Thanks For Stopping By, Penn State

I guess it was actually a good thing that Iowa knocked off Penn State during the regular season. Otherwise, they might have slipped into the National Title game and been clobbered by Oklahoma or Florida. As it was, they did the Big Ten no favors by looking completely overmatched against the USC Trojans, who played hard for a half and then spent the second half being pleased with themselves.

And I know there are legions of Paterno defenders out there who point out how he clearly hasn't lost it since his team went 11-2 this year. Fine, granted, the program is in good shape. But even if he was winning national titles, should an 82 year old codger who cannot even be on the sidelines or make it to the locker room at halftime be the head coach?

I just don't see how people think this is a good situation. He's sitting up in the press box, only occasionally donning a headset (and never when he's on the sidelines, begging the question as to how connected he can possibly be to what's going on), and just shaking his head and looking old and forlorn.

Then we get the wonderful press conferences with Joe.

"I thought the Southern Cal quarterback played a great game."

He said that over and over again. Does he not know Mark Sanchez' name? This would concern me greatly. This isn't your grandpa talking about players he doesn't know while sitting by the fire on New Year's Day. This is the head coach. Supposedly.

Asked about an injury to one of his players:

"I don't know, I haven't talked to the trainers or anything yet. I just know he got banged up and couldn't play."

Sounds very connected to his team.

Now, I'm not saying he doesn't sound like he still understands the game. He's not a joke at the press conference -- but the pages are fraying and I would be concerned if my team just inked this guy to three more years.

What are they hoping for? That he dies on the field? He's going to be coaching until he's 85, at least? He already can't stand on the sidelines and, sure, sure, he's got a new hip so I'm sure everything will work out fine. But clearly he's a brittle old man -- like all of us would be -- and so you begin to wonder about his effectiveness. Especially when his team gets taken behind the woodshed like they did yesterday.

I know, I know, we'd give anything for an 11-win season, and you'd be right if you said that. But that's not the point here. Is there any reason to think Paterno finally stepping down and being replaced by someone like Greg Schiano from Rutgers would be a bad thing?

Friday Football Jambalaya

Pretenders?

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