3-point stance: 'Paterno' offers another look

August, 21, 2012
8/21/12
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1. Even if you’re sick of Penn State, read "Paterno", Joe Posnanski’s long-awaited biography of the late coach. Posnanski enjoyed unprecedented access to Joe Paterno through the last year of his life. Paterno told him to “tell the truth,” whatever he saw. Posnanski lays out what he saw and learned. Where some believe there was a coverup, Posnanski portrays an elderly man who never understood -- even a decade ago -- what Jerry Sandusky had done until it overtook Paterno's 61-year career. It is exhilarating to read of Paterno the man and gripping to read of his downfall. For the fair-minded reader, the book will begin to rehabilitate Paterno’s image.

2. You know the season is close when head coaches announce the winners of their quarterback derbies; i.e., Gary Nova of Rutgers, Taylor Kelly of Arizona State and Danny O'Brien of Wisconsin. But lest Nova and O’Brien believe they have won anything permanent, they should consider Riley Nelson of BYU. Last year, Nelson didn’t win the starting job in August. But he won it in September when he came off the bench and led the Cougars to a comeback win over Utah State. Some players, like Nelson, are better when the bell rings. Some aren’t.

3. Hey, Joe Southwick! No pressure, but when you make your first start as the Boise State quarterback next week, when the No. 24 Broncos play at No. 13 Michigan State, you’re taking with you an AP top-25 streak that dates to Sept. 21, 2008, the day after freshman quarterback Kellen Moore led a 37-32 upset at No. 17 Oregon. Boise State hasn’t been out of the poll since. In fact, this is the first AP poll in which Boise State has been outside the top 10 since the third week of the 2009 season.

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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