Here's how I see Penn State shaping up (and this is coming from a guy who saw his first Penn State game in 1959).
At first I was very fearful of Bill O'Brien. Not because of his own lack of head coaching experience, but because virtually all of his assistants came from ACC also-rans.
But he hired one guy with BCS championship level experience - offensive line coach Mac McWhorter.
Now if you had to put your finger on Penn State's biggest single weakness throughout the Big Ten era, you'd most likely pick the offensive line - specifically the inability to consistently develop Big Ten caliber offensive linemen.
The second area of longstanding PSU weakness has been the development of quarterbacks.
Charlie Fisher may or may not be better than Jay Paterno but with O'Brien looking closely at the QBs, it will certainly be a better situation.
Most of all, O'Brien calling the plays will bring a merciful end to the embarrassing circus of "who calls what," involving Joe, Jay, Galen Hall and orchestrated by Mike McQueary.
Bill O'Brien will call the plays.
The defense will be as good as ever and maybe even better.
So I'm already optimistic for this season. Not that we're going to win anything, but at least now Penn State again will command respect (real respect, not just lip service) from the rest of the Big Ten.
'Bash brothers' annoying
After reading Neil Rudel's most recent negative rant aimed at St. Francis University, their men's basketball program, Rev. Gabriel Zeis and the father and son Krimmels, I immediately recalled a column written by Cory Giger a month or two ago where he called for the ouster of former men's head basketball coach Don Friday.
Of course, the article included the seemingly required negativity directed toward Coach Friday written in true Giger style.
It seems our resident "Bash Brothers," Rudel and Giger, have found themselves a new whipping boy or in this case a whole institution of higher learning now that they no longer have Joe Paterno to complain about and beat up on.
Rudel just couldn't resist including another dig at Penn State and the Paternos while authoring his latest acidic commentary.
I have come to expect nothing less from him.
Todd R. Sanders
(Editor's note: In his Feb. 28 column wrapping up the 2011-12 season, Cory Giger wrote that Don Friday deserved another year.)