Thursday, January 31, 2008

ESPN Recruiting Update: Part II.5

Welcome to Part II

I promised this post in Part I. But was then distracted by Part Old Man, so here is Part II. I think I have to offically refer to this as Part III, although techniqually its "Part 2.5", the problem is I don't know the Romen Numeral for one half, so "III" will have to suffice. Regarding this.

Purdue: "Purdue has been consistent but has failed to rise as a serious threat for the Big Ten title and crack the inner circle of dominant teams that Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State have formed...Under Tiller the Boilermakers have been unable to land an ESPN 150 prospect and likely will not by signing day this year either."

Big 11th Says...I kind of regret doing this thing now. You forget how many mediocre teams there are in the Big Ten until you start going through them. No gamebreaks are in this class, sorry. Also, Penn State is still part of the "Circle of Dominate Teams". Cool, I think.

Michigan State: "This Michigan State class is heavy with in-state prospects as 12 commitments hail from Michigan. The Spartans have shown an effort to recruit their own turf hard...another interesting aspect of this class is no junior college additions...His current class does not compare to in-state rivals Michigan or with Big Ten power Ohio State but does have some positives."

Big 11th Says...So MSU is landing some instate recruits, something usually only Michigan does. Maybe this has something to do with Michigan taking over Pennsylvania. Maybe, I don't know.

Northwestern: "Northwestern, long regarded as the most 'academic' of the Big Ten institutions, has decided not to recruit this season...Long road trips in prior years, according to most recruiting and financial experts, have not been worth the gas money."

Big 11th Says... Ok, I made that up, sorry. What he really said was "Much like their season, the Wildcats will very likely finish near the bottom in the conference recruiting rankings." So, quickly, think about everything thats happened to our basketball team over the last five games. Northwestern recruiting is kind of like that.

Indiana: "The Hoosiers struggled some to defend the pass in 2007 and have not done much to address that with the 2008 class..."

Big 11th Says...See Purdue, and photo under post header.

Minnesota: "Lauded for his recruiting abilities, [Tim Brewster] has worked hard to not disappoint, planting roots in Minnesota and going nationwide looking for talent. Minnesota has landed at least one verbal from prep prospects in 11 states outside of Minnesota, spanning from California to Florida....On the prep front, [they land] a pair of defensive tackle pledges ready to help a run defense that ranked 114th."

Big 11th Says... Thank god I got through this thing. Minnesota is a hell of a school to end on since, you know, they lost to North Dakota State, which can't be good for recruiting. Brewster tricked a couple people to play football for him. I wish them all luck.

In conclusion, doing a wrap up of all the Big Ten teams is just not worth it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Penn State Trys

I did something I've never done before: I listened to an entire PSU basketball game on the radio (via the Internet, of course). Here are some second half notes I made while working listening to the game (radio quotes in italics):

Target 10 was a failure. Total attendance was listed as 10,956. That includes the 1,000 tickets the Big Ten Network bought, plus all the alum ticket 'sales' to old people who live (and are) in Virginia. I don't know how many people actually showed up, but I'm pretty sure it was a lot less than 10,956. To give you some perspective, the VT game this year had just over nine thousand, and the home game against Minnesota was listed at 10,934.

I have a feeling the $75 they make from the Michigan State game will go to THON anyway, but no one will care because that's about 00.00125% of what they are going to pull in this year.

Two random 1st Half stats:
-PSU commits one turnover.
-PSU outscores OSU in fast break points 15-2 in the 1st half (PSU has averaged 10 per game).

"PSU is out hustling OSU. They must out hustle them, it is one of the keys to winning this game." This is when I decided to listen to the rest of the game.

"I haven't seen this much zone since Syracuse played themselves." Haha, good one [looking around the room, pretending I get it].

Andrew Jones is playing his ass off.

"PSU must hold on from the 12 to 8." He is talking about the time on the clock. Apparently they didn't against Indiana and the game got out of hand. This kind of "12-8" nonsense is what radio people love to say because it sounds good but doesn't really have much factual basis. The thing is he might actually be on to something.

Ed doesn't buy it and puts the subs in at 12. Things immediately get out of hand. We can't even score. He was forced to call a timeout.

12:00 to go, down 45-44
08:00 to go, down 52-44

Wow, radio guy says to hold on from 12 to 8 and PSU doesn't score one single point.

You know things aren't looking good when the local radio guy starts sentence with "If you are a long range Penn State basketball fan, you like...."

