Joe Pa retire? Not on your AARP

Oct 11, 2005 5:36 AM

All is Happy in the Valley, now that legendary Joe Pa has returned to the land of the elite.

Back off on all those AARP coaching jobs and retirement packages to New Mexico. Erik Estrada has to wait. Paterno isn’t going anywhere except to 6-0 after Penn State held serve before nearly 100,000 "white-outs" in a stunning upset of Ohio State.

A few hours after the Nittany Lions established themselves as the new team to beat in the Big 10, UCLA stepped forward to become the major challenger to top-ranked USC in the Pac 10. No disrespect to Cal, a stud team, but Powder Blue is all set up schedule wise for a full-fledged assault against the Trojans on Dec. 3 in the L.A. Coliseum.

Our channel flicking produced other quick observations.

”¡ Mack Brown can return to Austin in peace after an expected burial of nemesis Oklahoma, which we predicted. . . Vandy’s bubble popped against LSU in a painful fourth quarter for all who love betting underdogs.

”¡ A tip of the cap to Baylor and Central Florida — two ”˜have-not’ programs quietly putting together memorable seasons.

Baylor, at 4-1, finally has more wins than suspensions for the first time since J.R. was shot. And George O’Leary, who ”˜could’ tell a lie at Notre Dame, somehow has produced three straight wins at UCF after 16 straight losses, including last year’s 0-11.

We cleared the Mendoza Line (over .500 for handicappers, .200 for batters) and hope for better results this week.

Last week: 6-4

Season: 31-30

Colorado +19 at Texas: The Horns will still be celebrating OU by the time that big Buffalo arrives in Austin from Boulder. The Buffs are road-tested and a very live dog to catch the Bevo napping. COLORADO.

Indiana +16 at Iowa: The "Who-siers" are 4-1 and nobody cares. Time to return to earth against a Hawkeyes bunch off a nice win at Purdue. IOWA.

Georgia -16 at Vanderbilt: Scheduling LSU and Georgia back-to-back is normally nuts. But upstart Commodores get Dawgs flat coming off that big win at Tennessee. VANDY.

Miami, FL —41 at Temple (53): The Owls should move the game to Yom Kippur and forfeit. UNDER.

San Jose St +32 at Boise St: How about Boise’s struggle with Portland State on the blue turf? Not likely to play two straight lemons. BOISE ST.

K-State +13 at Texas Tech: The Wildcats barely escaped Kansas, scoring all of 12 points. Texas Tech will take that gift win at Nebraska and shove the pigskin down this bully’s throat. TEXAS TECH.

Penn St +3½ at Michigan: Lloyd Carr lost that Little Brown Jug to Minny. He needs the scalps of Joe Pa and Ohio State to save his job, in our humble opinion. MICHIGAN.

Army +23 at TCU: The Cadets will fight hard, but not enough infantry to stop these Horned Frogs. TCU.

La Tech +1 at Nevada: All of a sudden Reno is scoring more points than Janet. NEVADA.

Memphis +9 at Houston: The Tigers have been a bust even with D’Angelo Williams running the ball well. Host Cougars will score, score, and”¦HOUSTON.

In the NFL, that retirement issue regarding Brett Favre can also be tossed. Favre had a field day against the Saints. Unfortunately, the 52-3 embarrassment will likely cost New Orleans head coach Jim Haslett his job — just behind Houston’s Dom Capers.

Houston, we definitely do have a problem. Coach Dom Capers will take the brunt of the storm after getting blown out at home again, this time by a mediocre Tennessee bunch. Give Titans coach Jeff Fisher full marks for making chicken salad out of a team with basically Steve McNair.