Friday, November 30, 2007

Ala-ho Bowl

No, not the Hawaiian kind, the kind that sucks.

December 29th, you bring the bottle, I'll bring the negativity.

Yup, I can't wait to see what equally mediocre Big XII team we match up with this year. I suppose my hopes of the Cap One were a little lofty, but we are saying fuck it (or maybe the Cap One is saying buzz off) instead of seeing how the Illinois/Michigan situation pans out...I still stand by the opinion that we are more attractive than two-loss-in-a-row fell-to-app-state just-lost-their-coach douch-bag-winless-in-bowls-and-other-big-games Michigan.

The 'Shitshow' Scenario

Alright, let's just get right into it.

Required key games for 'Shitshow' to become reality:

Tennessee (+8) beats LSU
Hawaii (-14) beats Washington
VT (-4.5) beats BC

Projected Top 14:
1. Missouri 12-1 - MNC Game
2. West Virginia 11-1 -MNC Game
3. Ohio State 11-1 - Rose
4. Georgia 10-2 - Sugar
5. Virginia Tech 10-2 - Orange
6. Kansas 11-1 - Fiesta
7. USC 10-2 - Rose
8. Oklahoma 10-2 - (Cotton v Ark)
9. Florida 9-3 (leftover)
10. Tennessee 9-3 - Orange
11. LSU 10-3 (leftover)
12. Hawaii 12-0 - Sugar
13. Arizona State 10-2 (Sun v USF)
14. Illinois 9-3 (leftover)
Unranked. Penn State 8-4
Unranked. Michigan 8-4

Ok, so we have Florida, who is left out of the BCS because Tennessee gets a Conference Championship auto-bid. You have LSU left out for the same reason. Illinois has largely been forgotten due to the Big Ten's moronic rule of being finished before Thanksgiving.

So lets get down to the best part of 'Shitshow'. The Capital One Bowl might just become the most watched bowl of the season. Their SEC options are an amazing Florida and LSU. On the Big Ten side they are looking at either Michigan, Illinois or Penn State. Now you don't need me or anyone else to explain to you how this will play out, and Les v Michigan bowl game just might be biggest bowl game of the season and it's not even a BCS member.

You are talking about a very weak BCS lineup. Hawaii is a joke but did win all their games. OSU v USC is interesting but they both play again week three of next season. VT and Tennessee are both 'mhu' teams and I don't really give a damn about that game. Even the Mythical National Championship game is soft this year.

All this would mean the Outback bowl really dropped the ball. You are talking about a contest that is just barely hanging on to New Years Day status (why the hell do they start this game at 11:00 am?), and they jumped the gun by selecting Wisconsin. If they would have just taken a deep breath they could have been looking at the chance to get both Florida and the Zookmaster. That is a dream matchup but instead you picked Wisconsin (who's fans will be tuning into the game at 10am local time after drinking all night) to be this weeks Tebo Sacrificial Lamb...not smart guys.

Of course this lands us back where we started, on our way to the Champs Suck Don't Sneze On Me Alamo Bowl, but not getting destroyed in the Cap One isn't a terrible thing, and I can live with December 28th if it means I get to see Les blow out his future employer.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Afternoon rundown...

-BSD is blog-reporting that Kenny Tate will/might attend PSU. This could make our future wide receiving core scary. Prior think of the magic!!!

-So after five years and roughly $512,664 worth of legal fees, the [Name Redacted] has exposed us all to the shocking truth: Paterno makes $512,664 a year. Talk about anticlimactic. It was ruled public information by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court even though the Commonwealth only supplies about 10% of the total Penn State budget. I would share the name of the totally-awesome-investigative douche bags but then I would shed the impression that their nonsense was appropriate.

-PA has produced another highly touted QB for the class of 2009, his name is Tom Savage...damn that is an awesome name. He is currently ranked #64 on the 2009 Top 100 list.

