Will Rob Bolden be in a Penn State uniform in 2011?
As the summer progresses and we get closer and closer to the start of the college football season we are still wondering where quarterback Rob Bolden stands in the Penn State picture.
Bolden continues to wonder that same question as he has yet to state definitively that he will be back next season. The long wait has left him to some criticism suggesting he is holding the program hostage but he ultimately needs to do what is best for him and not worry about anything else.
But the other day Bolden tweeted that he was watching film of Penn State's loss at Alabama last season and learning from his mistakes. Was he quietly trying to get ready for revenge in 2011 when Alabama comes to town or is he just focusing on his own development in preparation for a chance in a new program.
Whatever the case may be, every day that goes by without word of a transfer should be considered good news for fans who wish to see Bolden behind center this upcoming season. He may not be the starting quarterback right out of the gate at training camp, but he could reclaim the starting role before the start of the season against Indiana State.
While the fans in blue and white will continue to monitor Bolden's status here is a look at some of the other headlines of interest to Penn State fans.
With uncertainty at quarterback there is a growing concern that many of the same storylines from 2010 could resurface in 2011.
Instability could lead to multiple players lining up behind center this season, which would open the floodgates for a division of the fans on who should be playing.
Whether you are on Team Bolden or Team McGloin (or Team Jones) many fans just want there to be a definite starter for the majority of the season one way or the other.
"50-Yard Lion" blogger Tom Knauer says that the pattern could be leading to another Pat Devlin scenario, resulting in the transfer of a talented quarterback recruit in the next couple of years, as Penn State is currently in the running for the recruitment of prospect Skyler Mornhinweg.
"Do you want to prepare yourself now?" Knauer asks. "Familiarize yourself with John Cabot...this year's preferred walk-on. He'll probably be the starter someday. After all, PSU wouldn't handle its QBs any other way."
With everything going on at Ohio State, including suspensions and a resignation, the question everyone is asking is what exactly does it mean for the Buckeyes during the 2011 season?
Jim Tressel is gone so the program will be taken over on an interim basis by Luke Fickell, making his head coaching debut. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor has left the program as well. Four players will miss the first five games of the season, including wide receiver DeVier Posey and running back Dan Herron.
While the Buckeyes may be hurting at the beginning of the season they could very well be at full strength by the time Penn State makes the trip to Columbus in the next to last game of the season. Will the game have Big Ten division race implications?
It is a popular opinion that Penn State (and Wisconsin) could have a better shot at winning the Big Ten's Leaders Division with Ohio State being hit by suspensions.
SB Nation Pittsburgh's Adam Bittner says that Fickell will have a number of square pegs to fit in a round hole while Penn State will have a relatively easier time getting through the conference schedule before the end of the season. Bittner writes "the Lions may well be in a position to battle the Buckeyes for the Leaders division title."
It could happen.
College football will be filling up Lucas Oil Stadium in early December, which will be nice if the Indianapolis Colts are locked out of playing games there this NFL season.
The Big Ten championship game will be played there for the first time in conference history.
And it will be staying there for the foreseeable future.
The Big Ten announced this week that the football championship game will remain in Indianapolis through at least 2015 as the conference moves forward. Lucas Oil Stadium won the right to host the game over Chicago's Soldier Field.
Joe Paterno has been saying for years that he would like to coach for four or five more years. But he has never done it on Skype until recently.
Son and quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno recently mentioned that his father had been on Skype to talk to a possible Penn State recruit, showing that at 84 years old Paterno is still open to trying out the latest methods used in college football.
Jay Paterno called it "a major plus for us" in recruiting, according to a report by Altoona Mirror's Cory Giger.
What's next for JoePa? Sharing the playbook on an iPad?
Maybe in four to five years...
Paterno may be using Skype but the fact that he does not make in-home recruiting visits is a legitimate argument to use in why Paterno's value to the program has been diminished over the years.
ESPN.com's Big Ten blogger, Adam Rittenberg, said as much in a recent poll on the site looking for the most valuable coaching position in the conference, limited to five options.
In organizing the poll Rittenberg took in to account a number of variables to determine which programs would be the worst off without their current head coach.
