Sports Columns

West’s embarrassing day should spark Big Ten realignment talk

Saturday was humiliating for the Big Ten West and really the best example yet of why the conference’s division alignment is laughable. Everyone knows the division setup is incredibly lopsided. Everyone knows the Big Ten has received criticism for the imbalance. And everyone knows the league ...

Lions’ talent masking their youth, mistakes

UNIVERSITY PARK — Only a true Penn State nitpicker would witness a 53-point victory and come away somewhat unimpressed. So be it. Yes, the Nittany Lions demolished Kent State, 63-10, on Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium. Yes, they are 3-0 heading into their Big Ten opener at Illinois ...

Steelers more than just football

PITTSBURGH — The great thing about following the Steelers is you don’t just get a football team. You get a soap opera, too. Where’s Le’Veon Bell? Has anyone checked his social media feeds in the last hour? When will he get here? It’s a cliffhanger. Speaking of social media, ...

Rivalry with Syracuse one-sided but memorable

A rivalry suggests both teams have a pretty good chance of winning, but if you look at the history of Penn State football, that has never been the case with most of its old Eastern cohorts. The Nittany Lions pretty much destroyed them all. They’re 38-2-1 all-time against Maryland and 20-4 ...

Guess that 10-6 record won’t do

PITTSBURGH — No sooner than I predicted a 10-6 season for the Steelers, that prognostication was rendered obsolete with a tie in Cleveland. It took just four hours to make a season prediction totally incorrect. Is it going to be that kind of season? Picking apart the season opener: n ...

Pitt was so bad that it masked PSU’s trouble spots

Through two weeks, I still have no idea if Penn State is a really good football team. And the next two weeks won’t tell us much, either. We’re all just going to have to wait until Ohio State visits on Sept. 29 to find out. The Nittany Lions barely won their opener in OT, 45-38, against ...

Panthers collapse on their own stage

PITTSBURGH — Pat Narduzzi entered the final scheduled home game between these two old Eastern foes making no bones about the fact that the Penn State rivalry has extra meaning to his program. Maybe, in fact, it means too much. Pitt rolled out the most decorated of its incredibly ...

Steelers fans should aim for 10-6

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers begin their 2018 adventure today in Cleveland, playing the Browns at 1 o’clock. The regular season will wind up in 17 weeks with a home game against the Bengals and probably a 10-6 record. There’s a lot of travel, and too many playoff-caliber opponents. The ...

Lightning delays causing confusion

Lightning struck twice last Friday night, well actually quite a few more times than that, and caused havoc at many of the area’s high school football games. Among the games stopped for at least the mandatory 30 minutes were Tyrone at Central, Johnstown at Chestnut Ridge, Williamsburg at ...

Keeping eye on Ryder Cup team

U.S. Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk surprised no one earlier this week when he announced his first three captain’s picks for the 2018 Ryder Cup Team. Furyk announced Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau would join the eight U.S. men who had already earned spots on this year’s ...

PSU has bigger concerns than scheduling Pitt

Think with your head, not your heart. Penn State has to pay for 31 athletic programs. Pitt has only 19. Penn State’s attendance average last year at Beaver Stadium was 106,707. Pitt’s average at Heinz Field was 46,076. The value of Penn State’s football program is $549.5 ...

All Steelers can do is just wait

PITTSBURGH — Today is the day! Well, maybe it is. This is the day the Steelers will cast their eyes toward the door of the locker room and full expect to see Le’Veon Bell there, ready to join the team at practice. Just about everyone expected Bell to report on Monday to sign his ...

Penn State women’s soccer celebrates 25th season

Looking back at 1994, Forest Gump, Pulp Fiction and The Lion King were big at the box office; computer zip drives and the George Foreman grill were new inventions on the market; a gallon of gasoline cost just $1.11, and the Penn State varsity women’s soccer team took the field for the first ...

That kind of ‘D’ won’t cut it

Penn State gave up 38 points to a mid-major at home Saturday night, barely escaping Appalachian State with a 45-38 OT victory. So, the defense is awful, right? It sure looked that way. But maybe, just maybe things won’t be as bad as they appeared in the opener. I’ve made no secret of ...

For openers, Lions raise their share of questions

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State opened its season with a wildly-entertaining 45-38 overtime victory Saturday over Appalachian State that anyone who witnessed had to enjoy. Well, almost anyone. “I started the game at 46 years old,” James Franklin said afterward. “I ended it at ...

QB choice raises a few questions

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers had four quarterbacks for three spots, so one of them had to go. Conventional wisdom held that Josh Dobbs would be headed out, probably traded for a draft pick. Ben Roethlisberger was untouchable, of course. Landry Jones was thought to be in solid because he was ...

Woods-Mickelson will be worth watching

It’s been the talk of the golfing world for weeks now, and it seems like the winner-take-all match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will finally take place. This pay-per-view event, being promoted as “The Match,” will be an 18-hole battle between Woods and Mickelson held ...

Thankfully, real games about to start

PITTSBURGH — There should be a celebration this Thursday night. The Steelers will end the preseason with their fourth not-quite-a-game. No more pretend NFL football. From that point forward, every game counts. Every one will be taken seriously with preparation and strategy and urgency. ...

Meyer issue the bad side of college sports

PITTSBURGH — College football game day is coming. That means cheerleaders, bands, the stadium packed with fans wearing school colors and, ideally, a competitive game. That’s what people love about college football. It’s everything else about it that should make them sick. The ...

Yes, the game builds character

The answer for me is easy since I already have. And I did so with, thankfully, with no regrets. Numbers have steadily declined in football with more information on concussions and their long-term effects. Because of awareness, changing rules and better ...