PSU just fouled OSU 5 times in 16 seconds.

Well, that was fun...sort of. I was harsh earlier in the week, but the team woke up and gave it a good shot last night. That's really all you can ask. This is at least a step in the right direction.

ESPN's Recruiting Update, Old People

Change of plan. Penn State will be given it's own post because, well, this is a Penn State blog. Part II, seriously, will be later today.

Penn State"Unfortunately, the stagnant class could stem from 81-year-old Joe Paterno still hanging in there and not offering the spark often needed to relate to the younger generation of prospects. However, tradition still sells and no one coach in college football represents more tradition than Joe Pa himself."

Big Eleventh says... This is really all a ploy to talk about JoePa's age and, separately, his marketability.

The MSM has reminded us, almost weekly during the season, that Joe is old. They do it again here. Reporters love to comment on how Joe can't "relate to the younger players these days" because it seems to make sense. Problem is, it just isn't true. This years class lacks flash, but just in the last 5 years, off the top of my head, Joe has been able to relate to Connor, Scott, Morelli, Williams and King. All very highly ranked and talked to by dozens of other younger coaches. All chose Penn State. It's not Joe's age that is the problem, it is his style. The problem with saying he's too old is that he has been doing things the same way for 30 years. Almost nothing has changed since his first winning season. His name alone can be enough to win over a recruit, but his style is no longer mainstream and some people just aren't interested. The prospect of waiting 2 or 3 years is becoming more and more of a problem when there are coaches who are willing to plug guys in right away.

As for the marketability comment, I think this guy is on line but his comment is a little misleading. Joe and Graham get along great. Joe likes to coach, and Graham lets him do this. Graham like to make money, and Joe makes this happen. It's never been about football for it's own sake inside Old Main. Each game is really just another fundraising event and if people keep donating regardless of the scoreboard then the scoreboard doesn't matter.

Oh, recruiting, right. We are loaded at linebacker, have a couple of decent RB's out of Ohio, and probably aren't getting Pryor. Ohio State has been to two MNC games in a row and Michigan just landed a very high profile coach...all while we finished our second very average finish in a row. These are our recruiting problems, not old age.

Not that any of you care, but there will be a Part II, I promise.

ESPN's Recruiting Update, Part I

Why is FSU not suing ESPN for using their logo?

ESPN sent one of their child stalkers out to grade the Big Ten recruiting classes. I'm doing this is pieces because all this work warrants more than one post. Eleven quotes and one liners, First half:

Ohio State: "The Buckeyes currently have 18 total prospects heading into signing day with close to half claiming spots in the ESPN 150....Arguably one the better offensive lines assembled in the Class of 2008 and maybe in the past few years."

Big 11th Says... Nothing sucks worse than seeing Ohio State rack up damn near USC type talent, but now that they've been doing this for several years I'm getting used to it. The offense line thing scares me, though.

Illinois: "Not an overly flashy class with just one ESPN 150 member....The skill positions were emphasized in this class after last year saw a focus on the offensive and defensive lines."

Big 11th Says...If you want proof that the football world is upside down and that Paterno is no longer effective on the trail, look at how far ahead Illinois is landing talented players.

Michigan: "Lloyd Carr certainly established a top-15 class before announcing his retirement, but the big question for Wolverine fans is whether recently hired Rich Rodriguez can add some weapons before signing day to fit his explosive spread offense run at West Virginia...Pryor...Pryor...Pryor...Pryor..."

Big 11th Says...Pryor...Pryor...Pryor...Pryor...Pryor...Pryor.

Wisconsin: "Much of last fall's struggles stemmed from a disappointing defense that led the Big Ten in 2006; four top-25 positional prospects should help...[qb recruit's] dual-threat abilities could open things up a bit more in Madison with [recruit] at the helm."

Big 11th Says...Wiscy never seems to make much noise, but everything seems to turn out fine. The opposite of PSU, really. They were vastly over-rated during the 2007 preseason, but did establish themselves as a respectable program and seem to be upping the talent level there.

Iowa: "As long as Kirk Ferentz is at the helm, Iowa should continue to bring in good prospects that my lack the ideal measureable that garner elite status but fit his system well...[also arriving is the] son of Kirk and a good player in his own right."

Big 11th Says... Iowa bringing in undersized players is not news. Also, in case you wanted to know, this is what little Ferentz looks like.

Second half, including Penn State, later today.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Target 10?

