Penn State football is five days away

Depth ChartIntercollegiate Athletics

JEFF RICE – How do we decipher Paterno’s messages?CDT
BOB FLOUNDERS – Paterno not pleased with development of Penn State offensive linePatriot-News
Nittany Lions beat reporters are not taking Joe Paterno’s comments about the offensive line being in trouble very seriously and neither should we…yet.

BOB FLOUNDERS – Jared Odrick the biggest, best part of Penn State’s defensive linePatriot-News
DT Jared Odrick‘s motto “Taking the fight to them.” He also makes the offensive line better because they have to practice against him.

Getting up again: Hayes returns to football field after second ACL tearCDT
DL Jerome Hayes has torn both ACLs in the last two years. He is undecided about applying for a sixth year.

Flying high: PSU’s Blue Sapphire to start 5th, final yearAltoona Mirror
PJ Maierhofer (2007 WWN interview) interviewed as she heads into her fifth and final season as Blue Sapphire.

Sue Paterno more than coach’s wife at Penn StateAP/NBC Sports
A Sue Paterno profile. Every time I see the “if they can find a coach’s wife like Sue” line from Joe in regards to succession plans, I feel bad for Tom Bradley.

It is going to be a busy week of Penn State football coverage! An outline of the schedule:

TUESDAY: Last week’s Beano Watch
WEDNESDAY: Blue White Roundtable
THURSDAY: Season Predictions
FRIDAY: Chat at noon, right here. I’m going to have an open forum to discuss Penn State football every Friday at lunch. I’ll get a Cover-It-Live reminder widget set up soon.

I will also post more as time allows. I’m still not sure if I am going to the game, but I should know tonight.

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Nats swept out of St. Louis; Belliard traded; Strasburg in Viera

Nationals’ Mock Pitches Well but Falls ShortThe Post
Riggleman, Nats pay for poor decisionThe Wash. Times
For the second time in three games, the Nationals got solid starting pitching only to fall in St. Louis to the Cardinals. Yesterday, Garrett Mock gave up two runs over six innings, but the Nationals offense could only muster one run. On Friday evening, John Lannan pitched eight innings of 2-run ball, his best start since the beginning of the month, but Albert Pujols ended it with a homer in a 3-2 Washington loss. Oh and in the MASN doesn’t do anything right ever, they didn’t show MissChatter‘s “Lannan vs. Smoltz” commercial, even though that was the pitching matchup. Fargin iceholes.

Saturday’s game, a 9-4 loss, was more typical with Craig Stammen walking batters and giving up long homers, Cristian Guzman booting grounders and so on.

Belliard Is Now A DodgerThe Post
Belliard shipped to Dodgers for a pair of pitchersThe Wash. Times
IF Ronnie Belliard is no longer a National — he was traded to the Dodgers for 22 year-old Luis Garcia, a single-A pitcher. Let’s hope he is a late bloomer. A pitcher to be named later will be sent for Belliard later.

I’m glad they got something for Belliard. He was a solid bench player during his 2+ seasons in D.C. Justin Maxwell has been called up to take his roster spot. Pete Orr is back too.

Pitching Phenom ArrivesThe Post
Making a good impressionThe Wash. Times
Stephen Strasburg was surprised by the fuss his first pro workout generated with several reporters watching him throw and learn how to field his position. Frankly, Strasburg, media attention comes with the territory of being a #1 pick who signed a record contract. You have $15+ million reasons to prepare yourself for this sort of thing.

TRACEE HAMILTON – Nats’ Other First-Rounder Is Beginning to Emerge From Strasburg’s ShadowThe Post
I missed this Friday column about the Nats other 2009 first-rounder, Drew Storen.

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Nats take 2 of 3 from Cubs, but lose Nyjer Morgan

MacDougal Saves Day As Nats Hold Off CubsThe Post
Nats close out a series victoryThe Wash. Times
Morgan Breaks Hand, Is Out for the SeasonThe Post
Morgan to miss rest of season after breaking handThe Wash. Times
In the only day game of this year’s Wrigley Field series, the Nationals built an early lead and held on to beat the Cubs. CF Nyjer Morgan led off the game with a walk and promptly stole two bases, though Chicago fans wouldn’t be unreasonable in suggesting that he benefited from some favorable umpiring on those steals. The second came at a high price though as Morgan broke his hand stealing third. He would stay in the game to score the first run on SS Cristian Guzman‘s double (negating the need for stealing third), but did not return. The WGN broadcast said that he jammed his hand and was day-to-day which made me think to myself “oh no, he’s done for the year!” Sadly, I was right.

3B Ryan Zimmerman knocked Guzman home with a home run to center to put the Nats up 3-0 after one inning. In the second inning, Guzman knocked in his second run of the day, pitcher J.D. Martin, who had reached on a fielder’s choice. In the third, Adam Dunn hit what I think was his 40th career homer in Wrigley Field to put the Nats up 5-0. That would be it though, not just for scoring, but for hitting. Chicago stater Randy Wells settled down and did not allow a hit for the rest of his outing. The Cubs bullpen also keep the Nats hitless as the offense slowly chipped away at the lead. Home runs by Aramis Ramírez and Derrek Lee brought Chicago closer and chased Martin off the mound after five innings. In the 7th, Sean Burnett yielded a RBI single to Ramirez (run charged to Clippard), that made it 5-4 in the 7th. In the eighth, closer Mike MacDougal came in a recorded a 5-out save and the ballgame was over.

