Penn State coach Joe Paterno held his weekly teleconference today. He seemed a little ornery. Losing to Michigan nine straight times can do that to a person. Here are the highlights along with my perceptive comments:
1. Paterno downplayed his mentioning Michigan to the team immediately following the Wisconsin win. Said he didn't know how long it had been since Penn State last beat the Wolverines. "Is it nine years?" he asked. (Don't let it fool you. He wants to beat Michigan like a rented mule.)
2. He still says he's day-to-day (Aren't we all?) and isn't sure where he'll be for Saturday's game in relation to his injured right leg. He's 5-0 lifetime in the press box, by the way. (Don't bet on Joe on the sidelines. Could you picture him out there with his new cane?)
3. Running back Brent Carter is done for the season with a torn ACL. He'll have surgery and that means freshman Brandon Beachum moves up as the No. 3 tailback. Backup wide receiver Brett Brackett is probably out for the Michigan game after he suffered a concussion Saturday.
4. JoePa doesn't feel vindicated with his team's success this season. "I don't know what I have to vindicate," he said. (How about people calling you an ancient, out of a touch, stubborn fool?)
5. When asked if he couldn't disclose the exact nature of his leg injury, Paterno admitted that it may be his hip. (That means it is his hip. And that means he'll probably need hip replacement surgery after the season.)
6. As is his custom, Paterno wouldn't climb aboard the Daryll Clark for Heisman bus. "Don't get me involved in that," he said. (Hmmm ... I wonder why he's had only one winner in 43 years as head coach.)
7. Has he consulted with doctors about his injury and does he wish to be back on the sidelines? (Waiting for an explosion ...) Said that he's "hoping that he's just not looking up." (At what? I assume the inside of an empty coffin.)