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Sprints Thinks SEC Coaches are Happy About Joe Paterno, Rich Rodriguez Rumors // 12.28.10

Joe Paterno won't retire, Sue Paterno says
It wasn't a planned interview, so this one really isn't on the folks that normally handle public relations for Penn State. Nonetheless, when your head coach is fighting off rumors that undisclosed health problems are going to force you to retire, the ideal strategy is not to have his family defend him.

But that's what happened when Sue Paterno and daughter Mary Kay Hort defended JoePa against the idea that the Outback Bowl might be his swan song. Sue Paterno:

"We have NEVER talked about it," she said.

Well, that's a strong denial that is certainly at odds with the picture of a frail coach who isn't sure about whether he will return next season. So what did his daughter say to strengthen the case?

Added Hort: "It is not his planned last game."

This is why you let the people that normally handle public relations handle public relations. (Is that crazy? Yes. But remember, this is the world of message boards and sports media that we're talking about.) Everyone is going to focus on the fact that it's not his planned last game, which means it might still be his last game.

Not that any of this will be a distraction to any of his players as they try to get ready to face Florida in the Outback Bowl. But you can crank up the ESPN promos: URBAN MEYER'S LAST GAME MIGHT ALSO BE THE END OF THE JOE PATERNO ERA AT PENN STATE DON'T MISS IT.

We now know that Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio are insane
This being under the cliched definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Quarterback John Brantley, wide receivers Frankie Hammond and Omarius Hines and tailback Jeff Demps all said that the offense will basically be the same that it’s been over the last half of the season, with the Gators alternating three quarterbacks (Brantley, Trey Burton and Jordan Reed) and trying to play with a fast tempo.

That would be the half of the season that saw Florida go 3-3 and lose by 22 to South Carolina in Gainesville and 24 to Florida State in Tallahassee.

Surgery takes Florida players out of Outback Bowl
Janoris Jenkins is your headliner in the group.

The Paterno rumors are nothing compared to Michigan
The Wolverines' players and coaches know that the future of Rich Rodriguez and Co. will likely be decided by whether the team wins the Gator Bowl against Mississippi State.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has said he will wait till after the bowl game to evaluate Rodriguez, whose teams were 8-16 the first two seasons at Michigan and now features the nation's sixth-ranked offense.

Of course, the offense did much better when it wasn't facing actual defenses, and might have been No. 1 in the NCAA if it had been able to play its own defense just once. This is relatively new to the denizens of Ann Arbor, which is why there appears to be so much clucking about the current Michigan program. Again, these kinds of distractions can only be good news for the Western Division Bulldogs.