What the hell is this? No, not the part about Erin Andrews showing up in Happy Valley tomorrow night, something else.

There were two very worthy pictures of Erin, and posting this one was the hardest decision I've made all day

Ah, fuck it.

What the hell was I posting about? Oh ya, Target 10. First of all, this name is terrible. I can't wait to see it printed on thousands of t-shirts with some kind of crappy target on the front.

So, the low down:
Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin and Erin Andrews will be in the Jordan Center for the "Super Tuesday" game that is part of ESPN's "Student Spirit Week." Penn State has issued the "Target 10" challenge asking 10,000 students to pack the arena for the game. If the goal is met, all student ticket sales for Penn State's match-up with No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday will be donated to THON 2008.
So let me get this straight: they are still letting Brent Musburger call games with Erin Andrews? No, sorry, I'm getting off topic again.
In December, Nittany Lion basketball announced the "Target Ten" challenge, a partnership between Penn State Basketball and The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) 2008, that encompasses the Ohio State game on January 29th and Michigan State game, set for February 2nd. Penn State is calling for an unprecedented 10,000 students to pack the Bryce Jordan Center for the nationally televised January 29th showdown with the Buckeyes on ESPN. If the goal of 10,000 student tickets sold is reached, then all proceeds from $5 student single game ticket sales for the following game vs. No. 10 Michigan State (Sat., Feb. 2) will be donated to benefit THON 2008

Penn State is asking students to "support THON" by showing up for the Ohio State game. If they make enough money by coning students into showing up for a horrible basketball game 10,000 people show up, Penn State will donate the ticket proceeds from the following game, against Michigan State.

The following game? Seriously? So you'll cash in on the 10,000+ students that show up for the Ohio State game, but then will totally shaft THON by giving them the proceeds from a game that will earn a small fraction of what you are making tomorrow? I'm no THON cavalier, but this doesn't really add up for me. It's not even the ticket proceeds from the MSU game, but just the $5 student ticket sales from that game.

Using THON to bolster profits? Nice guys. At least you are clever about this whole 'greedy bastard' thing, I have to give you that.

Update: In a move that reeks of desperation, the Big Ten Network (ya, I hate them too) has decided to purchase 1,000 tickets to help make the announced ticket sales number respectable. This thing is becoming laughable. (H/T: BSD, of course)

Down 2-0...Game Must Be Over

I know Claxton is out for the season, and as the then second leading scorer in the Big Ten, this was a devastating blow, but come on. You guys were playing Iowa. Iowa! They were 2-5 in the Big Ten leading up to this game and very beatable. So instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to end a long and painful losing streak, Penn State lays a total egg.

18:09 left in 1st half: losing 0-5
10:21 left in 1st half: losing 2-13
05:07 left in 1st half: losing 9-26
18:05 left in 2st half: losing 21-32
06:27 left in 2st half: losing 37-51
00:00 left in 2st half: losing 49-64

Two points in the first 10 minutes? You guys might not have all been five star recruits, but you were good enough in high school to earn a full scholarship at a Big Ten school, and two points in ten minutes means you just don't give a shit. Iowa isn't that good.

Not that I didn't know this team was done trying. I figured that out when I read this over at BSD:

"At one point they zoomed in on Cornley's shoe where he had written "Geezy #5" on them as a tribute to Geary Claxton. Hey Mel, he's not dead you know. He's sitting right there on the bench. I saw him."
Mike lays it out perfectly there (which isn't a surprise). Injuries happen, ya it's sad but it doesn't mean you have to give up against Iowa after they pull ahead 2-zip.

There are a lot of things wrong with the program: the coach, the venue, the alum ticket policy, recruiting, the fact football casts a large shadow, I can go all day...but the reality is nothing will change until the players and coaches start dealing with a little adversity.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Quck Hitter: Timmons, Baker, Bowman & Basketball

Timmons, Baker, and Bowman are off the team. Some are saying they might return, but only because no one has specifically said otherwise. This whole thing has been a long and drawn out story, there were two very embarrassing incidents and about 15 "breaking news" stories on the MSM sites. Hopefully this one will be the last. Everyone needs to grow the fuck up.

Moving on...

I was sitting on a couch one December and turned on the Penn State-Northwestern basketball game. Here is the situation:

The first half is coming to a close, I cannot remember the score but it was close in a very non-competitive way. Northwestern is bringing the ball up the court, attempting to get one final shot off before intermission. The unathletic guard attempts to pass the ball down low but fails. The ball misses the intended target completely and flies out of bounds. The announcers are handed a piece of paper from the stat guy and proclaim: This game has now tied the Big Ten record for most turnovers in a half.

