Trojan Lion

Those sneaky Greeks!  The Spartans snuck their best warriors into Beaver Stadium . . . we welcomed them amidst cheers and jubilation!–under the guise of a wooden Lion– a fake gift of a homecoming foe in the throes of a mediocre season.

And we fell for it.

What can you say after a 21-17 loss that saw PSU tumble from the lofty rank of 8th in the nation to 18th place in the AP poll (16th in the Coaches who felt sorrier for us.)

I don’t know what to say.  I don’t even know where to begin.

PatrickStar

PENN STATE IN THE FOURTH QUARTER

So I asked myself, as I pondered this dilemma . . . what do my readers want?  (I only have like 5 regulars, and I think a couple of them are on heavy medications.)  Jimmy might by 45 and living in his mother’s basement,  But I digress.

Do you come here for the brilliant analysis of a post game?  I highly doubt it.  I’m not an X’s and O’s kind of guy.  (I hate Tic-tac-toe.)  I know less about the game than the talking heads on ESPN that we all make fun of.  But at least most of them either coached the game at some level, or played the game themselves.  I have done neither.  If I’m no longer your hero, I understand.

Is it the humorous repartee that keeps you coming back?

A Michigan State fan walks into a bar.  The Penn State fan ducks.

Nope.  Can’t be that.

I’m not really sure I know why you come to this site, but I’m going to go out on a limb here.  It’s Fellowship.  Kinship.  An exchange of thoughts and emotions that only armchair quarterbacks and true fans of the game can understand.  Misery loves company, and celebrations are better with more than one person–your mother upstairs doesn’t count Jimmy.  My weekend is ruined–ruined Andre, we’re ruined!–when Penn State loses.  The sun may come up Sunday morning, but I really don’t give a flying fart if we lost.  I’d rather live a dark Sunday after a win, than a beautiful day that mocks my mood after a loss.

We can over-analyze the facts–the stats, the outcomes, until we’re blue and white in the face.  It won’t change what happened.  But there is a catharsis in the discussion; a cleansing of our football souls.

We should have won that game.  And the one before it, but don’t get me started about that again.

Are we over-rated?  Apparently.  Thank you Mr. Obvious.

After last week’s loss, Coach Franklin spoke about Penn State not playing at an elite level.  We were a great team, but not quite at that elite level.  Well, James, I’ve got news for you.  We are not a great team.  Whereas the Buckeyes can make a pretty sound argument for being an elite team, Michigan State?  Not so much.

We lost to a very pedestrian, very mediocre Spartan team on Saturday.  And while the score looked close, we were not very good and quite frankly, we deserved to lose.  I think we are capable of playing better than we did the last two games, but the results do not support that.

And therein lies the rub.

My anger, frustration, dismay, pain . . feel free to throw in whatever adverse emotions you felt as you watched that game play out . . . really comes down to a mismatch between my perception of reality . . . and reality itself.

I thought we were a great team.  I thought we had a chance to go to the play-offs.  I thought this was going to be a special season (and I’m sorry if you are one of those fans that thinks 10-2 is a special season, because IT IS NOT.)  There will be no Big Ten Title.  There will be no play-off game.  No National Championship.

At Penn State, we fans have been spoiled by our school’s historical success.  In any given year, there is only ONE team (in the past before the BCS and play-off committees, there could be multiple titles based on different polls) but even if you allow 2 teams per year to win, the odds of a school winning a title are pretty dismal.  If there are 120 Bowl Division teams, that chance is one in 120.

Yale has the most titles–18–but has not won a national trophy since 1927.

Alabama is second with 15.  Five have come within the last nine years.

Only 60 colleges can claim at least 1 national football title.  Only 43 have more than one.  In addition to Yale and Princeton, that list also includes these schools that either no longer play football, or won’t be considered for a title ever again:  Chicago, Centre, Washington & Jefferson, Detroit, Dartmouth, Lafayette, and Colgate.

Winning a championship is special.  My oldest child was born in 1994.  She has never seen Penn State play for a national championship.

And when a 10-2 season comes down to five points, that is really too close to just dismiss off-handedly.  (I am assuming we win the rest, but hey, don’t bet your money on my predictions.)

Dammit, we were so close.  And with Georgia, Washington and West Virginia losing, we really could have moved up in the world.

