Monthly Archives: May 2009

Home and Home with Heels?

North Carolina and head football coach Butch Davis are looking for a schedule upgrade. 

So they have contacted Penn State among others in an effort to land some quality non-conference opponents. 

Among the other schools contacted by the Tar Heels are Big Ten rivals Ohio State and Michigan as well. 

Here’s what works about this possibility. Penn State isn’t going to schedule USC or Florida, we all understand that. What they are looking to do is land a few marquee names (like Alabama starting next year), possibly Miami, but they need a quality school from a quality BCS conference. 

So this is a win-win situation for both schools. The question remains, would Penn State opt for the home-and-home type series given that Joe Paterno will always argue as to why they need that seventh or in some cases (like this coming season) eighth home game to get the necessary money to trickle down to the other athletic programs. 

Wouldn’t it be ironic if Penn State is able to reach an agreement with the Tar Heels for a home-and-home series, but not Pittsburgh? Isn’t there something terribly wrong with that? 

 

UNC has contacted Penn State about a possible home-and-home series.

UNC has contacted Penn State about a possible home-and-home series.

Still, Penn State will skate with one of the easiest non-conference schedules in the country in 2009, but in 2010, it’s starting to pick up a little more. 

 

There isn’t much to the Miami rumors yet, but the word on the street in So. Florida is that the talks between the two teams are picking up some steam. 

Here’s the other thing to consider. Penn State could be feeling pressure from the other Big Ten schools like Ohio State to buck up and schedule more quality in the non-con. Look at Ohio State’s schedule in the next decade. 

The Buckeys bring Miami, Va. Tech, Navy, California, Oklahoma and Tennessee in the next 10 years, starting in 2010. Look at how a marquee opponent in the non-con slate has benefitted the Buckeyes in the past. They found out early a season ago where they stood compared to USC, then turned that whipping around into a Fiesta Bowl run. 

In the two years the Buckeyes locked up with Texas, each team benefitted from wins on the others homefield. 

Again, Penn State isn’t going to take the drastic leaps and bounds and do a home-and-home with Florida, Texas or USC, but getting a quality BCS conference team on the schedule can’t hurt.

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Stumping for help

Over the past few days you’ve read all the stories about Joe Paterno (again) stumping for a 12th team to join the Big Ten to create a conference title game. 

This time, (specifically earlier this week) Paterno, in Fogelsville for “An Evening with Joe” gathering at a Holiday Inn, said forget Notre Dame, get Pittsburgh, Rutgers or Syracuse into the Big Ten. 

Some, such as CBSSport’s Gregg Doyel, have taken issue with Paterno’s latest stump, labeling Paterno a “selfish old man,” in his quest to get his wish. 

Doyel is half right. Paterno wanted a Big East years ago, didn’t get it, jumped at the Big Ten’s offer and the Big East later formed. The rest is history. 

Some would argue Penn State hasn’t been the same since. 

The reason a Notre Dame doesn’t work is simple, they have a very cushy deal with NBC, every game is on television, they don’t need a conference, they are Notre Dame. And before you tell me that “oh, well, they are Notre Dame, they don’t need anyone, they are special,” um, yeah they are. 

 

The Empire State Building has been decked out in support of Rutgers in recent years/Rutgers Photo

The Empire State Building has been decked out in support of Rutgers in recent years/Rutgers Photo

There’s a reason why the Yankees and Red Sox are always on television, the same reason applies to the Cowboys and Steelers, and Kobe and LeBron. 

 

There’s a reason why luring a Temple, despite the Philadelphia market, wouldn’t work either. Same with those Midwestern MAC teams too. 

Paterno stumping for the Scarlet Knights is simple. The Big Ten needs a market like New York City to help it amongst the national scene. Listen to WFAN (if you can stomach the midday host), and other stations, sure the Giants and Jets rule when football season is in full swing, but remember when Rutgers stole the top of the Empire State Building a few years back? And it was colored scarlet? 

The reason why people forget about the Big Ten late in the year is because no one talks about them, simple math. So if they can land, say a Rutgers, that brings in the New York market, that will keep the Michigan’s and Ohio State’s and Penn State’s in the discussion later in the year. 

Trust me. 

College football is all about the hype machine. The more you talk, the more people watch, the more they watch the more others buy into a team. It happens every year when preseason mags over-do it to an extent. 

But that’s what the Big Ten needs, the backing of a major market that can give these teams some play late in the year. 

That’s all Joe is asking for.

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Paterno earns seven figures

 

Joe Paterno makes more than $1 million annually according to published reports/Penn State photo

Joe Paterno makes more than $1 million annually according to published reports/Penn State photo

 

In a piece of info that should surprise absolutely no one, Patriot-News reporter Jan Murphy writes that Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno earns seven figures annually. 

The story also discusses the salary of University of Pittsburgh coaches Jamie Dixon and Dave Wannstedt

 

According to Murphy’s story: 

The information provided by the universities is for 2007-08 and it shows that Paterno earned $1,037,322 that year. Wannstedt, his counterpart at Pitt, earned $924,331, while Temple’s head football coach Al Golden earned $505,000. Pitt’s basketball coach had the second highest of all of the salaries released today. Dixon earned $937,600, and at Temple, basketball coach Francis Dunphy earned $661,250. Penn State’s Ed DeChellis earns $642,366.

The Patriot has been battling with lawmakers to force the release of Paterno and other Penn State salaries and won said battle a little less than two years ago when it was initially confirmed that Paterno makes $512,000-plus in base salaray as a head coach. 

