Thursday, October 11, 2007

Let's Go Hunt for Grandpa...

I know he's somewhere here

A bad week for college football's favorite senior citizens.

First come rumors of Joe Paterno being involved in a road rage (?!?) incident around the Penn State campus. The story stretches the bounds of credibility. Why would Joe Paterno drive somebody off the road and curse them out? Surely this must be a case of mistaken identity, or there must be some other explanation for it. But then Paterno himself confirmed the incident, although as you might expect, he tells a slightly different version. No matter which version you believe, this certainly has the feel of Woody and Clemson. When you consider some of the erratic behavior from Paterno in the recent past: the constant whining about the Big Ten referees, hanging a ref in effigy, the run to the locker room at Ohio Stadium, you have to think that we are watching Paterno slowly but surely disintegrate before our eyes. All of the recent off-the-field problems for PSU players is not surprising in light of the idea that the program is adrift without anyone at the wheel.

Meanwhile, down in Talahassee, JoePa's contemporary, Bobby Bowden just finished losing to a Wake Forest team that is the very definition of mediocre. After last year's 7-6 season, Bowden cleaned house and brought in a number of outstanding coaches, including Jimbo Fisher, Chuck Amato, and O line coach Rick Trickett from West Virginia. But with this loss, and tough games looming against Miami, and at BC, Virginia Tech, and Florida, 7-6 might be the best case scenario. The problems there go deeper than the coaching staff.

It is time for someone at each school to step up,realize that the emperor have no clothes, and tell them it's time to move on. The dangerous thing here is that neither of these programs have had much historical success that doesn't revolve around these two legends. FSU pre Bowden was 150-130, with a winning percentage comparable to known powerhouses Arkansas State and Akron. Paterno has been a coach of some sort for 649 of Penn State's 1,171 games played. There is the non-zero chance that both programs could return to a decent, but not nearly elite level once these coaches leave. About a year ago, Paterno gave an interview talking about Bear Bryant and how he died months after he retired. Bowden has often said that there is only one significant event left after you retire, and he's not ready for that. Both coaches fear that they would die without football. If they keep coaching, however, the programs that they built into two of the top programs in the last 30 plus years may die first.

Bonus points to anyone who can identify the artist above without looking at the link title (click here for answer)