. But that has changed a bit.

December 3, 2010

Big Ten Blogger’s Pick’em: Week 14

The regular season winds down with only one game left on the Big Ten docket. Of course what would be the point of us just picking one meaningless game so we decided that it would be a lot more fun to take a poke at the conference championships as well, because we all know you are betting big bucks in Vegas on our wonderful prognostication skills right? RIGHT?!?! Ok, never mind.

Poll: Penn State Bowl Opponent and Destination

Hint Hint, Nudge Nudge...
Bowl announcements are coming Sunday night. Penn State and its insiders have been surprisingly tight-lipped about it all, though there has been plenty of speculation that the Nittany Lions will head to this bowl game or that.

The official bowl announcement will be Sunday night. And though it all seems like a foregone conclusion, we'll let you chime in...

December 2, 2010

Unborn 5-Star Recruits Now On eBay

Folks, the revolution has begun in college sports recruiting. No more official visits. No more verbals. No more coaches taking recruiting trips across the nation. All a program has to do is make sure they set a high enough maximum bid.

Penn State Struggles on Offense, Falls to Maryland 62-39

Penn State shot 20 percent... yeah, seriously.
Twenty percent.
The Penn State offense struggled from the very beginning of the game.

Even with Maryland's sloppy and slow start where Maryland traveled four times, Penn State could only score 7 points. The entire game Penn State could not hit a shot from anywhere on the court. At one point Taran Buie took two consecutive three point attempts and both were rushed and completely off target. At halftime Penn State had on 20 points but more importantly, zero bench points. Even the final shot before half was a 3-pointer by Time Frazier that was blocked right back into his face that left a terrible taste for the entire crowd.

Always for the Glory: NFL Update Week 13

There are still 29 former Nittany Lions currently on NFL rosters, including a few who are making quite the impression on their teams.

From Aaron Maybin making a tackle (holy cow!) to Tamba Hali and Cameron Wake tearing up the AFC, and a few more pleasant surprises in between. It's all in this week's Always For The Glory update.

NFC North

Chicago Bears - Chicago Bears 31, Philadelphia Eagles 26

This week: Chicago @ Detroit, 1 p.m. Sunday on FOX.

Anthony Adams (1999-02), DT
Adams started at nose tackle for the Bears, forcing a Michael Vick fumble while recording a sack for a loss of nine yards in the third quarter.

Robbie Gould (2001-04), K
Gould was perfect on the day, going 1-for-1 on field goal attempts, making a key 23-yarder late in the third quarter, and 4-for-4 on PATs.

December 1, 2010

Penn State Looks to Make Mark in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Last week was full of ups and downs for the Men's Penn State Basketball team. Now Maryland is coming into town. Tonight could mean an important win for both teams as both are preparing for conference play.

As of this morning, the Big Ten is ahead of the ACC 4-2 in this early season tournament. We will find out tonight at 9:15 p.m. if Penn State can stay on track with the rest of the Big Ten.

Let's first take a look at how this prior week has prepared the Nittany Lions for this primetime matchup.

Photo Gallery: Michigan State 28, Penn State 22

2010 Penn State vs Michigan State
(Photos: Mike/LBU)
Though it was another tough home loss--not as bad as the Illinois loss, at least--for the Nittany Lions, I managed to get some decent photos this weekend. As always, if you didn't know the final score, you'd be led to believe Penn State won the game by these shots. So enjoy it, and pretend Evan Royster ran for 200 yards and 4 touchdowns while the defense burried the Spartans. It's fun to pretend.

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