Headlinin’: Penn State strikes out on Coach Pete

Making the post-Christmas morning rounds.

The quest continues. A member of Penn State's search committee has made two separate trips to Idaho in the past two weeks, according to the Harrisburg (Pa.) Patriot-News, in a dogged attempt to do what so many others before him could not: Lure Boise State's Chris Petersen away from Boise as the Nittany Lions' new head coach. Like the rest, he's also returned home empty-handed. In a little less than a month, Petersen has turned down $4 million from UCLA, shunned the most high profile vacancy in America and probably — I'm just guessing here — been forced to politely but firmly remind a Vegas showgirl or two that he's a happily married man.

Meanwhile, Penn State's search drags on (and on… and on…) with no clear frontrunner and few viable names outside of the current staff — and in a clean-house situation, they're only viable if there are no outside options. Which may be the case: It's been 47 days since Joe Paterno was ousted in November, and the longer the search goes, the more obvious it seems that the post isn't going to filled until after the new year. [Patriot-News]

One step at a time. SEC commissioner Mike Slive added more fuel to the "Plus One" fire last week, telling the Birmingham News that he would "have to think very hard about the plus-one absent other kinds of changes" to the current BCS format. Slive was the main advocate for a plus-one — in effect, a four-team playoff among the top teams in the final BCS rankings — in 2008, when he and ACC commissioner John Swofford backed a proposal that was shot down by the other power conferences without discussion. The "swing vote" in that case was the Big 12, which appears to be considerably more open to the idea now that its conference champion has been snubbed for the BCS title game in favor of the SEC runner-up.

"For the last six years, looking at it from our own prism, we were better off without [a plus-one]," Slive said. "The current format worked great for us [in the SEC]. If I knew that for six more years it was going to work this way then I wouldn't be for the plus-one. But I think the law of averages catches up over time." [Birmingham News]

I guess it really is the "Million Dollar Band." Speaking of the current format: Alabama and LSU are expected to spend close to $1 million between them just to get their marching bands to the BCS Championship Game, a significant chunk of it due to colossal ticket prices. For its band, LSU is ponying up $185,150 to buy 529 tickets for $350 apiece — the highest face-value cost for a BCS ticket, due to the primo location near the field. Alabama's band will need approximately ten more seats, bringing its tab for tickets alone to $188,650.{YSP:MORE}

"We want the band there, but they take up 500 tickets. We have to buy those tickets, and tickets for this game are unbelievably expensive," said LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, who told the Baton Rouge Advocate that the university has budgeted a little over $2 million to cover all expenses related to the game. "If we spend more [than their share of the payout from the SEC], it's our fault. If we spend less, we make money. But in a lot of bowl games, it's a losing deal." [The Advocate]

See also… Clemson, which expects to lose $185,000 on its trip to the Orange Bowl. The two major expenses? Tickets ($390,070) and lodging ($576,696), both purchased at face value as part of the university's contract with the bowl game, whether it's able to sell them or not. (Hint: It's not.) As of late last week, Clemson had sold roughly half of its 17,500 tickets from the Orange Bowl, and will have to pick up the tab for the rest.

"There is a perception problem; it's not a windfall," said athletic director Terry Don Phillips after Clemson cleared a whopping $26,986 from last year's trip to the Meineke Car Care Bwol. "You just want to be able to break even. Sometimes you don't even break even. But there are significant benefits. You get some extra practice time. And anytime you can get on national television, it continues exposure for your program, which is very significant value." [Charleston Post & Courier]

We hardly knew ye. Three weeks after being voted the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year, Utah State tailback Robert Turbin announced on his Twitter feed Friday night that he's giving up his senior season to throw his name into the NFL Draft. Turbin reportedly hasn't received his evaluation from the league's Draft Advisory Committee, but considering his production (he easily led the WAC in touchdowns and finished second in both rushing and yards from scrimmage) and his injury history (he missed all of 2010 with a torn ACL), there's probably more to lose in 2012 than there is to prove. [Salt Lake Tribune]

Quickly… A quarterback transfer from Arizona lands at Oklahoma State. … Danny Hope gets an extension at Purdue. … The Orange Bowl caves to pressure to scrap a sponsorship from Camacho Cigars. … Pittsburgh sizes up its new head coach. … Will Muschamp wishes Florida had been more physical during preseason camp. … And Mike London puts his money where his mouth is for the sake of Virginia's new practice facility.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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