-The PSU Men's basketball team beat Va Tech in a game I didn't realize was even part of the BigTen/ACC slaughter Challenge. PSU is tired of carrying this league's basketball reputation as they are now 0-9 in the challenge with this most recent 8 games to 3 loss.

Wow, that hurts.

So the MSU loss was a kick in the balls. Not so much the fact that the game was in the bag and we coached or way to a loss, no the fact that it made us 8-4 instead of 9-3.

Wisconson has accepted a bid to play in the Outback Bowl. Why the Outback Bowl is giving out invites before the Capital One is something I do not understand, but what I do understand is that, if OSU manages to sneak into the Mythical National Championship game this year (a result of a WVU or Missou loss), that means the Zooker's have a very good shot at getting into the Rose Bowl.

Meaning, a PSU team, sitting with just three losses and winning several games in a row, would almost certainly be offered the Capital One slot over Michigan. We could have been playing for this!

No, not the goofy white man who thinks cheating on kickoffs makes him smart, the wood and metal he is standing next to.

In the end, it might be just fine. Our play calling is pansy like, or quarterback doesn't show up for big games, our defense decided the season ended a month having Tebo run up the middle for 8 yards/carry would not boost moral in the long run.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If Lou Holtz was a gambling man.

The Lou Pep Talks have been well documented in the blog community. He even has is own drinking game. But there is something that no one has yet taken a deep dive into: how terrible a job he really does. I don't mean from a wardrobe perspective, and in fact he does a great job of drawing oldmancrap on the chalk board every week. But as a gambling man I am inclined to take this angle. (Also, if you get to the end of this, I'll pass along the drinking game rules.)

The Kiss of Death, really, was created when he picked what appeared to be a much more talented Penn State team traveling to the Shit Big House. Why the hell did he give a pep talk to the favorite? This would become a trend.

So PSU loses and the curse is born. That's what you get when you put your credibility on the line with Morelli and a belief that our offensive game plan will be competent.

But then he gave the talk to LSU, the #1 team in the nation, and they lost. Why the number one team in the nation needs a pep talk from a drooling old man is beond me, but it happened none the less...but I digress.

Lets look at the point spreads of each game Lou chose this season.

Notre Dame -7 v Duke
Navy +3 v Notre Dame
Nebraska +3 v Texas
LSU -10 v Kentucky
South Florida +7 West Virginia
Penn State -2 v Michigan
Michigan -8 v Oregon
Kansas -1 v Missouri

Lou, pep talks are for those down and out. John, show us how it's done:

Lou has never seen animal house, five of the eight pep talks are to favorites, including the then #1 team in the nation. What gives? My first reaction would be to guess he wanted to bank some wins for his resume, but he started with two favorites...and of course lost both of them. So his record:

Notre Dame beats Duke, 28-7
Navy beats Notre Dame, 46-44
Nebraska loses to Texas, 28-25
LSU loses to Kentucky, 43-37
South Florida beats West Virginia, 21-13
Penn State loses to Michigan, 14-9
Michigan loses to Oregon, 39-7
Kansas loses to Missouri, 36-28

Even taking the favorite half the time, he is still a pretty terrible 3-5. Interestingly enough, the dogs are 2-1, while the favorites Lou banks on severely disappoint, a measly 1-4. So we're commin' up on the thesis:

If you are a dog and Lou decides he is going to put a 1979 version of your school on his head and spit at the camera for three full minutes? Have no fear! Chances are you'll live to see another day. Your the favorite? Better pick up an extra bottle of whisky on your way home this Friday night.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Champs Suck Don't Sneeze on Me Alomo Bowl

You forgot, didn't you? You thought the season was over. It sure feels like it, but oh no fellas, we have one more prize to look forward to, and I'm not talking about this piece of shit:

No, in fact winning a meaningless bowlgame will end with a much better trophy than winning a meaningless Big Ten game beating our hated rival MSU. Check this baby out:

Ya, based on the experts, who have been amazingly wrong in their bowl projections on a weekly basis, we are headed to the Champs Sports Bowl. We could end up several places, but this seems the most likly. There is also a decent chance we could win this hunk of meaningless nothing:

Yup, still cooler than the Land Grant. So not only do you get the trophy, but they blow up balloons of several different colors and through you a party that can only be rivaled by renting out the back room of a McDonalds. FREE FRENCH FRIES FOR EVERYONE!

