Wednesday, November 9, 2011

All Glory Is Fleeting, 11/9/11

The End: There's really no need to produce an elaborate rundown of the PSU scandal here, as others have already done so more comprehensively than I could have. With that said, I have to say that I don't feel "sorry" for Paterno (especially in light of his apparent refusal to resign/decision to retire after the season ends), as I don't think anybody other than the victims themselves and their families deserve any sort of sympathy. This cannot be stated enough times or with enough vehemence.

As far as Joe's legacy goes (which is so far down the list of things to fret over as to be essentially meaningless), an EDSBS commenter recalled the final lines of Patton (side bar, but if you ever want to make yourself more intellectually well-rounded--and funnier--EDSBS comment sections are as good a place to start as any):

For over a thousand years, Roman conquerors returning from the wars enjoyed the honor of a triumph - a tumultuous parade. In the procession came trumpeters and musicians and strange animals from the conquered territories, together with carts laden with treasure and captured armaments. The conqueror rode in a triumphal chariot, the dazed prisoners walking in chains before him. Sometimes his children, robed in white, stood with him in the chariot, or rode the trace horses. A slave stood behind the conqueror, holding a golden crown, and whispering in his ear a warning: that all glory is fleeting. 
It is both amazing and saddening that one of the few seemingly irrevocably solid entities--underscored further by an increasingly sordid college football landscape--left in college football has revealed himself to be no different than the rest in the span of a few days. But, let's be honest, these events had been incubating for years, ever since the day that McQueary and Paterno saw and heard something so horrible and yet decided to look in every other direction other than that of moral compulsion. I don't understand how Joe Pa can be so devoid of shame as to coach another game, but it appears that he just might unless the lower end of the NYT's report comes to fruition. If Joe Pa coaches this Saturday, it will surely set the backdrop for one of the most bizarre, emotionally conflicted college football atmosphere of all time.

Even if PSU does the right thing regarding all those who are culpable*, given the nature of the crimes...nothing can ever truly be enough.

*Which, it goes without saying, should entail immediate dismissal of Paterno, McQueary, Spanier, and any other administrative types who heard about these things and did nothing.

Let's Have A Commitment Time: Michigan acquired commit #24 on Tuesday, in the form of Pioneer tailback Drake Johnson. This is an interesting commitment given the complete absence of recruiting hype or meaningful offers, but a closer look reveals a player that offers some ability; namely, speed. I admittedly haven't heard much about him until now, but Ace's Hello post seems to denote a very Mike Shaw-esque skill set. A guy with speed in spades who tends to bounce things with regularity while lacking the moves that separate a high school athlete from an FBS-level tailback. Trust the coaches and all, but I'm not sure how much of an impact he'll have at the college level, but we'll see...Mike Hart etc. etc.

Almost as relevant as the commitment in and of itself is how this affects Michigan's courtship of Buckeye commit Bri'onte Dunn. On the surface it would seem that Michigan has essentially thrown in the towel re: prying Dunn away from the Buckeyes, but Kyle Meinke says not so fast. Another potential implication is that, in light of open spots becoming increasingly scarce, Michigan may be operating under the notion that AJ Williams will in fact be a lineman at the college level, which is not exactly a stretch given that he is already pretty huge and has been playing at the tackle position this season anyway*. I wouldn't mind this at all given the lack of depth on the line, but Michigan will still need to land at last one more OL, in addition to two receivers (Darboh, please don't go to Iowa and become the next inexplicably good Iowa receiver).

*Apparently he's a whopping 290 pounds already, of which some is probably bad weight but will inevitably become good weight once he starts a college S&C program.

On The Disappearance of Thomas Gordon: After everybody spent the rest of the weekend wondering why Gordon had been unseated in favor of Woolfolk, Brady Hoke explained:

It's simple: Fifth-year senior Troy Woolfolk, who moved to safety two weeks ago so freshman standout Blake Countess can start at cornerback, had a better week of practice. For Hoke, that was enough to keep Gordon on the bench.
Okay, I guess. That answer is a little bit unsatisfying but you can't really argue with it as a fan. Still, I don't see how one week of practice can cancel out two thirds of a season's worth of competent play in favor of a guy who probably isn't even 100% and got beat out at corner by a freshman. I don't know...establishing an environment of competition and accountability on a week-to-week basis from the beginning of Hoke's tenure is obviously vital. Either way, even if Gordon doesn't start this week, there's no question he should see the field in some capacity, whether at safety or the nickel. On the bright side, our next three opponents aren't exactly Oklahoma State when it comes to passing the ball, so our safeties shouldn't be tested deep with any great capability by Scheelhaase, Martinez, and Miller. At the same time, all three can and will run the ball, and I just think Gordon brings a level of physicality that Woolfolk simply does not, let alone a banged up Woolfolk.

The Mediocre Bowl (also see: "every Big Ten game in 2011"): Illinois blog "Hail to the Orange" talks about the importance of the upcoming titanic matchup:

Illinois who lost to Purdue, who earlier this year lost to Rice. Michigan who lost to Iowa, who just the week before lost to basement dwellers Minnesota. The same Illinois team that earlier this year defeated Arizona State, and the same Michigan who beat Notre Dame. This could be a valuable lesson that the there is no transitive property in football, but it is also further proof that here in the Big Ten, we are sorely lacking in elite teams that can run away with the league.
Pretty much. The Big Ten=ACC, and that is ironclad.

This Week In Schadenfreude: Unfortunately, Michigan is featured prominently. "AAAARGHBBLGGOG" is pretty much the only justifiable response to any of that. I'd be careful of awarding Alabama anything though, even if it is the "Tears of Unfathomable Sadness" or the "Scott Tenorman of the Week." Alabama fans everywhere are now trying to cobble together these two designations into a justification for claiming their 37478th national championship. WOOOOO SCHADENFREUDE NATIONAL CHAMPS ROLL TAHD ROLL!

More? Leach swingin' that sword in the general direction of Oxford, MS...please let this happen/get him back in college football somewhere. 11W on the evil that is ESPN vis-a-vis realignment. Arkansas State is attendance-related incentives. RR back to the Bayou? I'd like to think he can snag a better job than that but who knows how bullish the college football market is on him right now. Grantland piece on the PSU scandal and the disillusionment of the fan.

No comments:

Post a Comment