As it is, we are what we are.  And it’s not special.

BY THE NUMBERS:

Out of 15 drives by MSU, 7 drives were less than 5 plays.  For PSU, not counting the knee to end the first half and the 13 second “drive” to end the game, the Lions had 14 drives, with only FOUR going for more than 4 plays.

MSU had 25 first downs.  We had 14.  I just shake my head.

Which explains the lopsided time of possession, which the Spartans won by 34:12 compared with our 25:48.

The Box Score listed only 6 penalties for PSU for 41 yards,  It seemed like a lot more than that because some of them were key penalties that kept MSU drives alive without actually yielding much yardage.  MSU had 3 penalties for 20 yards, and two of those were false starts possibly related to the crowd noise.  None of the reviews went in our favor.

Michigan State out gained us 418 to 397 yards.  Just incredible.

INTANGIBLES:

There was not one single intangible that did not favor PSU.  Home game.  Homecoming crowd of 106,685.  Stripe out.  Saquon Barkley and Michael Mauti on the sidelines.  Revenge for last year’s late loss.  The drum Major stuck both flips.  Ranked freaking 8th in the nation with an outside shot at making the play-offs.

We should be glad the NCAA doesn’t penalize us for wasting our advantages.

And to the “next year is our year crowd” . . .  Bull.  Shit.  THIS WAS OUR YEAR!!!  Senior QB.  Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State at home with Michigan being the only road game of any contention.  Next year’s home schedule is Idaho, Buffalo, Pitt, Purdue, Michigan, Indiana and Rutgers.  Woo freaking hoo.  If you are a season ticket holder that likes to sell their tickets, I wouldn’t bother buying next year.  There’s only one game there you’ll be able to sell for any real money.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

The F*CKEYES are still number one.  You don’t need to waste any more time worrying about it.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Indiana.

That’s all I got.

Fighting for a place in that Taxslayer Bowl.  Or maybe James Franklin will take us to the Franklin American Mortgages Music City Bowl.  Cocktails at Mike Reid’s house.

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Bye Week Blues and News

Although Penn State did not play this past weekend, the Lions surged into the Top 10, garnering the 8th spot on both polls.

What happened?

In the Red River Rivalry, Texas upset the 7th ranked Sooners on a late field goal, 48-45.  It was not an easy task as the Longhorns watched in horror as a 45-21 fourth quarter lead morphed into a 45-45 nightmare.  But unlike the Nittany Lions, the Texas offense was able to gain just enough yardage to make a game winning field goal possible.

And then there was #5 LSU.  The Tigers lost to the Gators, 27-19.  The upset caused LSU to tumble to 13th in the AP poll and 12th in the coaches.

And if that carnage were not enough, Auburn was defeated by Mississippi State 23-9.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

In conference play, Michigan (THEM) manhandled the Terrapins 42-21.  It is mind boggling that the only loss Texas has so far is Maryland.

Northwestern upset Michigan State 29-19.  More on this later.

Wisconsin handed Nebraska their fifth loss of the season, 41-24.  That’;s NINE losses in a row for the Huskers.

The Buckeyes rolled over Indiana 49-26.

Iowa beat Minnesota 48-31, highlighted by four interceptions and five sacks by the Hawkeye defense.

Illinois defeated Rutgers 38-17.  The Scarlet Knights are 1-5 with a sole win over  Texas State.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Last year, Penn State suffered a one point loss to Ohio State before losing to Michigan State, after the Spartans were upended by Northwestern the previous week.

photo posted on post-gazette.com

The Infamous Land Grant Trophy.  Shouldn’t the Loser have to keep this for a year?

This year, Penn State suffered a one point loss to Ohio State before playing Michigan State who was upset by Northwestern the week before.  The difference this year?  Well, hopefully we don’t lose to Sparty again.  But this year we had a bye week to regroup.

MSU has lost to Arizona State 16-13 and Northwestern 29-19.  They have wins over Utah State 38-31, Indiana 35-21, and Central Michigan 31-20.

The Spartans are currently unranked.

Game time is set for 3:30 on BTN.  This is homecoming for Penn State.  And a Stripe Out.  Check your ticket to see if you are BLUE or WHITE.

