Big Ten Web Links: Read Thursday's top stories
In case you were wondering, here is the official NCAA document that spells out the ifs, ands, buts and whatnots about Penn State players transferring to other schools. You may want to print this, cut it out and put it in your wallet—assuming you are a crazy college football fan. (If you are reading this, you are one.)
Here are a few of the rules:
- Football student-athletes who transfer will not have to sit out a year of competition. Any current football student-athletes who transfer to any NCAA school (all divisions) during the 2012-13 academic year will be immediately eligible, provided they are admitted through the normal process and are otherwise eligible.
- Penn State will be responsible for notifying the NCAA regarding the status of all transfer student-athletes.
- Permission-to-contact rules are suspended. Penn State cannot restrict in any way a student-athlete from pursuing a possible transfer. Student-athletes must simply inform Penn State of their interest in discussing transfer options with other schools. Before communicating with student-athletes, interested schools also must inform Penn State of their intention to open discussions with the student-athlete.
IMPACT OF TRANSFERS: Let’s continue with the Penn State theme. The great Bob Flounders of the Harrisburg Patriot-News looks at the Penn State players who have left—and the impact it will have this fall.
It’s no revelation that the loss of running back Silas Redd to USC will have the biggest impact. With Redd in 2011, Penn State had the No. 10 offense in the Big Ten. Without Redd and his 1,241 yards rushing from last season? I shudder to think how the Nittany Lions will struggle to score.
The other key departures thus far are linebacker Khairi Fortt (Cal), who figured to play a key role in 2012. And losing kicker Anthony Fera to Texas will hurt. He hit 14-of-17 field-goal attempts last season. Again, a team that figures to struggle to score couldn’t afford to lose a kicker like Fera.
250K AT BEAVER STADIUM? Could there be 250,000 people at Penn State’s home opener vs. Ohio on September 1? If two Penn State freshmen have their way, that will be the case.
Beaver Stadium seats 106,572 fans, so the extra bodies would have to be in and around the venue. A Facebook page has been opened to boost the effort. I bet it happens.
SOMETHING TO SELL: Bill O’Brien still has a lot to sell at Penn State—great facilities, tradition, rabid alums and fans, and a terrific university. He also can and must sell his background as an NFL coach to recruits seeking to go to the next level.
How many other Big Ten coaches can brag like O’Brien can brag about NFL experience? None.
OHIO STATE’S MISSING PIECE: There’s one missing piece from the Ohio State offense, one item that still needs to be inserted before the Buckeyes can think their attack is ready to roll in Year One under Urban Meyer.
New Buckeye boss thinks Braxton Miller is his perfect triggerman for his spread attack. But Ohio State still needs a jack-of-all-trades back, a player to fill the role that Percy Harvin played when Meyer was coaching Florida to greatness. Running back Jordan Hall looks like that guy, but he’s out with a foot injury that could keep him shelved for the first two games.
Some possible candidates in the interim include Evan Spencer, Corey Brown and Najee Murray. Stay tuned. This is a big spot to fill. If there is good news, it’s that Ohio State doesn’t have much heavy lifting in the non-conference, as all four games are at home at the toughest foe is Cal.
STAYING FOR THE LONG HAUL: One of the best things Brady Hoke did upon landing the Michigan job was to bring offensive coordinator Al Borges with him from San Diego State and then to lure defensive coordinator Greg Mattison from the Baltimore Ravens for the same job. Now, the duo may just finish its career in Ann Arbor at Hoke’s side. If so, that would be huge for the program. I mean: Is there a better OC/DC tandem in the conference? Think about it.
At 62, Mattison is the second oldest coordinator in the Big Ten (Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz is 64; Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis is 61) and more likely than 49-year-old Borges to ride out his career in Ann Arbor. Mattison is entering his 36th season as an assistant, boasting a resume that has included 15 posts with 10 teams.
Borges also has a resume dotted with lots of stops, but he may be young enough to one day still become a head coach. He has interviewed for several jobs over the years—only to come up short.
GETTING COMFORTABLE: At Indiana’s fall camp, it will be all about making the quarterbacks uncomfortable.
Why not? Time and again, Kevin Wilson has talked about the need to pass better as a way to pump up the offense’s point production. Wilson knows the Hoosier defense won’t be a steel curtain. So, Indiana’s best way to win will be to score—often. And that will mean amping an attack that ranked 10th in scoring (21.4 ppg) in the Big Ten last season for an offense that was eighth in the conference (360.4 ppg).
Hey, it’s worth a shot.
TWEETS THAT MATTER
My take: Good to hear from the great Montee Ball. I hope he’s back ASAP.
My take: No doubt. Bama won’t be beaten by a one-dimensional offense.
My take: The Scarlet and Gray curtain is up. And, please, don’t tell you are surprised. Clandestine practices are the norm around America. But, still, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is on Twitter and Facebook, all of his work is at btn.com/tomdienhart, and you can subscribe to it all via his RSS feed. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below.
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