A large part of this rests on, for the most part, just one game: the Big XII Championship...but more on that later...

Michigan flies out Ferentz

Acording to the ultimate stalker web site Michigan blog,, Ferentz flew out to Michigan for either a nice night out on the town, an interview, or to pick up his newly issued Michigan state employee insurance all depends on which message board you read.

Ya, I don't get it either, but to be honest I kinda like it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pittsburgh, get fake turf already.

Seriously, what the hell are you waiting for? You let eight high school teams play on the field. You allow that excuse for a college to play their home games there. You let them bring half a dozen fans to every contest. You even let this company brag about keeping the field "lush and green." Breaking news in Pittsburgh: your field is not lush or is wet, slippery and shitty. Also, is that Troy Polamalu laying the grass?

Finally, did you forget to paint the lines or what? I've seen dozens of games played in rain and none of them ever wash away the paint. Not even at my old high school.

Now I suppose I have to relate this to Penn State somehow, and in fact it does. You are 2 hours from the premiere turf grass research institution in the nation. They have a fricken Turf Grass Club! Penn State turf grass has been in space. Thousands of golf courses use PSU grass, the filed at Beaver Stadium is, at its worst, wet. On most days, beautiful. The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Pittsburgh turf at halftime

See that? Grass AND lines!

In almost related news: Ted Ginn was the worst 1st round pick every...well maybe not ever...anyway, they passed on a possible franchise player, amongst other talented athletes, for a guy who calls a fair catch on every punt because he's afraid to take a hit.

UPDATE: Its 11:25 and I just want to point out that I will never get these three hours back. Life can be cruel.

Making sense of Ferentz.

Ok, it's simple really, you see...alright, i don't have an f-ing clue what they are smoking up north. Why Michigan, the team that could land just about any coach in the nation including a guy who is coaching the #1 ranked team in the country in the best conference most talented team in the nation, would want a solid yet very un-sexy, un-inspiring coach who turned a group of three star farm boys into a BCS team that was blown out against USC on the back of a four foot quarterback.

But where are his 'big wins'? Where has he proven that he has the ability take Michigan from a second place team to a winning one. Keep in mind that the main reason Carr was forced out was is impotence against Ohio State the last several years. Ferentz record against OSU? 1-5, including a loss to an OSU team that finished 6-6 in 1999. I don't feel like looking when he was hired as an assistant at Iowa before taking over the head job, but I do know that since 1993 (my guess), Iowa is 1-9 against the Buckeyes.

Don't get it, honestly. Kirk has shown that he can take a star-less team and turn then into something worth bragging about. But now you are looking at a coach who has turned the momentum he gained from two BCS bids in three years into a garbage Big Ten team that lost to Iowa State and, somehow, the Central Michigan Chippewas.

All that being said, I hope and pray that Michigan hires this guy. I hope they hire him and I hope he takes JayPa on board to develop their 8 foot quarterback. I am desperate to beat those mitten loving, car welding, academic snobbing a-holes. So desperate that I actually care who they hire as a coach.

That being said, I would be just as happy with Les, the guy is a moron and would be a great succor to Carr in that he is good at taking an immensely talented team and perpetually underachieving. Hes been doing it for three years now.

UPDATE: So it turns out my mad dash to have an opinion about Ferentz could have waited, he is, according to the what appear to be credible blog sources, actually the front runner. Maybe if Lou gives Ferentz a pep talk he will end up coaching Florida International instead. The curse lives!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

And then there was one...