Great to win the game, but losing Tony Plush is really tough break. His arrival made the Nationals much more fun to watch, even if he gets caught stealing too much, and brought a lot more wins. How about putting him in the MASN booth for the rest of the season? He add a lot to the broadcast — especially if he did it by himself.

I was great having the WGN telecast on in the background yesterday. That’s the way its done.

Why were the Cubs wearing blue jerseys again? They should never wear them during the day at Wrigley. Maybe they should be forced to wear them at night though.

JOHN SICKLES – Washington Nationals Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects Minor League Ball
A review of the top 20 Nationals prospects. It won’t make you feel good. H/T @kevin_reiss.

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Beano Watch on Red Alert

The Maryland Bureau Chief is reporting very troubling news from Carroll H. Cook (’54 Pitt):

I listen to the weekly ESPNU College football podcast. It is a chat between Ivan Maisel and Beano Cook. In this week’s podcast, they made their 2009 championship games predictions. Beano made this entirely TERRIFYING, ANNOYING, and TRAGIC statement. I am transcribing this word for word:

“I think the two best teams right now are probably Florida and Texas……But I’m picking the two best teams who I think will play, there’s a difference. So I have Florida over Notre Dame. But if Notre Dame doesn’t make it……. because of the schedule, and the non-conference schedule which is a joke, and the Big Ten isn’t that tough, if it isn’t Notre Dame, it will be Penn State.”

You heard it folks. Season over! Oh the humanity?!?!? You should know that the only reason he picked Florida vs. Notre Dame, is due to a prediction he made in 2004, stating that within 5 years, Florida would play ND for the national title.

How do we make sense of this??????

While this is a scary Beano Cook prediction, we must acknowledge that he is hedging on this one. You could argue he is saying Penn State is #3. Nevertheless it is troubling, but I’m glad I was warned because I sometimes listen to that podcast.

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Wawa vs. Sheetz: The point is moot

Wawa vs. Sheetz: Isn’t That Convenient?The Post
Hank Stuever has a long column comparing and contrasting two Pennsylvania based convenience stores, Wawa (of the Philadelphia suburbs) and Sheetz (of Altoona). The former tends to be found as your get closer to the ocean and the latter closer to the mountains. Basically, I-95/The Fall Line is the Wawa/Sheetz line and each represents the cultures of those living, vacationing on each side, according to Stuever.

Whatever — it is a moot point as neither is has set up shop in any of the core Northern Virginia suburbs. Prince William County is the closest either of them has come and that probably the only place their footprints really overlap. I know Sheetz won’t be coming any closer, since their business model doesn’t believe in paying a lot for real estate. Wawa, I’m not so sure, but it looks like they may be following the Sheetz model — around here at least.

I like both stores, they are each unique and way better than the local convenience market leader, 7-Eleven. I’d gladly stop by either one of them if it were available.

PREVIOUSLY

Gotta have a Wawa? 03.06.2008
Sammichs12.13.2006

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Updated: Penn State Big11Ten football schedule though 2012 is out

The long-term Big11Ten conference schedule based on information gathered from this release Intercollegiate Athletics) and amended when needed. (. Bye weeks are back starting in 2010 which means games on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.


2009
Sept. 5 AKRON
Sept. 12 SYRACUSE
Sept. 19 TEMPLE
Sept. 26 IOWA
Oct. 3 at Illinois
Oct. 10 EASTERN ILLINOIS
Oct. 17 MINNESOTA
Oct. 24 at Michigan
Oct. 31 at Northwestern
Nov. 7 OHIO STATE
Nov. 14 INDIANA
Nov. 21 at Michigan State

2010
Sept. 4 YOUNGSTOWN STATE
Sept. 11 at Alabama
Sept. 18 KENT STATE
Sept. 25 TEMPLE
Oct. 2 at Iowa
Oct. 9 ILLINOIS
Oct. 16 OPEN
Oct. 23 at Minnesota
Oct. 30 MICHIGAN
Nov. 6 NORTHWESTERN
Nov. 13 at Ohio State
Nov. 20 at Indiana (FedEx Field, Landover, Md.)
Nov. 27 MICHIGAN STATE

2011
Sept. 3 TBA
Sept. 10 ALABAMA
Sept. 17 at Temple
Sept. 24 TBA
Oct. 1 at Illinois
Oct. 8 OHIO STATE
Oct. 15 IOWA
Oct. 22 at Northwestern
Oct. 29 PURDUE
Nov. 5 OPEN
Nov. 12 WISCONSIN
Nov. 19 at Minnesota
Nov. 26 at Michigan State

2012
Sept. 1 TBA
Sept. 8 at Virginia
Sept. 15 TEMPLE
Sept. 22 TBA
Sept. 29 ILLINOIS
Oct. 6 at Ohio State
Oct. 13 at Iowa
Oct. 20 NORTHWESTERN
Oct. 27 at Purdue
Nov. 3 OPEN
Nov. 10 at Wisconsin
Nov. 17 MINNESOTA
Nov. 24 MICHIGAN STATE

Rutgers is coming in 2014-15 as well.

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Thomas Boswell chat 08.27.2009

Ask Boswell: Nats, Orioles, Redskins and MoreThe Post
“Washington Post sports columnist Thomas Boswell will be online Thursday, August 27, at 11 a.m. ET to take your questions about the Nats’ Stephen Strasburg signing and appointment of Mike Rizzo as permanent GM, the deleted, Redskins, Caps and the latest sports news and his recent columns.”

I am eager to see what he has to say about ¡LIVAN! He also wrote a column about the Cubs today.

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