Remember this commercial (OK, I’m dating myself a bit here):
I can’t remember the last time I was looking forward to a Penn State football game like I am looking forward to this weekend.
Maybe 2005? Or 2010 when Joe Paterno won victory #400 over Northwestern?
Since the sanctions in 2011, however, PSU football changed. No matter how well they performed on the field, there was no ranking. No polls. Who cares who won the Ohio State-Michigan game? Or if Washington wins? I didn’t even pay much attention to the polls the past five years–until a few weeks ago.
Bill bless-his-heart O’Brien made watching the games fun. He might go for it on fourth down on his own twenty yard line. You might be elated by a 4 OT win over the wolverines. But you might witness Penn State’s first and only loss to Indiana in football.
I was getting tired of the old argument . . . the sanctions. No depth. Not enough talent. Will take time to get back on top. Anticipation . . .
Yet, here we are. Tied at the top in our division. Almost to the Big Ten Championship game. Perhaps even a few lucky breaks away from a bigger prize . . . .
Spartans. Spartans. Spartans. Focus, Todd.
Must. Beat. Michigan State.
One game at a time.
The team that really has the conundrum is Michigan State. I may be going out on a limb here, but even despite the ugly Land Grant Trophy that is up for grabs, a win over Penn State this weekend would be bittersweet. The Spartans aren’t going anywhere in the post season regardless. And a Spartan victory would send Michigan or Ohio State to the title game, and possibly a national championship. I may be wrong here, but I doubt Michigan State fans loathe Penn State as much as they loathe their in-state rival, or the long history with Ohio State. If I were a die-hard MSU fan, I might actually root for Penn State this weekend.
Of course, a Michigan win over the Buckeyes will put a considerable damper on things, but all will not be lost. I almost feel kind of dirty rooting for the Buckeyes. But these are strange times we live in. I’m no fan of the wolverines either, and I can enjoy a victory over Harbaugh as much as one over Urban Meyer. In this case, I could really enjoy it. A happy Meyer begets a happy Lion.
So . . . .
GO STATE! BEAT SPARTANS!
and LET’S GO BUCK-EYES!