JoePa speaks

Penn State coach Joe Paterno held his weekly teleconference this afternoon. Besides having to answer a multitude of questions about the BCS standings and the Lions' national championship chances, it was business as usual for the 81-year-old. Here's an abbreviated version of what he had to say with comments from yours truly in parentheses:

1. Joe wanted nothing to do with any haranguing over the latest BCS standings that saw Texas Tech leapfrog over Penn State. "I'm concerned about Iowa. Period. I don't have any opinion about what's going on," Paterno said. (Joe's playing his cards perfectly. If he comes out and lobbies this early there could be backlash. Penn State still has to win three games. There's no point in publicly stating your case with three opponents still looking to knock off an undefeated team.)

2. Quarterback Daryll Clark (concussion) practiced yesterday and is set to play Saturday against Iowa. (We want Pat Devlin! Just kidding.)

3. Paterno was once again evasive about his injury even now that he's had doctors examine him. (Why? Why?) Even so, he's not going to let anyone get near him with a knife until after the season. (And he's definitely not going to let Graham Spanier get near him with a hook.)

4. He did insert his foot into the fray when he was asked about the perception that the Big Ten is not as strong as the Big 12 or SEC. Sure, he thinks his conference is as good as the others, but he can't say for sure. (Said like a master politician.)

5. Admitted he would be disappointed if, after three wins, the Lions were left out of the national championship picture. Spoke of The Illiad. Said he had no Achilles heal. Couldn't hang himself. Although he might jump from Rec Hall three weeks from now. (Spanier/Greek chorus: "Jump! Jump! Jump! ... That's just a joke. Take it easy, folks.)

6. Was asked the obligatory question about today's national election. Didn't say who he voted for, however. He did say that it was a tough decision. (Which leads me to believe that the life-long Republican voted for Obama. Just a guess.) 

7. Was asked to clarify his injury prognosis. He did a wonderful job of confusing us more. He still doesn't know if he needs surgery. If he does it will happen after the season. (Why is he so scared to name his injury? I understand he's partially trying to keep the attention away from his plight, but if he just answered the question, we wouldn't have to ask it each week.)