So we managed to fall further behind in the Coaches Poll. Last week we received 4 votes (presumably four spots at 25), and after an off week we dropped to just one. (Who cares I know but run with me on this one.) Now Paterno doesn't vote as the old man has been around long enough to realize it's a waist of time. My guess for the vote is Tressel, he is trying to boost his SOS as it will no doubt be an issue now that they are sitting one upset away from a second straight birth in the Mythical National Championship game. Nothing is public until the final vote so he has nothing to lose.

This all goes back to the insanity that is the Big Ten. There moronic rule about games being over before Thanksgiving is both a joke and a sham. It is a joke in the sense that the rule is amazingly outdated. It was created back when teams played 8 games and the game of football was still, well, a game. It is now one of the biggest businesses in the nation and public perception of your university can earn or lose you millions of dollars. The first year Penn State went to the Rose Bowl, the administration said that applications almost doubled...they went right back down to their normal levels the next year when PSU was not granted such a large national stage. Teams now play 12 games, no bye weeks are alloted for B10 teams, meaning players play banged up all season with no time to rest...and this is a rule that is suppose to 'protect' the players.

But in reality all it does is protect the cash cow that is the OSU-Michigan game. It is the most hyped up game every year, and while I am well aware that these two schools draw bigger audiences than the rest of the league (outside of PSU from time to time), it is not the job of the Big Ten to shamelessly promote the game at the expense of the other 9 members. They refuse to listen to the concerns of the players and coaches of the rest to continue to garnish the OSU-UM game, a game that has become the most one-sided 'rivalry' in the entire league.

Now this really goes back to how we need to leave this stupid league. Ya, I said it. We will never be anything but the third most important team, even when we win the stupid thing. We will continue to get no press in the North East and a declining amount in the Midwest with the stupid BTN. We will continue to lose in-state recruits to teams like Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame because we the league and TV contracts mean we aren't even the most viewed team in our own state. We will continue to lose our pipelines into New Jersey, New York, and DC because even our crap games are now dish-only in those states, and our big games are second to the Big East or ACC matchup of the week.

Now I understand that going from 4 points to 1 is trivial, and it really doesn't matter in the least. And the fact that we are getting 1 point in the poll means be have some serious issues. But what happens when we get this thing fixed? When we are part of a clustfuck of one loss teams and we watch the SEC, or ACC or even Big12 champ jump us two weeks after the UM-OSU game signifies the end of the Big Ten season? What happens when we aren't Ohio State and don't get d*ck suck treatment? When we are left out of a MNC shot because of this league?

We need out of this repressing league, we can no longer be held down by their idiotic rules, their stepchild treatment of us, we must demand freedom! Freedom I say! (or at least membership in the Big East).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Bird Day!

I'm going to take a couple of days off, enjoy the games over the next couple of days.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

bombs away...

Over at RUTS we were allowed to see just how bad PSU's passing offense has been since 2003. Like JoePa's salary this was privy information, but now that the awful truth has been exposed, being a numbers guys, I felt obligated to look a little deeper. PSU has averaged near 7th place, that is by far the worst in the Big Ten:

1. MSU 2.71
2. Minny 3.00
3. OSU 3.14
4. Indy 3.85
5. Iowa 3.85
6. Mich 3.85
7. Wisc 3.85
8. Purdue 4.85
9. Illini 5.28
10. NW 5.85
11. PSU 6.85

As you can see we are WAY behind the pack, WAY behind Northwestern, those purple things that play by the lake. It's shocking at first, but after a minute you realize it has to be right on...our passing game has been...well, shittastic.

But does that really matter? Here is the average Big Ten placing over that time:

1. OSU 1.57
2. Mich 2.00
3. Wisc 2.71
4. Iowa 3.71
5. PSU 4.00
6. Purdue 4.42
7. NW 5.00
8. MSU 5.14
9. Minny 5.71
10. Illini 6.42
11. Indy 6.42

So a quick look at the two lists. The top 5 in pass efficiency have placed, on average in the Big Ten: 8, 9, 1, 11, and 4. That's not great correlation.

