I'm not going to explain the situation because everyone has heard about it. But I recommend anyone who hasn't looked at the full details, look them up. It's gruesome, but necessary to read to grasp what happened. The whole situation is absolutely disgusting and a train wreck. I hope Sandusky is put in jail for a long, long time.
That being said, JoePa was wronged here. Absolutely, flat out wronged. Based on what we've heard, JoePa was told by a grad assistant of the things that were happening. He did not see said actions, just heard about them. He took the allegations to the AD and his superiors. He did all he should and could do and that was that. The AD and President and others obviously covered it up and they faced their punishments.
But JoePa could do nothing more. He couldn't take it to the police because it was simply allegations. It was hearsay to him. If I sat here and said someone is extorting money based on something I heard from someone else, how many people are really going to believe me? He had no solid proof (as far as we know).
Penn State itself has handled this awfully in regards to the last week. Announcing it in the middle of the night just created more chaos. Canceling the press conference without letting Paterno speak was bad. Letting Paterno know he was fired via phone call? Bush league. Everything about this on their part was handled was poorly as possible.
What I don't understand is what it would have hurt to let the man finish the season? What would it have hurt, at this point, to let Paterno finish coaching? It was, at most, 5 more games. This isn't a normal situation, I understand this, but really? He had no direct involvement in this. He did what was necessary and that's it. This is ridiculous, in my opinion.
This will definitely overshadow everything that is happening this week in terms of games and everything else. Penn State, in regards to the football team, may have cost themselves big. They hold their own destiny in their hands and, if they win out, they are B1G title game bound. But the distractions are endless at this point. The season will be marred in controversy through and through.
At this point, Penn State is probably the best team in the B1G right now and it'll certainly be interesting to see how the rest of this is going to go down.
Last week, I went 6-2, making me 76-22 on the season.
Indiana - The bottom of the B1G. I really like Kevin Wilson and his staff and what they are implementing here in Bloomington. They are moving in the right direction, Gunner or not. Tre Roberson has looked better and better each week and is giving IU reason to be excited.
Why are you scheduling cupcakes so late?
Rice @ Northwestern - I'm not surprised Northwestern won last week. I'm just upset I didn't have the balls to call it. Dan Persa went out with what was called a shoulder injury, but given the fact the backup Colter played so much in the beginning of the year, he came in and led the team to a HUGE win. Persa should be back for this game, but it doesn't matter either way.
Northwestern wins easy 35-13.
Ohio State @ Purdue - Braxton Miller really impressed me last week. He showed a lot of composure in the pocket, but knew when to tuck it and run and make a play with his feet. He didn't run unnecessarily the instant he felt pressure and made some huge plays. Ohio State with him is far different than Ohio State without him. With him, they are near the top of the B1G. Without him, Purdue could compete with them.
As for Purdue, they are coming off two pretty embarrassing losses and things don't get easier. They don't have a good defense and they don't appear to have very much of an offense. They are right there with IU in the bottom of the B1G. Nothing appears to be changing that for them.
Ohio State wins easily, 37-10.
Wisconsin @ Minnesota - Minnesota is improving most certainly, but they aren't quite good enough yet. That was shown last week as they hung with Michigan State until the 4th quarter. It's a process. The've made the first step in being competitive, but now they have to finish games. I don't think it'll happen this year and certainly not this game, but Jerry Kill is doing great things.
Wisconsin is the benefit of some great scheduling. They finish with Purdue last week, Minnesota this week, Illinois next week, then Penn State at the end of the year. And that Penn State game could turn into quite an easy game if the team let's this distraction get the best of them. Wisconsin has to win out though at this point to even make the Rose Bowl.
Wisconsin wins easily again, 52-17.
Michigan at Illinois - Michigan looked pretty bad against Iowa and I thought they were overrated. If you can shut down Robinson's running attack and force him to throw, he's more than awful. Given how long he's been at the university, the fact that Robinson can't throw the ball is bad. I suspect teams will play him like this the rest of the way and they'll collapse, like always.
Illinois has been exposed of late too. They've lost three straight games and look nothing like the team that won six straight to start the year. The bye week will certainly help them and get them refreshed for a run late in the season. They could fully eliminate Michigan from a chance at the B1G title game and earn themselves a better bowl.
I think Illinois wins a bit of a shootout 31-27.
Michigan State @ Iowa - This Iowa team is a weird one. One week they lose to Iowa State and the next they beat Michigan. Marcus Coker has find his stride, running for 120+ yards the last 4 games and two touchdowns each game. He'll get a tough test going against a Michigan State defense that ranks as one of the best in the nation against the run. It's the cliche "rock vs. a hard place" debate.
Michigan State suffered a scare against Minnesota. They eventually pulled away, but I would write it off as nothing more than overlooking an opponent given the run they faced before Minnesota. It was a reality check for the team and one they needed. They also hold their destiny in their hands and, if they win out, they'll be in the B1G title game.
Michigan wins a barn burner, 17-13.
Game of the Week
Nebraska @ Penn State - Prior to this week's announcement, this would have been the most interesting games. Given the circumstances, this game is HUGE. Penn State now has to rally as a team. They might not agree as a team that he should be fired, but they are still a team with national title aspirations. With just one loss, at that loss coming to Alabama, this team is still a very good team. But losing your head coach in this matter and a whole city in uproar, it's not hard to see this team being distracted. Honestly, I just have a feeling that this team is going to rally and make a big run. Maybe it's more of a hope, but Penn State deserves better. This is a team with a great defense and an improving offense.
As for Nebraska, they have a great opportunity this week. Given everything that is happening to Penn State, they are going to come in under the radar with absolutely zero pressure. They have to win out to have any hope of a division title game and they are coming off an embarrassing loss. Taylor Martinez is a rich man's Denard Robison and it's similar game-planning to stop him. Make him throw the ball and he'll fail. Allow him to establish the run and he'll succeed.
In the end, Penn State being at home is going to propel them this game. The fans are going to be super rowdy and this may even turn into a blowout. Penn State wins 27-10.
Next Best 3
1. Oregon @ Stanford - Stanford's last, and probably only, real test of the regular season. Oregon has been pretty underrated as their only loss came to LSU. Stanford wins and they hold out hope for the National Title Game. Oregon wins and they get in the Rose Bowl. Stanford wins 48-44.
2. Virginia Tech @ Georgia Tech - The ACC has been pretty under the radar this year and they probably should. Virginia Tech is leading the way with an 8-1 record and they're slowly moving up the BCS rankings. I think they get another win Friday 27-17.
3. Auburn @ Georgia - Again, I'm not going to talk a lot about the SEC because I don't know as much as Outlaw does with his blog. I agree with him that Georgia wins 31-21.