1. Glenn Thompson, the Republican Congressman whose district includes State College, sent a letter to the White House on Monday signed by 16 of his Pennsylvania colleagues nominating Penn State coach Joe Paterno for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Two Pennsylvania congressmen, Democrats Paul Kanjorski and Chaka Fattah, did not sign the letter. I’m sure they have their reasons. But isn’t that akin to declining to endorse Santa Claus?
2. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said Sunday that his Cowboys are more athletic and faster than they’ve been in years. “We just don’t have as much experience,” Gundy added. That reminded me of a coaching truism I first heard from Georgia State coach (and former ESPN colleague) Bill Curry, who described a defender with a slow 40 but always got to the ball before everyone else. That skill comes with instinct or experience. If Oklahoma State lacks the latter, it better hope for the former.
3. The snakes just keep on biting at Tennessee. In week one of practice, coach Derek Dooley lost two defensive line starters, end Ben Martin and tackle Marlon Walls, to Achilles tendon injuries. Dooley is inventive in trying to shore up the roster attrition that comes from having three head coaches in three years. Freshman safety Brent Brewer is a refugee from the Milwaukee Brewers farm system. Vol All-American sprinter Evander Wells came out for football when his track career ended. On Sunday, Wells tore an ACL.