So my point is not that these stats don't matter (I think they do), just that fixing this is not going to get us anywhere. It will, however, make our offense a little less painful to watch. Ya, that's a very good word, painful...


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

So many questions, only 8 months to answer them

Some questions were asked over at, now I understand that they were rhetorical but I feel like answering them.

- How does Penn State address the discipline problems going forward?

For starters, Baker needs to be gone, long gone off the team and to be honest, if I were still a student I would want him out of my school. No excuse for the type of WWE Real life smackdown that went down, of all places, at the HUB.

Sub question, and not to deflect any attention, but why the hell does the school have events going on at the student center and have NO security or administration supervising the scene. Even the worthless 'campus police' could have at least called someone before this poor kid was smashed up by Baker and 14 of his 300 pound friends.

- Does Paterno's silent, internal discipline create a culture that signals to players that they are above the consequences of the 'civilians'?

To get down to it, and there is not way for anyone outside of the players to really know this, I have to think the blame goes on the shoulders of the captains. Connor is a class clown, Morelli has no sense of team, and Terrell Golden is not a key member of the team. Golden was the one wildcard, someone who we thought might have slipped under the radar but was internally respected....well that was not the case. This shit didn't happen with MRob was running things, it didn't happen when Poz was steering the ship, yet as soon as the 2006 captains left the power vacuum and lack of leadership created problems. Also, someone explain to me where this "I'm tired of players getting away with things" retoric comes from, who got away with what? Players were suspended, and I don't mean the until we need them Saban suspension either. Maybe I'm missing something.

- Does the PSU coaching staff have the answers to the problems facing the Nittany Lions? If so, why didn't they fix them this year? If not, then what?

Well this begs the question: what are the problems? They aren't easy to define at first without using a broad brush. For example, what the hell happened to the defense? They have been good for 5 and a half years then fell apart against Ohio State. MRob was a receiver and became the best QB in the league, yet no one could developer #14, whos fault is that? The offensive play calling appeared fixed right up until the 4th quarter of the MSU game, whos decision was that to change? I can go all day but I think the answer to the question is no, we are not capable. If we were, we would have won the Big Ten this year...we had the talent.

- What - if anything - did PSU do this year that makes you feel good about next year?

Run the ball. The oline came together and Royster showed he can hit the hole. That will open up the pass game and whoever starts won't be able to complain about lack of tools. That being said, I don't know who is going to develop a QB, and they sure as hell didn't get any experience this season.

- Has the entitlement culture mentality of the current 18-year old player passed Joe Paterno by? Can he relate to this team? Is Paterno just sticking around for a shot at the record?

First, JoePa has not shot at the record. Bowden will be around at least one more year than Paterno and thats really how this thing is going to be settled. They are two games apart and teams play 13 a year: do the math.

Is he out of touch? No, this is forcing a generic rational on a conforming situation. If JoePa couldn't relate then kids would continue to commit to PSU. DWill could have gone anywhere in the nation and came here. King, ditto. We stole two kids from Tressels home town this year and it wasn't because "Joe Pa couldn't relate to kids these days." That is a cop out that posters use without any support.

That being said, are there younger coaches who better understand their players? Sure, but they aren't Joe Paterno, they don't have 5 undefeated seasons and there names aren't known by every football player in America. You take the good with the bad.

Yes, the season is over.

I was going to write some sappy drag on piece like the one on BSD today, but BSD's is actually intelegent and a good overview of all the little shit we delt with this year. There is a lot of this on the blogs this week and I can't help but join the chorus. The fight in August was terrible, it boiled down but then we were left with a team dealing with suspensions and three non-leaders trying (elegidly) to hold together a team that obviously has Pacman Jones type issues.

Here is what is sad: nothing, abso-fucking-nothing, is going to change next season. There is talk that Hall is out, but I assure you Jaypa is not. We have two rookie QBs who have seen ZERO time outside of that Temple merry-go-round. I have to think that they will go into the season with the same type of non-confidence Morelli brought to the table two years ago. I think about the hope we all had that day, only to watch him show zero development in two years.

