NCAA football has no tears for Joe Paterno

Jul 17, 2012 3:00 AM

If there was ever a time for Las Vegas books to take a break last week was it.

Thanks to baseball’s All Star Game, there’s was no major betting action to be found Monday, Wednesday or Thursday. Some would argue after the NL’s 8-0 sleeper, there was nothing that day either.

It would have been the ideal time for a Del Mar trip, but the track doesn’t open until the end of the month. So my solution was several days of talk radio, seeing good friend Craig Cantor sing Sinatra, Elvis and Neil Diamond to a full house at Grape Street (see pizza slices) and visiting the Rio for the WSOP.

Sports talk radio is on overkill with Jerry Sandusky hate, Dwight Howard nontrades and Drew Brees salary deadline. As for Howard and Brees, I’m bored. Sandusky’s child sex scandal is another matter since Penn State football is relevant to our college football betting.

As for Sandusky, his crimes are lower than low and all those, especially the late Joe Paterno, behind the coverup are guilty. As for Joe Pa’s legacy, I refer to the 1994 Terentino classic Pulp Fiction for the proper response.

When Marcellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) and Butch (Bruce Willis) became allies instead of enemies after each were tortured at the gun shop, the question arose “what happens between you and me?”

“There is no you and me,” Wallace said. “We’re done. Just leave town and don’t come back.”

Well, that’s the way it should be with Paterno. He’s dead and throwing more salt on that wound isn’t going to solve anything. Paterno has no more legacy. All the good he did at Penn State is erased. Death, ironically, is his escape.

As for the common question of “whether I should send my son or daughter to Penn State?” my answer is absolutely yes. If this despicable act were to happen again, which in today’s world is likely, I would think Penn State would be the last place it would reoccur.

Now back to football and the collateral damage all the negative publicity has dumped on less than “Happy Valley.”

The Nittany Lions have a new coach, quarterback issues and a whopping 500-1 preseason odds (LVH) to win the national title.

According to Rivals.com, Penn State ranked 15th nationally in recruiting this past season. Not bad considering all the baggage. By the way, in case you were wondering, the top five are Michigan, USC, LSU, Texas A&M and Notre Dame in that order. Florida was sixth.

The 2012 schedule is promising. No Michigan or Michigan State, while hosting both Ohio State and Wisconsin. Nonconference games are all winnable – Ohio, Virginia, Navy and Temple. The toughest road game appears to be Nov. 10 at Nebraska.

On the surface there’s no reason the Nittany Lions shouldn’t equal or exceed last season’s 9-4 overall and 6-2 Big Ten mark. The issues are handling the post Paterno era and deciding on a No. 1 quarterback, who preferably can throw a pass beyond 10 yards.

GamingToday digs deeper into college football previews when Jim Feist provides his annual Top 40 list next month. For now, I’ll recommend an early futures bet with value on South Carolina at 50-1 (LVH).

This should be Steve Spurrier’s best team in Columbia, plus the SEC boasts the last six national champions (Alabama 2, Florida 2, LSU, Auburn).

PENN STATE SCHEDULE

(home games in CAPS)

Sept. 1, OHIO; 8, at Virginia; 15, NAVY; 22, TEMPLE; 29, at Illinois.

Oct. 6, NORTHWESTERN; 13, bye week; 20, at Iowa; 27, OHIO STATE.

Nov. 3, at Purdue; 10, at Nebraska; 17, INDIANA; 24, WISCONSIN.