GO STATE!  BEAT SPARTANS!

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What the Buck was that?

Did that seriously just happen? Again?

27-26????  One point?

Like a bad remake of Groundhog Day, Penn State fans relive the same scenario over and over.  They watch their team dominate an opponent for three quarters, only to watch helplessly as the other team mounts a late comeback as James Franklin snatches defeat after defeat from the jaws of victory.

This was supposed to be Back to the Future.  Dr. Emmett White was supposed to go back to 2016 and bring back a Penn State victory over the Buckeyes.  But the DeLorean never made to the requisite 88 miles per hour, as the PSU offense sputtered to a mere 26 points.

EWhite

GREAT SCOTT McSORLEY!

There were at least four plays that conspired to hand Penn State it’s first home loss since 2015.

First, the fumble by Sanders late in the second quarter.  Penn State had smothered the Buckeye offense to this point, and was poised to take a 13 (or possibly a 16 or 20 point) lead into the locker room.  Instead, the Buckeyes took advantage of a short field and pulled within a score before the half.

Second, was the inability of the offense to convert prior to the punt which ended up at the Buckeye 2 yard line.  A first down and few more yards could have put PSU in a position for a field goal.  Penn State was 100% in the red zone this year, but just couldn’t get the ball there.

And while the punt to the two yard line (in the shadow of the student section) should have made a comeback more difficult, play #3 was the defensive let down that allowed the Buckeyes to move the ball to midfield on one play.

And then there was the fourth down play.  WTF???!!!  Two time-outs and that was the best we could come up with?  I’m sorry, James, but this is not about the semantics between a great program and an elite program.  This is about a coaching staff that took the ball away from their best player–a possible, but likely no longer Heisman candidate–and put it in the hands of a player that was having a bad night.

The much heralded return of Tommy Stevens and the Lion position, was well, disappointing.

You may have noticed that I have given no credit to the Buckeyes.  Had they dominated us and deserved to win, I would.  But that is not the game that transpired.  The Buckeyes were pwned for 3 quarters, we gifted them the first score with a fumble and we gave the game away in the fourth quarter by shooting ourselves in the foot numerous times and making poor coaching decisions.  Go on Bucks.  Add another Big Ten trophy to your case.  Get your asses handed to you by an SEC or ACC team.  It will be like Groundhog Day all over again.

BY THE NUMBERS:

Penn State out gained the Buckeyes 492-389 yards.  We also held a small edge in time of possession, 31:39.  Just.  Not.  Enough.

McSorley led the team with 175 rushing yards on 25 carries (7 yards per carry.)  Meanwhile, Sanders had 43 yards on 16 carries (2.7 yards per carry.)

Sooooo, when you need–HAVE TO HAVE–5 yards to keep your play-off and Big Ten Title dreams alive, you would go to . . .

Hello!  McSorley!

INTANGIBLES:

White Out.  110,889 fans (a new Beaver Stadium record.)  Drum Major stuck both flips.  Did not matter.  You still have to play FOUR quarters of football.  You still have to coach FOUR quarters.

EWhite2

McSorley keeps his streak of games with a TD pass intact.

College Game Day was in State College.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

At least we’re not Nebraska.  Still winless, the Huskers were shucked by Purdue, 42-28.

The wolverines had to come back from a 17 point deficit to beat Northwestern 20-17.

Indiana managed to beat Rutgers 24-17.

The Spartans defeated Central Michigan 31-20.

Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland and Wisconsin all failed to schedule games this weekend.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Bye week.

EWhite3

 

 

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Monochromatic Mayhem

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Lions Beat the Nois

So what can you say about a 63-24 victory?

No pinch, no stink, no sweat?  Oh wait, that’s Duluth Underwear.

It is hard to believe, but early in the third quarter, the Illini were actually leading this game 24-21.

But in what has become a signature script for Penn State in the Franklin Era, Penn State played an uninspired first half complete with poor tackling, turn-overs and missed opportunities, then followed that dismal performance by a magical turn around in the second half thanks to defensive adjustments and multiple offensive weapons.  The Lions held the Illini to one touchdown on a trick play in the third quarter, and then powered up their high octane offense for 42 unanswered points, including 35 in the final quarter.

