The team may have a bye week, but a blogger never takes a break.
Let’s start off with William C. Rhoden in The New York Times, writing about the milestone that Paterno will probably not eclipse–that of John Gagliardi.
With a 47-14 victory over Carleton College on Saturday, Gagliardi has won 482 games in a head-coaching career that covers more than six decades.
While Paterno has been awarded two mythical national championships, Gagliardi has won four titles in tournament-style competition: N.A.I.A. championships in 1963 and 1965 and N.C.A.A. Division III championships in 1976 and 2003.
Critics may dismiss Gagliardi’s record as a product of inferior competition, but competition is relative. Gagliardi argues, as Eddie Robinson argued, that he played who was in front of him.
“Everybody’s going to push their own agenda,” Gagliardi said. “Heavyweight boxers feel that they’re a lot tougher, and I’m sure it probably is, but those guys fighting welterweight, that isn’t easy either. It’s all relative.”
Those who place greater weight on Paterno’s achievement do so because, in their estimation, he has had to perform on a much higher wire. But pressure is relative and losses hurt the same.
What unites Paterno and Gagliardi is not the wins, but those losses.
During a recent news conference, Paterno said the only time he felt like walking away was after a loss to Alabama in the 1979 Sugar Bowl when he felt his decision-making cost his team the game and — in that case — the national title.
Gagliardi was never driven to resign by a loss, but he said that while the 482 victories brought accolades, the 133 losses left scars. “The thrill of victory doesn’t counter the agony of defeat,” he said. “The defeats stay longer.”
I’m not going to debate the issue, but 482 wins over teams like Carleton College doesn’t impress me as much as what Paterno achieved. In the end, you are comparing apples to oranges. Paterno is king of the apples; Gagliardi is king of the oranges.
Next up, Chris Spielman reveals some scouting on Nebraska, per Phil Mushnik.
Chris Spielman, ex-star linebacker, said he had detected a “tip,” one worth keeping an eye on:
Rodriguez lined up about two feet short of the line of scrimmage, and actually farther back than the left tackle. This, suggested Spielman, “tells me he’s pulling,” and that when he does, the play would go in his direction.
ESPN lost sight of Spielman’s tout after that, but at least one viewer didn’t. For the rest of the game, when Nebraska had the ball, I kept an eye on No. 63, Rodriguez, and darn, the other times he lined up slightly removed from the line of scrimmage, he pulled left or right — and the play followed him.
Are you reading this Tom???? Of course, so is Nebraska, or so we must assume. I wonder if we’ll see it this weekend? Get your DVRs ready guys.
Matthew Boyle gives three reasons why PSU will make it to Indy.
1: Paterno’s newfound commitment to McGloin
I’m still not sure if this will hold up, but as far as I can see McGloin has now taken hold of the offense and should remain the starter for the rest of the season. McGloin brings a sense of consistency in the offense. Think of his talent as you wish, but taking all (or at least the vast majority) of the offensive snaps every week can only help him gather a rhythm.
2: Silas Redd
Enough can’t be said for Silas Redd’s impact on the team and its success. Redd is only the tenth individual player in Nittany Lions history to rush for over 1,000 yards. He’s averaging over five yards per carry and has seven touchdowns on the year. Since Big Ten play has started Redd has really turned it on, Silas Redd led all FBS players with 703 rushing yards in October.
2.5 is Penn State’s current lead in the Leaders division race over Wisconsin, Ohio State and Purdue. Yes, the schedule Penn State owns over the next three weeks is a rough road, but that could help the Nittany Lions temper their game against top competition. Wisconsin still has Minnesota and Illinois left to play and Ohio State has Purdue and Michigan on the schedule. Penn State has the toughest route to Indy from here, but 2.5 games means Penn State is in the driver’s seat. They could easily win only one of their last three and still come out on top in the Leaders division.
And how many reasons are there why PSU won’t be going to Indy??? (Hint: there’s at least three–Wisconsin, O$U and Nebraska.) I like his optimism, though. The reasoning is valid, but I’m not sure about McGloin. I thought the Bolden Experiment had already been shelved before the Illinois game. Can we really assume Paterno won’t play Bolden in two weeks. Or God forbid, in OHIO? Their defense will score on his mistakes for sure. (They may score a McPick Six as well!) But from what I’ve seen in 9 games so far, McGloin gives this team the best chance to find a way to win.
And here’s another look at the PI on Moye. Hmmmmmmm. Still can’t tell for sure. But the referee was right there.