UNIVERSITY PARK - One of the big questions surrounding Penn State this year is who will be the quarterback - Rob Bolden or Matt McGloin?
Currently, we still didn't know, and Joe Paterno might not announce who it will be until the week of the Sept. 3 opener against Indiana State. The starter, of course, might not remain the starter when he is picked.
Last year, Bolden began the year as the starter as a freshman, and McGloin replaced him, prompting Bolden to consider transferring.
The quarterback question, as well as how the offensive line will do, are two questions being considered by the statewide media covering the Nittany Lions.
In a survey of 18 reporters covering Penn State media day, eight predicted the Lions would go 8-4 during the regular season. Only the regular season was considered.
Five predicted the Lions would go 9-3, while three went with 7-5. Two reporters went with 10-2. Most cited the quarterbacks, the offensive line and brutal November schedule of Nebraska at home on Nov. 12, at Ohio State on Nov. 19 and at Wisconsin on Nov. 26 in giving their picks.
For the record, none of the three Altoona Mirror reporters agreed on the season record. The picks were 7-5, 8-4 and 9-3.
The reporters gave reasons to support their picks, which you can read below. Only four of the 22 reporters surveyed last year correctly picked the Lions going 7-5.
Philip Cmor, Altoona Mirror-Record: 9-3. Comment: "It's an uneasy 9-3, but the schedule breaks well for the Nittany Lions. I think they can knock off Nebraska at home late in the season after the line has presumably gelled. This is barring another plague of injuries, of course."
Cory Giger, Altoona Mirror-Record: 7-5. Comment: "The schedule sets up nicely for a possible 8-1 start, with the lone loss to Alabama. However, I think the Lions also get upset at Northwestern for a 7-2 start, then lose all three games during the brutal stretch at the end."
Todd Irwin, Altoona Mirror-Record: 8-4. Comment: "The quarterback situation is a little better than this point last year, and Derek Moye will have a big year. Can the offensive line protect the QB and open holes for Silas Redd? We'll see. There's a renewed emphasis on stopping the run on defense, but there isn't a star on the line."
Bill Albright, ESPN Williamsport-Record: 8-4. Comment: "I think 8-4 is the best they're going to do, trust me. It wouldn't surprise me if they ended up 7-5. Alabama is going to give them a brutal test early in the season. A lot of people say if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks."
Genaro Armas, The Associated Press-Record: 9-3. Comment: "I think someone out of Bolden and McGloin steps up, comes through and leads the team. I think some of the leadership on the team reminds me a little bit of 2008. I'm not trying to compare them directly, but I just think there are some intangibles there."
Mark Brennan, FightOnState.com-Record: 9-3. Comment: "The concerns I have are with that offensive line. I think it's going to take some time to come together. That's going to be trouble early in the season against a team like Alabama. We've seen the last few years that they usually drop a game in there they shouldn't."
Todd Brown, Qwik Rock-FM 105.9-106.9-Record: 10-2. Comment: "I think that second week against Alabama is big. I think they have a great shot at being 9-0 going into those last three games. I think Alabama is going to be a little too much for them, but I think it's going to be a good year overall."
Jon Christoff, The (Clearfield) Progress-Record: 8-4. Comment: "The success this year will rely heavily on an improved defense. The defensive line has to perform much better than it did last year and get more pressure on the quarterback. They rank statistically near the bottom of the D-I in tackles for loss, so as the D-line goes so will the defense."
Bob Flounders, Harrisburg Patriot-News-Record: 7-5. Comment: "I can see them going 6-6 because it's the same team as last year as far as I'm concerned. They don't have an established quarterback. You can make an argument that the schedule is more difficult than last year. The interior of the offensive line has a couple big question marks, especially at center with Matt Stankiewitch."
Phil Grosz, BlueWhite Illustrated-Record: 10-2. Comment: "They should be 8-1 if they play up to their ability. I don't expect them to beat Alabama, but when I look at the rest of the [first nine] games, they are games they should win. The worst-case scenario is 9-3."
Matt Herb, BlueWhite Illustrated-Record: 8-4. Comment: "You just don't know about their offensive line. The same problems that you see consistently seem to be question marks this year. The offensive line is a question, and the quarterback situation is a little different question."
Walt Moody, Centre Daily Times-Record: 8-4. Comment: "I guess Alabama will show us early how good the team is one way or another. The quarterback situation and the offensive line situation are kind of question marks right now."
David Jones, Harrisburg Patriot-News-Record: 7-5. Comment: "They're in a tough division, I think. I'm picking Illinois to win the division. A quarterback controversy is never good. We're going to have to see a playmaker on defense. This has been a defensive-dominated program. They need somebody on the defensive line like Jay Alford or Tamba Hali, and I don't see that guy."
Ron Musselman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette-Record: 8-4. Comment: "I think their schedule is going to be too much for them. If they can beat Alabama or Nebraska at home, then there's a chance they'll do a little better. I don't like that three-game stretch at the end. Nasty, nasty, nasty."
Jeff Rice, Centre Daily Times-Record: 8-4. Comment: "I think the offensive line is going to be a little better. I think the defense, as a whole, will be a lot better. I feel a little better than some about the game at Northwestern, and even the Iowa game at home."
Rich Scarcella, Reading Eagle-Record: 9-3. Comment: "I figure they're going to get off to an 8-1 start, losing to Alabama. I just think with the November stretch of games, it will be too tough to win two out of those three. I think the big question mark is the offensive line. Can Penn State run the football? Obviously, they have to do a better job of stopping the run too."
Earl Whitmore, Lebanon Daily News-Record: 9-3. Comment: "I think their defense is going to hold them for the whole year, and I think they've got some weapons. I truly believe Bolden is going to be the winner in the quarterback derby, and Moye is going to have a breakout year. I think they're going to be competitive in every game."
Mark Wogenrich, Allentown Morning Call-Record: 8-4. Comment: "I think in those last four games, they go 2-2 or 1-3. Alabama is a loss. There's another loss in that stretch that's an unpredictable one."