The only thing less inspiring than Penn State’s first half was the crowd at Memorial Stadium.  I suspect a fair number of their fans forgot the game was on Friday, and showed up Saturday wondering when the game was going to start.

A friend of mine went to the game and said he counted six—SIX—fans standing along the Illini Walk to support their team.

Is there any need to break this game down further?  While our special teams on kick-offs and punts (on both kicking and receiving sides) are perhaps the best we’ve seen at Penn State in ages, our field goal kicking leaves much to be desired.  Like, maybe actually making a field goal.  But . . .

Fortunately the red zone offense for Penn State is amazing.  Our red zone scoring percentage for 2018 is 100%.  Of course, so is Tulane’s.  They only had one opportunity against the Buckeyes but made the best of it.  They missed the PAT.  (In case you are wondering, Ohio State’s red zone–in Columbus they call it the Scarlet Zone–scoring percentage is 87.5%.)

Did I say the kicking team was doing well?  TWO out of bounds?  But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln liked the play and said she’d “definitely” see it again.

BY THE NUMBERS:

Trace McSorley extended his streak of games with a touchdown pass to 32.

Miles Sanders ran for 200 yards on 22 carries.

Penn State rushed for 387 yards as a team.

Time of Possession was almost equal:  PSU=29:55 to ILL=30:05.

INTANGIBLES:

I believe I wrote that this was Penn State’s first ever Friday night game.  The last time Penn State played on a Friday was 1982 versus Pitt.  Used to be a Black Friday staple back in the day.  But I don’t think those games were played at night.

Sean Clifford is 5-5 on the season.

The series record is in PSU’s favor, 19-5.

Penn State is ranked 9th on both polls.  We are ranked third by Sagarin.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

The Buckeyes trounced Tulane 49-6. Urban Liar made his triumphant return.

THEM outmatched Nebraska 56-10.

Wisconsin edged Iowa 28-17, but the final score was late and the Badgers were trying to run out the clock and ended up running into the end zone.

The Boilermakers upset the BC Eagles 30-13.  BC had just broke the Top 25.  Well, so much for that.

The Spartans defeated the Indiana Hoosiers 35-21.

Maryland took care of business, defeating Minnesota 42-13.

And Rutgers continues their impressive losing season with a crushing loss to Buffalo 42-13.

MEANWHILE . . . IN . . .

Norman, Oklahoma, the fifth ranked Sooners survived a scare from the Black Knights of Army, winning 28-21 in OT.

Blacksburg, Old Dominion upset the Hokies 49-35. The Hokies were ranked 13th.  Unlucky, huh?

Boone, NC, Appalachian State took Gardner-Webb out to the woodshed.  72-7!

Kentucky, the Wildcats knocked off Joe Moorhead’s Mississippi State Bulldogs 28-7.  Wow!  I wonder if that might be the fewest points one of his offenses have ever scored.

LOOKING AHEAD:

Can you smell what The Lions got cooking?

Apparently, the Buckeye Fans were chanting “We Want Penn State” to Kernkraft 400 during their game against Tulane.

I was not expecting a rival today, yet here we are.

The Buckeyes are 4-0 and their head coach is back.  Bosa is out.

The season so far for Ohio State:  Oregon State 77-31, Rutgers 52-3, TCU 40-28 and Tulane 49-6.

It’s early in the season, but Ohio State’s opponents are a combined 5-11.  Our opponent’s are a combined 7-8.

Maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but I am going to predict a Penn State win by at least two scores.  Why?  Because I’m an idiot is the easy answer.  But if you want some method behind this madness . . .

Night game.  White out.  We beat them in 2016 when they arguably had the better team.  We should have beaten them last year–when they still arguably had the better team.  I am not sold on Dwayne Haskins–I don’t think he is as good as JT Barrett was at this point.  TCU took advantage of an up-tempo offense that seemed to throw Ohio State off.  If we can replicate that tempo . . . with better offensive weapons than TCU has . . . well, you do the math.  Carry the one.  Divide by pi.  Whatever.

Now, that said, if we start out slow like the Appalachian State or Illinois game . . . or don’t play four quarters (we only played three last year against the Bucks) and we turn over the ball more than they do, then all bets are off.