Enough of the sad story, maybe we'll get some old rag to run our offense and Clark to bring back the MRob magic. The running game looks good, which is both awesome and terrible in that we can sleep well at night knowing we are not in danger watching an exciting offense next season.

Next years brief outline later, i guess, because it's going to be a long eight months and we should get going on the shitty part now.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chear up guys!

Everyone seems so down, with the MSU type loss to MSU, the "U"-esk moment taking place at the frigin student center, and the prospect of playing on December 29th. You could be any of these people:

Get over yourselves.

Enjoy this random video about bowling.

I've been reading a lot of comments, on blogs and boards, about how JoePa should put his foot down and keep this team home for bowl season. This comment is off on so many different levels I don't know where to begin:

1. No one stays home for bowl season, I don't even know if the Big Ten allows it as money is split evenly amongst the teams.

2. Do you really want to recruit all offseason and tell 18 year old kids that they have to work 7 days a week, year round on football, but if one idiot, or a dozen idiots, act like the loser-children that they are, you are going to have to sit around on your arse with your mom all winter?

3. Do you really want the team to give up two months of practice? After what we have seen from the, no.

4. We need the exposure. I don't care if it's the Champs-suck Bowl, we are getting owned in state this year and don't do well enough outside of New York and Virginia to justify passing up a televised game.

5. Finally, its ignorant as fuck. You played all season, most of the kids gave their all every game. There are some great guys on this team, guys like Connor who passed up millions to play for Penn State one more year, to help bring along the other linebacker in the program. Doing this sets a terrible precedent and tells the nation we think we are too good for the reward we deserve.

We didn't lose

anything. To be honest, I got worked up for the game as usual, but what was really lost? Yes, the pride of our defense, or more specifically, the secondary. But was I really going to be excited about the Alamo Bowl? Even if we snuck into the Outback, would an SEC thumping really make me feel better about the season?

At least this way we are going to end up where be belong. Out of the Top 25, out of a New Years Day bowl, removed from relevance.

I could go into the whole "fitting end to a fitting season thing", that was my first thought after I finished up my 15th light beer at 7 pm on Saturday...and while I'm sure that line will be beaten to death on every PSU blog that gets written today, the truth is this game really doesn't reflect the team, or the season, very well:

The team played hard, the linebackers, offensive linemen and specifically Kinlaw had great games. We even thought with an open mind from time to time, faking a field goal! I can't remember the last time Joe called that. Then there was the series on the MSU 23 yard line. PSU fans, sick of the running conservative offense, saw three (terrible) passes all in a row...a far cry from the 1960's red zone offense we have witnessed all season. Morelli didn't through any picks, we won the turnover battle...we even took an early lead on the road.

Yet somehow we blew it. To be honest I hardly care. I sure did, but its Monday and I'm over it. Sure, I wanted that piece of shit trophy back in State College, but is anyone really going to miss that stupid thing? We didn't have to burn all that jet fuel to carry it along and I think I can speak for Al Gore by saying: thank you PSU secondary, thank you for blowing the game, not covering the only two players who were catching passes and letting MSU match right down the field in that half full stadium against a team that wasn't playing for anything...the world is a cooler place because of it and you should be commended.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Big Ten Network gets some stories to run with

I'm glad we have our own network, I'm not sure the national media will be able to handle investigating all the criminal nonsense currently going on...this is where I insert some funny ESPN-esk pun, about "Big Pen"...ya, that'll do.

Currently on the 'headlines' section of major sports 'news' websites:

-Three PSU players charged after on campus fight
-Three Iowa players charged with sexual assault
-Ohio State and Illinois fined $10,000 each after on field fight
-PSU RB Scott (who, by the way is not a PSU RB at all) pleads 'not guilty' to rape charges
-Ohio State player convicted of soliciting a prostitute (yes, he really did offer $20)

What happened to the good ol' days when we only had to worry about coaches punching people?