Mark Dent: Hey everyone. Hope you're all having a great week. Feel free to send all PSU questions!
hockeymn25: What do you think the chances are that O'Brien leaves for the NFL? I'm sick of hearing about it already.
Mark Dent: I say zero after this season. There will be too much to buy out.
Mark Dent: With his contract as it is, a team would have to pay close to 10 million to get him to coach their NFL team. That's too much unless you are Bill Belichick.
Mark Dent: And FWIW, I'm not sure NFL teams are as interested as people speculate. O'Brien is a rising star of sorts and has had a good year, but he's still not all that proven.
hockeymn25: Glad to hear that. Everyone thinks hes going. Have you heard about any of the top juniors considering a transfer like Redd and fera? Would hate to lose Robinson for one.
Mark Dent: Everyone in the Supa Six - Belton, Robinson, Carter, Donovan Smith, Barnes and Amos - have said they are staying at certain points of this season. Bottom line is that it will be harder two weeks from now when the opportunity actually presents itself.
Mark Dent: Belton, I'd say, is especially looking like a possible transfer after these last few games. Going to be a wild couple of weeks. And actually, several months.
Wild Bill: Hello Mark, It seemed that the Wisconsin formula to handle Indiana's offense was run the ball and keep them off the field. Should we expect the same from the Lions?
Mark Dent: To an extent. Wisconsin is going to run the ball against anyone with that offense. PSU will probably try to do the same with more passing and diversity. But you're right, expect to see plenty of the Double-Z's early.
Wild Bill: I thought that Nebraska did a good job of not letting Mauti dominate on defense. Did you see it that way, and how did they manage it?
Mark Dent: Yeah, Mauti kind of disappeared that game, at least by his standards - and the rushing defense all together. Neb. just had a good offensive front and talented running backs. In truth, PSU's rushing defense has been leaky all season and Nebraska exposed it as well as anyone has.
Wild Bill: I'm not a subscriber to the "everyone's against us" paranoia toward the Big Ten and its officials. Care to try to change my mind?
Mark Dent: No. There is no conspiracy. JFK is a conspiracy. The Big Ten officials making poor calls is not a conspiracy. I think we can all agree that the officiating has been shoddy, but it hasn't been because the officials dislike PSU.
Mark Dent: What would be in it for the officials to conspire against PSU? Is Delaney paying them bonuses to do it?
yinzer in va: With the season almost over, how many more PSU chats will you have left?
Mark Dent: I have this one, and I'll have one next week. It will be on Wednesday, though, because of Thanksgiving. And it will probably be at 2 p.m.
Mark Dent: And I'll probably do a season wrap-up chat, too, maybe in two weeks
Wild Bill: Jordan Hill amazed me to come back from his knee injury so quickly. Did he make it through without further damage?
Mark Dent: Yeah. He was chatting for a couple of minutes after the game. At least, he didn't say anything about further damage, and he is not even listed on the injury report for this week. Hill is a tough kid, and a really good player to boot.
Mark Dent: I'm very pleased that his injury was not serious. That would've been really bad for him considering he needs to be in top shape to secure a good spot in the NFL in a few months
Wild Bill: We've speculated about players possibly leaving after the season, but what about the coaching staff? Any thoughts?
Mark Dent: Good question. Like I mentioned earlier, I just don't see O'Brien leaving. It's financially implausible and who the heck really wants to leave after just one season? As for the assistants, I honestly think they are committed. Earlier today, John Strollo, the tight ends coach, just called this his dream job. In another year or two, I think defections are possible, but I don't think any assistants are hot enough prospects right now and then B.O.B. is locked in with that huge buyout.
Wild Bill: Given Indiana's leaky defense, who's in the best spot to have a big day on Saturday?
Mark Dent: Zach Zwinak for sure, and pretty much anybody. McGloin could break his single-game passing record again - throwing for 340-plus. We'll also see Robinson break the single-season PSU record for receptions. All he needs is one, and I'm pretty sure he'll get that. PSU should score 40 points in this game. No reason to think it won't.
Wild Bill: Did you see the Auditor General's recommendations on PSU's governance? I thought they were right on: no Governor on the Board, and a smaller Board without the university President among the ideas.
Mark Dent: Absolutely. The governor being on the board is not right. And, as we know from some excellent reporting by Don Van Natta, Corbett used his influence on the board only during last November and had not before. 32 members is crazy. What I can't understand is why some of the BOT has not resigned since last year. Why do they even want to be constantly criticized and screamed at? I'll give the BOT this: PSU is doing better financially and in terms of enrollment this year than I thought it would. But the BOT has a long way to go and having closer to 20 members would be a start.
Mark Dent: And removing the president helps, too. A major problem with the Sandusky scandal is that president Spanier was making too many decisions. The board needs to be independent from the main leaders of the university.
Wild Bill: I was told that the Wisconsin game is now a 3:30 start. Is that right?
Mark Dent: Yep. 3:30
Wild Bill: Waited to ask: your position on the infamous non-touchdown?
Mark Dent: My position: Touchdown. The photographic evidence shows it clearly, and I thought the video evidence was pretty overwhelming. I think referees are always too reticent to overturn calls and that should not be the case. They just need to make the right call.
Wild Bill: Thanks, Mark, I'm all asked out for today. I appreciate you doing these chats.
Mark Dent: No prob. Thanks Wild Bill
Bruce: Think OB will be at SU five years from now?
Mark Dent: You mean PSU, right? It's tough to say. I would say no. I think he likes it here and I think fans like him, but he just seems like an NFL guy. I think his goal is to coach in the league and in about five years or so, he'll maybe have put himself in that position.
JayPa: 8-4 or 7-5?
Mark Dent: 8-4. But my predictions track record has been underwhelming this season. I think the seniors will win that last game, and obviously PSU will beat Indiana.
Guest: Any update on recruiting?
Mark Dent: Can't tell ya much. This is a relatively dead period right now, though. Recruiting is still going on, but you'll see it really pick up in December and January. I haven't heard much about anything for the people in this class. Adam Breneman, though, he'll be in State College in just under two months. Crazy to think
Steve: What players do you think might transfer?
Mark Dent: I say Curtis Dukes for sure. He's said publicly he's not happy. I'd say Bill Belton is a good possibility, given his decreased role. As for others, it's hard to predict. The star players like A-Rob and Deion Barnes have said they'll stay, and the reserves like Mike Hull will be getting starring roles next season. I don't think there will be much of an exodus.
Tom: Any idea if anyof the kids who once committed to Penn State and then bailed might give them a second look after seeing the job BOB and staff has done there?
Mark Dent: Doubt it. Two of the guys who bailed have already committed elsewhere - Ross Douglas to Michigan and Will Fuller to Notre Dame.