I just have this feeling we have been holding back.  We haven’t seen much blitzing on defense.  We have given up some yardage, but we always seem to lock things down when we need to (fourth quarter vs. App State the exception, but I really think we underestimated them greatly.)  We will not underestimate OSU.

GO STATE!  BEAT BUCKEYES!

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Memorial Stadium–RIP

The Chicago Tribune ranked the Big Ten Venues for their football experience.  Is it any surprise that Penn State is #1?

1. Penn State

More than 100,000 fans descend into a cozy Pennsylvania town every home football weekend and transform it into one of the grandest parties in college sports. Lots open on Thursday night as a pop-up town of white tents and RVs clusters around Beaver Stadium. Students set up camp for first-come, first-served seating in their section, helping build anticipation before game day. Stroll through the tailgating area before kickoff and you’ll likely be invited to share a beer or brat under someone’s tent. It’s hard to beat the raucous atmosphere of a whiteout during a night game in State College with fans chanting: “We are. Penn State.” The downside? Traffic is miserable with a two-lane road in and out of town.

And our current opponent today?

#12.  Hey, at least they beat out Rutgers and Maryland!

12. Illinois

Give Illinois credit for working to enhance its game-day experience in recent years. The self-dubbed “Littyville” includes a new Grange Grove, an “Illini walk” of fans cheering the players as they march into the stadium and a pregame fan fest with local bands and bouncy houses for kids. That’s the good. The bad: Memorial Stadium is one of the deadest venues in the Big Ten. The student section is rarely full, with many opting for the bars — or maybe even the library — instead of the stadium.

That is not what you want your review to ever say . . . THE LIONS DEN is one of the DEADEST VENUES . . .

GO STATE!  BEAT ILLINI!

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Flash-eating Lions

The Penn State Nittany Beast extracted it’s pound of flash from Kent State, en route to a 63-10 feast on a nearly perfect weather day for football. After being told all week to prepare for rain (the groundhogs were apparently wrong) the weather was anything but bad–perhaps even too hot for the fans in the direct sun.

But it was not all fun and games.

KSUmascots

“I do NOT taste like Chicken!”   Photo by Curtis Chan

The Lions scored on the second play of the game, only to have the points erased by a holding penalty. The offense bogged down after that and we ended up punting. However, the Kent State Flashes would have none of that, and repaid the gift we gave them by roughing our punter. We went on to score.

7-0. We’re looking good. Everyone in the stadium was confident of a victory now.
Kent State took possession and moved the ball to midfield. On a fourth and five play, we jumped off-sides. Gift possession arrow shifts back to KSU. They capitalized on our mistake with a forty seven yard pass play (I believe we were off-sides again so it was another free play.)

7-7. With just over five minutes played, the Flashes have already scored more points than Pitt did in an entire game.

They executed an on-sides kick. We were apparently not prepared for that (more on that later.)

I’m in the shade of the North end zone upper deck, but now I am sweating too. It’s de ja blue all over again. It was only two weeks ago on this hallowed field that Appalachian State recovered an on-side kick (in a situation we should clearly have been prepared for . . . fourth quarter, time running out and they were behind) that sparked a comeback in regulation to force an over-time.

But the Nittany Lion coaches and players were not rattled like the fans, and managed to squelch any chance of KSU taking a lead. BTW I will refer to Kent State as KSU, and the stadium announcer should do so as well. Kent State and Penn State sound exactly the same over the sound system. We could never be sure who was doing what if we didn’t actually watch the game!!  Frog protection?  Fraud protection!  Was that penalty on Penn State?  Yes.  Kent State.

KSU would add a field goal off a tipped INT by McSorley. The Flashes had first and goal from the seven–and then the five on a pass interference call.  But the defense was stifling, and they did not allow a point in the second half.

The offense and special teams used a number of weapons to “run up” 9 touchdowns (seven different people scored) including a highlight reel, record setting play by back-up QB Sean Clifford who hit Daniel George for a 95-yard TD pass that is the longest play from scrimmage in PSU history.

And we didn’t run up the score. Two of those touchdowns were scored with Clifford in the game and if you knew we had a Daniel George or a Jonathon Thomas on the roster before they scored, I commend you. That’s like knowing what the tenth digit of pi is.