That number did not reflect advertising deals and also the school’s contract with Nike.

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Athlon says PSU is No. 7

Ahhhh yes, the best time of the summer, when all of the college football preview magazines hit the newsstands. 

The best of the bunch is and always will be Phil Steele’s publication, but for the time being, Athlon is chiming in with their countdown of the Top 25. Steele by the way is counting down his top 40 and that pub is due out on June 9. It’s a must get. 

Penn State checks in at No. 7 in the countdown. Quarterback Daryll Clark is on the Big Ten regional cover. 

The wrap on the Nittany Lions in the Athlon write up is this…

 The Lions have some questions, but with a soft non-conference schedule and eight home games, they can wait awhile for some answers.

I’m pretty sure you won’t find anyone that disagrees with that. 

Bob Flounders of the Patriot-News used this leftover from Wednesday’s Paterno-fest in Fogelsville that the Nittany Lions are four, yes, four players away from being a national title contender. 

Here’s my contention, not that my $0.02 means much anymore, gun-to-head on May 28, but Penn State is going to win the Big Ten despite a secondary lacking thunder right now, an offensive line in question and a fresh crop of wide receivers. 

Here’s why. 

Right now, they are the best team across the board. For every question you have about this team right now, there is a Sean Lee on the roster, a Navorro Bowman who is not in trouble, a Daryll Clark who is the best QB in the Big Ten, an Evan Royster, a Jared Odrick, an Ollie Ogbu, a freak in Jack Crawford, a rising star in Mike Mauti. 

I don’t think there is a team in the conference that has as much potential right now as Penn State. 

And if you ask me about the concerns in the secondary, I will tell you I don’t think there is a proven entity at quarterback in the Big Ten outside of Clark and Minnesota’s Adam Weber and it’s not even a given that Weber will start the entire season. 

But are they a serious national title contender? No. You all saw what USC did to them with the draft picks that left, with the senior-laden secondary. And if they are going to be a contender for the title, the better go 12-0, because with that schedule, 11-1 won’t cut it.

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Paterno: Don’t add Irish

Penn State head coach  Joe Paterno met with the media in Fogelsville tonight at an alumni event. Per the AP, Paterno said he wants Big Ten expansion, but does not want that 12th team to be Notre Dame. 

Paterno stumped for Pittsburgh or a “team in the New York market,” as the addition. 

Colleague Mark Wogenrich, of the Morning Call, chimes in with some other notes from the JoePa tour 2009 stop just outside of Allentown. 

Both Wogy and Bob Flounders of the Patriot-News point out that Bowman will not miss any playing time this season, per Joe.

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Kuntz talks gold

Colleague Tom Ash who does a great and tireless job of covering track and field for the paper, was in Shippensburg yesterday for the PIAA Track and Field Championships. 

He covered the boys scene and caught up with Trinity product and in-coming Penn State recruit Christian Kuntz after Kuntz took gold in both the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. In your web travels today, give that a read. 

Here’s what I love about Kuntz. I covered him two seasons ago when he played basketball for the Shamrocks, he did not play this past season as a precaution and he wanted to ready his knee for the track season. 

You could argue he was the missing piece to the Trinity puzzle during the hoops season as I think his invaluable rebounding and scoring potential could have lifted Trinity past Hughesville, but that’s another argument for another time. 

Friday night I sent the senior a text simply asking: “you’re winning tomorrow right?” (Implying he would make good on his word to win two state gold medals). 

Saturday morning when I got up there was a response: “Yes sir.” 

When athletes say they will do something, then go do it, that’s what makes them great. That’s what makes them untouchable, that’s what makes people talk about them for years. 

In talking to some on the PSU staff about Kuntz post-recruitment, they are excited about his potential and believe since he flew under the radar on the recruiting trail, he will do the same at Penn State intially then turn into something special that everyone else missed out on. 

If Kuntz tells you he will perform at Penn State, why doubt him? Maybe a better question is, who will doubt him?

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Timpson coming back to PA?

 

Former Penn State wide receiver Michael Timpson may be the next head coach at Lancaster McCaskey High School/NittanyAnthology.com Image

Former Penn State wide receiver Michael Timpson may be the next head coach at Lancaster McCaskey High School/NittanyAnthology.com Image

From the “where are they now” file…

 

Colleague Jeff Reinhart of the Lancaster New Era had this little nugget on his blog over at Lancasteronline.com

Per Jeff’s blog: Timpson, sources tell me, has coached in his home state of Florida. The former Nittany Lions’ wideout played in the NFL for the Eagles, Bears and Patriots. You might he recall he got caught up in the infamous sexual harassment suit filed by former Boston Herald reporter Lisa Olson, and was fined by the NFL while playing for New England.

Timpson was a member of the two Nittany Lions teams that played for the national title in the middle part of the 80’s, pulling in 12 catches for 208 yards in 1985. If memory serves me correct, he was injured in 1986 and didn’t make it out of the first game. (Could be wrong on that and if so, please drop a line and let me know). 

His 22 receptions for 342 yards led the Nittany Lions in 1988. 

Per Timpson’s Wikipedia page: Timpson resides in Coral Springs, Florida. with his wife Edwena and their two children. He currently owns a sports performance place called Velocity. He most recently served as a sports analyst for 1400 FOX Sports Radio and was the head football coach first at Fort Lauderdale Christian, then at Westminster Academy.

Timpson also holds six Penn State track records and still holds the NCAA record of 33.01 in the 300 Meters. 

According to Jeff’s update, a decision on the McCaskey job could come as early as Tuesday

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