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Lawyers representing the child abuse victims in the Jerry Sandusky case told the AP last week that "there is a window of opportunity, which is closing" for the school to engage in a settlement agreement. The longer PSU delays, the more likely it seems the case will end in court. If so, "the sky's the limit on what the recovery could be" according to lawyer Ben Andreozzi, who has five clients involved in the case including one who testified in the Sandusky trial.
In a town hall forum on Wednesday of this week, President Rodney Erickson announced that acting athletic director David Joyner would remain in his post until Erickson steps down in June 2013 or 2014.
Joyner attended Penn State in the early 1970s, where he earned All-American honors in football under head coach Joe Paterno. Joyner served on the Penn State board of trustees from 2000 until his appointment as interim athletic director in November 2011 after former AD Tim Curley was placed on administrative leave at the outset of the Sandusky accusations.
All of which begs the question, if university officials hope to dismantle the cult of personality that grew around Paterno, why appoint an insider as athletic director?
Louis Freeh, during the release of his report on the Sandusky case, stated that the "most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State." So why not find new leaders from the outside?
As the university slowly deliberates its next steps, the Nittany Lions continue to struggle on the field. In Week Two, Penn State lost to Virginia 16-17, dropping to 0-2 to begin the season.
New placekicker Sam Ficken missed four field goals including an attempt from 42 yards as time expired. Ficken picked up the kicking duties for 2012 after Anthony Fera, the starting kicker for Penn State last season, transferred to Texas in the wake of the Sandusky trial.
In addition to handling field goals and kickoffs in 2011, Fera was also the starting punter, a rarity in college football. Fera missed three field goals in total last year and became the first Penn State player to be named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for three consecutive weeks. Plus, he's got a nice haircut.
Last Saturday, Penn State finally broke through in what the media characterized as a cathartic first win under new head coach Bill O'Brien. Then again, the victory came over Navy, which came into the game as a 6.5 point underdog. O'Brien should get more relief on Saturday against the Temple Owls - Penn State is a 7.5 favorite.
Western Kentucky is T-O-P-S . . . Tops! Tops! Tops!
In case you missed it, the College Football Report Key Release for this season was Any Team Playing the University of Kentucky. To our mild surprise, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers beat UK in Lexington on a ballsy two-point conversion to win in overtime.
Not only did WKU notch a win over a team from a major conference for the first time since joining Division IA in '08, the program took home a tidy $500,000 check as a supposed sure-fire W for the Wildcats. We imagine Kentucky head coach Joker Philips, who has a middling 12-16 mark since taking the helm in 2010, updated his Monster.com profile on Sunday.
Waiting in the Wings
Why hasn't anyone offered Ohio's Frank Solich a big-time job?
Solich ran a successful program at Nebraska, notching a 58-19 record from 1998 to 2003. After Nebraska inexplicably fired him in favor of Bill Callahan (2004-2007, 27-22), Solich took a few years off from football. He took up the challenge of coaching Ohio University in 2005 and had the Bobcats in a bowl the following year, the first for the program since 1968.
Earlier this season, Solich raised his profile even higher when Ohio won at Penn State on September 1 in what the New York Times called a "signature win."
We have been tracking Solich for awhile now and as much as we would like to see him back at a major program, we would love to see a brand-name school come calling and for Solich to politely decline.
The Volunteers Want to Convert Third Downs, Non-Believers.
All Your Bowls Belong to Us
Entering Week Four, the Big Ten has a total of four teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and one (Ohio State) isn't bowl-eligible.
At the beginning of the season, the media projected Michigan (#8, now #18) and Wisconsin (#12, now "Other Receiving Votes") as the top teams in the conference, and neither looks like a national powerhouse.
Yet some experts predict the conference may send as many as nine teams to the postseason.
Then again, with the proliferation of bowl games (who else is pumped for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl?) and the number of tie-ins for BCS conferences, maybe that isn't so crazy.
Iowa's Throw-Back Uniform Actually Looks Pretty Good
The University of Iowa designed a new uniform for the Hawkeyes game against Purdue on Veterans Day in November.
Much to our surprise, Iowa's special get-up (which was spotted in the wild at a sporting goods store) actually looks pretty cool.
The Free Range Chicken's New Lid Is Hot to Trot
This season, the College Football Report Free Range Chicken will be sporting a Virginia Tech "Hokie Tracks" helmet to protect against brain injuries, sun exposure and radio waves from Mars.
The special one-time helmet, worn last Saturday during the team's "White Effect" game in Blacksburg drew less than positive reviews. Hokies starting quarterback Logan Thomas on the team's headwear: "Our whiteout helmets are so ugly." Not exactly a ringing endorsement. But the magnets look fantastic, and would look great next to a "Calvin pissing on something" decal.
The Chicken's Picks
The Substitute Free Range Chicken filled in last week, going 2-3 as a serviceable stand-in. This weekend, the CFRFRC likes the following games:
* #10 Clemson at #4 Florida State: Both teams are undefeated and the Seminoles have outscored opponents 176-3 while the Tigers allowed 27 to Ball State. We like the 'Noles on Saturday night in a prime time (7 p.m.) game, giving 14.5 points.
* Maryland at #8 West Virginia: The Mountaineers haven't beaten anyone yet. The Chicken is taking the 'Terps and the points, +25.5 on Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Sports Seal Weighs In
The Seal spent the offseason packing on the pounds. As it turns out, krill are very high in calories. The Sports Seal had to give up Ol' Grand-dad this season in the wake of Paterno's passing and, combined with austerity measures,has switched to taking down Walgreens Big Flats by the six-pack. The Seal's pick: don't over-think it, take the Florida Gators (giving 24) over the Kentucky Wildcats. And maybe a few Tums.
Mike Luce is our man on campus. He welcomes your comments.