Despite covering the point spread and then some, and showcasing amazing talent and depth on both sides of the ball, there are still sportswriters, fans, and pundits who are predicting gloom and doom as Penn State heads into the meat of our schedule. Three touchdowns called back by penalties. Nine penalties for 95 yards. How many dropped passes???? I read things like Penn State can’t beat Ohio State playing like that. Someone sees at least four losses.  (They also see dead people.)

Wait. What???

How many points did we need to score against KSU to be considered a worthy opponent for Ohio State? 80? 100? What is the critical mass of penalties allowed in the past that predicts the future success of a team?

Granted, penalties can–and will–kill you, depending on where and when they occur. I would think it would be pretty hard to beat Ohio State if the referees take three touchdowns off the board for us.

But folks, calm down. This was NOT Ohio State. Kent is in Ohio, but that’s as far as the analogy goes. And while James Franklin can claim that each game is a Super Bowl, the players and coaches he’s preaching to are not that stupid. I would be willing to bet that every single player on that squad was pretty sure PSU would be victorious at the end of the day, even despite the scare by Appalachian State.

It is nearly impossible to maintain the focus and intensity against an opponent like Kent State. Sorry, Kent, no offense. Literally. You have no offense. But you are what you are. Don’t spend all that money we gave you in one place.

And Penn State did what they needed to do to win. We managed to get out without any injuries. Ask the Buckeyes (who saw Bosa go down with a groin pull) if that is significant. We didn’t lose. Ask Wisconsin (or Nebraska) if that is important.

Our back-up defense didn’t even give up any points in garbage time. If you only started watching PSU football in the post-Paterno era, you don’t know what that means. From 1966-2011, I can’t count the number of games I watched PSU’s second or third string give up meaningless touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the final score look less impressive. It was maddening!!! The Indiana game in 1994 might have cost us a national championship. Our second and third string are still ahead of anything Kent State can throw at us. Depth will be important against teams like Ohio State, which apparently we have no chance of winning anyway.

When was the last time you saw an elite team (ranked in the top 25) boot an on-sides kick in the first quarter with the score tied? Anyone? McFly? Catching us with our proverbial pants down was embarrassing, but in no way an indicator of performance against the better teams in our league. I remember Glenn Mason’s Minnesota Gophers catching Paterno off-guard two years in a row by on-side kicking the opening kick-off of a half. But Minnesota is NOT an elite team either. I rest my case.

I’m feeling pretty good about this squad now. Always room for improvements. But I see us getting better.

BY THE NUMBERS:

McSorley extended his streak of consecutive games with a TD throw to 31, which currently leads the NCAA.

We are tied for 10th with one-loss Washington (no respect, no respect at all) in the AP poll and 9th in the Coaches Poll.

We compiled 643 yards of total offense. Still won’t be enough against the Buckeyes. We might need a thousand. God, we’ve got some work to do.

We had nine penalties for 95 yards. Lost in the shuffle, though, was KSU’s 83 yards on 10 yellow flags.   The net is a twelve yard difference.  Barely a first down.  Sometimes teams play to the level of their competition. There’s no way our players could be more focused for Ohio State in prime time, during a whiteout at night, than they were against Kent State. We are soooo doomed.

INTANGIBLES:

The crowd attendance was 106,528. Enthusiastic but not as loud as the App State game. Didn’t need to be. We’re saving our loudest and best cheers for Ohio State, even though we can’t win that game.

KSU won the coin toss and elected to defer–didn’t screw it up like Pitt.  Didn’t matter.  We’re going to need to win 12 out of 13 coin tosses to beat OSU.

The Drum Major stuck both flips.  He’ll need to stick about 20 if we have any hope of beating Ohio State.  And that clarinet player–you know who you are!–better step up their game.

THE BIG (TEN) PICTURE:

Where do we even begin?

If not for a second half collapse by TCU, Penn State might have been the Big Ten’s flagship team after the carnage this weekend.

The Badgers lost at home to BY-who? 24-21. Hey Badgers, I got you a play-off spot. Oh, so close. Gotta be quicker than that. They haven’t lost a non-con game in Camp Randall since 2003. There is no way in freaking Hell, Michigan that they can beat Ohio State. Well, they don’t play them in the regular season, so they’ve got that going for them.