While Paterno did not make the cut Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald, Michigan State's Dan Dantonio, and Nebraska's Bo Pelini did. That sounds about right for now.
USC was stripped by the BCS of their 2004 championship this week. How is this connected to Penn State?
Penn State president Graham Spanier is the head of the presidential oversight committee for the BCS. But if USC's 2004 title season was wiped off the books, you wonder what would have happened had we know what we know now about Reggie Bush and USC.
If we had known then that USC was using an ineligible player the Trojans would have been in position to be ineligible for postseason play. USC went on to play in the 2005 BCS Championship game against Texas. That was the same season Penn State lost just one game (at Michigan) and fell just short of making a trip to the Rose Bowl to play for the championship.
Instead Penn State went to the Orange Bowl for a triple overtime victory against Florida State. The Nittany Lions finished as the third ranked team that season, but if USC was ineligible in 2005 then they would have played for the championship.
Texas defeated USC that season so there was no need to take another title out of the record books.
Running back Brandon Beachum had a good showing in an abbreviated Blue White game and is hoping to be a part of the running back combination during the regular season.
Having Beachum on the roster and healthy would be a great resource for Penn State, who could then utilize a three-headed monster of sorts between he, Silas Redd and Stephfon Green.
Redd will be a sophomore this season and Green will be on his last year of eligibility but 50-Yard Blogger Justin Owens proposes that Beachum be used as a primary running back for Penn State.
"Beachum can grind out the tough yards and hopefully move the chains in the process," Owens says. "If he's successful, Redd has the ability to do what he did behind Royster—break off substantial runs and leave defensive coordinators scrambling. Give Redd 8-10 carries a game, with an emphasis on giving him the ball between the 40s. With Redd, the more field to work with, the better."
If you are wondering which players on the roster are hoping to take the next step in becoming a leader you may want to take a look at defensive tackle Devon Still.
One writer here on Bleacher Report, Pete Dymeck, suggests that Still is following a similar path as former Auburn player Nick Fairley. Certainly a bold statement given that Fairley was one of the top defensive players in college football in 2010, and not just on defense.
Fairley transferred to Auburn in 2009 and became a defensive superstar in 2010, winning the Lombardi Award and leading the Tigers to a BCS championship. He was drafted 13th overall by the Detroit Lions last April. So does Still have that same future lined up before him?
"The lack of media attention both locally and nationally is just adding fuel to the fire that Still is going to ignite in 2011," Dymeck writes. "The expectations aren't high but the potential is welcoming, especially for a defensive line that appeared to underachieve a year ago."
The entire Cam Newton drama last season raised more supporters of the idea that paying college players while they are a part of a program would help the game rid itself of a number of problems.
The topic has been so widely discussed that the Big Ten's coaches, athletic directors and commissioner Jim Delany decided to open the book on the possibility of seeing Big Ten schools pay their players.
Don't count Jay Paterno in that mix.
"Lest we forget, the "job" you'll have is playing football or basketball – a sport you love," the younger Paterno wrote in his column on StateCollege.com. "If you have the ability and the drive, you will have a chance to play professionally after graduation at a starting salary better than anyone else in your graduating class."
Paterno is clearly not in favor of paying athletes and he certainly does not think it would reduce the cheating going on in the sport.
"The reality is that a few hundred more dollars or even a few thousand dollars to help cover the cost of attendance isn't going to erase the cheating that goes on," he continues. "The cheating that's going on is for a lot more money than the cost of attendance."
On Tuesday Penn State confirmed that they will play on national television when Alabama comes to Happy Valley for the first time since 1989.
The back-end of a home-and-home series was ruled out for national television due to ESPN airing Michigan-Notre Dame that night and ABC having NASCAR to show.
The Big Ten Network also passed on the game and the game was not picked up for a 6pm air time under ESPN's announcement for their SEC games. This being a Big Ten home game the announcement was available a couple days later and the 3:30 time slot is still a good way to set-up for the prime time slate of games.
Penn State's games against Indiana State and Purdue will both kick off at noon, while the road game at Northwestern will be the lone prime time game for Penn State. That game kicks off at 7 p.m. in Evanston.