It was a super day for Penn State football, the university and its loyal fan base.
Was coach Paterno's contract extension for three years a surprise?
No, when one considers his squad went 11-1 for eighth place in the BCS polls and a trip to the Rose Bowl. But there was a caveat attached to that extension which carries more weight. And that is the university has the prerogative to alter the extension should things change.
The one thing that the extension did was to ensure Paterno's role in the recruiting process. I look to see his going out on the recruiting trail to close vital recruiting offers now that his hip surgery was a huge success.
And four- and five-star recruits need to see him in action. Recruits know in the next three years and also with the conclusion of this 2009 recruiting season that will be the CEO of the program.
Getting dual-threat quarterback Kevin Newsome was a primary example of that.
Perhaps what maybe is just as important is his outstanding coaching staff will be in place to continue developing their position players. What I would like to have seen was somewhere in the contract that an assistant head coach would be in place. Maybe that could be implied in the alteration process at some point.
But this is great news for everybody.
Devlin decision troubling
I would love to wake up and find out I just had a bad dream. Sadly, that is not the case as Pat Devlin has transferred to Delaware.
This transfer was almost a given because the staff just did not give Devlin enough quality playing time or adequately fulfill their promises or overtures to him.
Do you really believe they gave any serious consideration to a two-quarterback system after week two or three of the season?
They talked the talk early on. Too bad they didn't walk the walk.
Granted, Clark performed extremely well, but you can't let a kid like Devlin warm the bench for three years, and you certainly cannot allow him to lose hope.
The day of having a great quarterback or any player for that matter sit and wait until he is a senior is long gone.
PSU has a history of this bench-warming. Devlin is not the first very gifted QB to transfer because of this philosophy.
Years back we gave West Virginia a great QB that led the Mountaineers to a huge upset of then-powerhouse Oklahoma and ended up being a big part of WVU's resurgence to respectability.
Odds are Devlin will be a huge success at Delaware, and he may have even more potential at the next level than Clark.
If we must go to a conservative offense with a more or less static pocket and limited use of the option with Clark at QB, we will get killed in the Rose Bowl.
Transfer a black mark
Penn State, a big underdog against USC, has certainly been hurt by quarterback Pat Devlin's untimely departure before the Rose Bowl.
Now Penn State is without a quality backup QB, and if Daryll Clark gets hurt - and he has an injury-prone history - it's lights out.
Paterno is aware this will probably limit his mobility, another negative.The blame game: While Devlin doesn't come out of this like a rose, let's look at the Paternos.
Paterno made it easy for Devlin to at least miss the Rose Bowl by giving him a quick shove out the door. Jay Paterno, the QB killer, wasn't even on the same page with Devlin.
Jay Paterno's main claim to fame is that he's the icon's son. Talk about nepotism: What other major program would be interested in Jay as a QB coach? In his reign, Michael Robinson and Clark have done well under him, but they are not NFL-type QBs.
Look at all the others who haven't panned out, and the word is out on Jay. Pennsylvania blue chippers like Henne, Pryor and this year's top quarterback recruit, Tom Savage, took their show on the road. Devlin would have also been in that group except for a coaching change at Miami.
Well now Devlin, the all-time prep passing leader in the state of Pennsylvania (Marino, Montana, Kelly and Unitas etc.) is moving on as 82-year-old Joe is continuing on. Nothing will change at PSU as long as JoePa is in charge.