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The week in news- A figurehead, Hollywood and Holtz

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-In the shadow of Mount Nittany legendary Coach Joe Paterno has been all over the news at a rate that would make Boy Kiffin jealous. For starters he stirred the pot by saying that that the Big 11 should expand to 12 teams and play a championship game. Paterno's comments resulted in Big 11 Commish Jim Delaney stating that the conference has no plans to do any such thing dammit! I for one agree with Coach Paterno but for a slightly different reason. Joe Pa seems to think the Big 11 loses relevancy by being out of the news those last two weeks while everyone else is still playing. I think a bigger issue is that the Big 11 has collectively been terrible in bowl games for several years now to include a paltry 1-6 showing this last season. The long layoff definitely doesn't help. One could argue all day about a host of other factors that play into it but I think the layoff is a big player in the bowl woes. In other Joe Pa news he down played the latest off the field incident involving Nittany Lion players. In the end more fuel to the fire for the watercooler "figurehead coach" discussion. By the way, these athlete weed stories have no end.

-Those of you familiar with the wealth of goodness that oozes out of Phil Steele are fully aware that Phil is big on total offensive line starts as a major player in the potential success for a team. Apparently somebody over at The Wall Street Journal is drinking the Steele Kool-Aid and published a little snippet on the subject a couple of weeks ago that had Notre Dame at the top of the list with a staggering 100 starts. Over at HLS domer.mq has a great post on the subject titled "When Do The Excuses Stop?" He also has plans to take the study a few steps further in regards to Notre Dame. I’m looking forward to a highly interesting series of posts.

-For any of you out there hurting for an off season football fix I highly suggest that you carve out some time to read The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. In the book Lewis expertly weaves two very interesting stories together relating to the "evolution" of the Left Tackle position. The first is the Story of Michael Oher. Chances are that since you are reading about College Football on my virtually unknown blog in the month of May you probably already know the basics of that story. The more fascinating story in the book is where he explains how the ongoing chess match that Bill Walsh and Bill Parcells had with one another in the NFL evolved into modern day offense and defense. For any football geek that knows anything about how prevalent the Walsh and Parcells coaching trees are in modern college and pro football that portion of the story alone is well worth the price of the book.
As a side note those chooches out in Hollywood have plans to release a movie adaptation of the book this fall which I’m certain they will totally punt into the stands. I'm guessing they completely scrap the Walsh/Parcells story line and focus solely on the Oher portion of the story and deliver a feel good PG-13 dramedy targeted towards soccer moms. At some point I might consider Netflixing it just to see Little Nicky, the Orgeron and Banished Phil play themselves, but I don’t plan to drop a 20 spot on it at the theater.
-Speaking of crappy Hollywood stuff the World Wide Leader plans to do a week long series featuring Notre Dame and a few other programs next week. UHND has all the details for those that are interested in tuning in. Here is my prediction for each riveting "in depth" installment.
WWL- Notre Dame has been terrible the last two years. Charlie Weis is on the hot seat!
ND Players/ Coaches- We’re about to turn this thing around! Mark it down.
WWL- They sure better because if they don’t that Charlie Weis is out of there!

Then they'll cut back to that balloonhead Mark May in the studio who will belt out something savvy like "Notre Dame sucks and I hate them."

-Lou Holtz turned up in the news this week following a speaking engagement with some comments on the state of the Michigan football program. Even more interesting were his comments at the end of the article with his take on the upcoming season for Notre Dame. "Nobody that they will play they can’t beat." That pretty much sums it up.