Phil Miller's short takes: Aug. 31

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 31, 2012 - 1:05 AM

• Here's another reason why coaches don't like difficult openers.

Michigan's Brady Hoke has to mete out justice for acts committed during the offseason, hurting either his chances of winning or his credibility. Tailback Fitz Toussaint was arrested for drunken driving in July, and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge, driving while impaired, earlier this week. Defensive end Frank Clark was arrested for stealing a laptop. Difficult call, but I think he has to sit them out.

• Wish Bill O'Brien and his Nittany Lions good luck this weekend.

The Penn State scandal was horrific, but O'Brien and the players had nothing to do with Jerry Sandusky and the coverup of his crimes, and they deserve to start enjoying football again. More than 100,000 fans are expected as usual to witness Penn State take on Ohio.

• Let's hope Barry Alvarez is right. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Alvarez said the Big Ten's athletic directors and coaches have agreed to try to schedule two nonconference games per year against BCS-level opponents, in order to better compete in the new playoff system.

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