Nebraska lost to Troy. Troy! Do you even know where that school is? It’s in freaking Alabama! All the good players go to The Alabama University of Saban or Auburn. Nebraska is 0-2 for the first time since 1957! That was like way back in the 1950’s.  Did they even wear helmets–or shoes–then? There is no way Nebraska will ever beat Ohio State!

Northwestern lost to . . . wait for it . . . wait for it. . . AKRON. The Zips! 39-34. It marks the first time Akron has beaten a Big Ten team since . . .wait for it . . . wait for it . . .1894! 1894! They used to hold up stone tablets on the sidelines and use smoke signals to send in plays! I think they used a real pig back then instead of a football. It was dead, but a pig nonetheless. And they weren’t even called Akron . . . they were Buchtel College. They managed a win incognito! They beat . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . OHIO STATE! Yes, for 124 years, Ohio State was THE only Big Ten Team to lose to the school that would become Akron. Northwestern has ZERO chance of beating Ohio State. (They don’t play in the regular season, and if you think Northwestern has a chance to win the Big Ten West, well, you , you . . . well you’re wrong. That’s all I got. I’m not going to waste a good zinger on some loser that thinks Northwestern can play football.)

Maryland lost to Temple? 35-14? Temple couldn’t beat an egg. They lost to Villanova (and we’re not talking round ball here) and Buffalo (the school, not the Bills.) How does this happen????

Oy vey! South Florida beat Illinois 25-19!  I pity the fools that have to play Illinois next week!

Kansas demolished Rutgers 55-14. Ok, that’s not a surprise at all. But Rutgers and Kansas combined . . .oh, throw in Missouri and Temple too . . . all combined couldn’t stay on the same field with OSU.

Surely Purdue did better. Nope. I got nothing here. They lost to Missouri 40-37.

Did anyone besides Penn State win this weekend in the Big Ten?

OK–THEM (Michigan) lassoed SMU 45-20.

Indiana had a larger margin of victory over Ball State than Notre Dame did, winning 38-10.

Minnesota beat Miami (OH) 26-3. Go gophers. The west is wide open for varmints like you.

Iowa defeated Northern Iowa 38-14. Would that be like us playing Erie?

And the Buckeyes. Best team in the damned land with or without Meyer out horned the horny toads 40-28. Pssst. Don’t tell anyone, but TCU was leading 14-13 at the half. It’s our secret.

LOOKING AHEAD:

We shouldn’t even bother playing Illinois, since there’s no way we can beat Ohio State. But, be that as it may be, James Franklin is going to take his show on the road to Champagne for Penn State’s first regular season Friday night game ever against the Illustrious, Industrious Illini. Game time is 9 pm Eastern which is probably around 8 in Illinois. It’s 5:00 somewhere.

This game has all the hype and excitement of a high school game between two non-rivals. If Penn State loses this game it will be because of BOREDOM.

And because it’s a freaking Friday night. That’s just wrong on multiple levels. But it will be a good excuse. When a golfer doesn’t shoot par, there’s always an excuse–the wind, the course was wet, etc.  Never is it because I can’t golf.  If we lose–it’s because it’s FRIDAY!

Nebraska should be playing this game instead of us–as punishment for losing to Troy. There’s a Troy, Ohio. But this school is in freaking Alabama. I googled it. I kid you not. And they beat Nebraska. Do you remember when we beat them in 1982? They were something back then. They’re something now but it ain’t a good something.  I appear to  have digressed here.

So far, Illinois has beaten Western Illinois (is that like us beating Pitt?) 34-14, and an impressive 31-24 victory over the Kent State Flashes. Didn’t somebody just maul the crap out of them?

Penn State is a 27.5 point favorite over the Illini.

I look for another comfortable win, with maybe a slow start. Don’t expect any razzle dazzle. We be keeping that stuff under wraps before the Buckeyes come a knocking. Like it’s going to help. We have no chance in that game.

GO STATE! BEAT ILLINI!

PS(u): You know who else can’t beat Ohio State? The Steelers. Not a chance.

PSS:  A lot of folks predicted Pitt wouldn’t win an ACC game after last week’s loss to us.  They beat the Ramblin Wreck of Georgia Tech 24-19.  Could it be these pundits don’t know what they are talking about????

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