If you thought the story was over there, you were wrong. There are 5 seconds remaining and Penn State has an inbound below their own basket. The play is a Hail Mary to the other side of the court. With no one guarding the inbounder, the Penn State player throws the ball 6 rows deep in the stands, near midcourt. It never even bounced in bounds. No time had run off the clock. I was dumbfounded. Not even in my 5th grade rec league games did I ever witness such horrible basketball.

This, my friends, catapulted this game into sole posession of the record, it would stand alone for most turnovers in one half...and what a way to seal the deal.

Anyway, that was the worst basketball game, to this day, I have ever watched. Tomorrow night's game might be worse.

Update: I'll admit this post kind of sucks, but you have to admit I was right. That Iowa game was dogshit.

Recruiting Is Creepy: 2009

I've tried to explain that I don't like to follow recruiting. Besides the fact that most of these lists simply aren't right, there is also something very strange about learning the names of high school seniors all around the country.

It wasn't until EDSBS sucked me in with their Curiosity Index that I ended up at Rivals. They have some how ranked the Top 100 players of 2009. I didn't get into names here because, like the title of the post explains, that would be creepy. But I am obsessed with stats and so here are a few:

-USC has landed the #1 recruit in the nation who, as is often the case, is a quarterback from California.

-Of the 100 "Top" recruits, only 10 have made commitments. Of the 120 D1a programs, only 5 have received commitments. You probably guessed that Penn State is not one of these programs and you are right. By School: USC 5, Ohio State 2, Michigan 1, UCLA 1, Alabama 1.

-Of the 100 "Top" recruits, 4 are from PA. All appear to be considering PSU. None appear to be driving Corvettes.

So lets review. USC is owning shit, as usual. Ohio State and Michigan are getting big name recruits, as usual. My post lacks a proper conclusion, as usual. You didn't learn anything from this post, but thanks for reading it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How Bad is Penn State Basketball?

So bad that, instead of bragging about how Purdue kicked the Nittany Lion's ass with a bunch of freshman, Boiled Sports decided that Youtube highlights of Mike "A-Train" Alstott runing over helpless Hoosiers on AstroTurf was the only thing worth commenting on today.

For those of you interested in the carnage, here's your recap. I made an attempt at a basketball analysis piece but just couldn't stomach it after the second paragraph. Speaking of something that will make your stomach hurt, this will give you motion sickness. It is just as ridiculous as last nights contest, but a lot more fun to watch.

The original version of "basketball on grass":

Dan Connor only Lineback U Grad to attend 2008 Senior Bowl

Dan Connor will be the only Penn State representative at the Senior Bowl, being held this Saturday in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

This means a couple of things: we don't have very many stand out players, we don't have very many seniors, and finally, that we aren't USC. They have eight (eight!) players on the roster (by the way, someone at ESPN can't count). Next year's OOC opponent Oregon State managed two. Notre Dame, after a 3-9 season that included a loss to Navy, somehow landed three players; this of course includes the most over-rated defensive player of the decade, Tom "Golden Gloves" Zbikowski. Did you know he is a boxing champion? I bet you did.

The Big Ten managed eleven representatives: three from Michigan, two from Indiana and Purdue, and one each from Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa and MSU. This begs the question, where the hell is J Leman? I still can't believe this guy's parents got away with naming him the 10th letter of the alphabet.

This mug never gets old

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Where Are They Now: Jan Jagla

This came up in a conversation today so I feel obligated to pass it along. In involves a very a very large European who once stood damn near up to the ceiling on my buddie's living room wall:

Ok, this isn't the actual poster that I remember, but instead is Jan standing next to a grown ass man who comes up to his knees.

I wondered whatever happen to him, I mean 7 foot tall people don't just disappear, do they? Per his wikipedia page, which was apparently written by his mother:

Jan-Hendrik Jagla (born June 25, 1981 in Berlin, Germany) is a German professional basketball player. He spent three seasons (2001/02-2003/04) at the Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania before turning pro. He went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft. He was signed by the Los Angeles Clippers for their 2005 training camp, but cut from the roster later. Though he stands 7 feet tall, Jan has the game of a 2-guard, and his game much resembles that of Dirk Nowitzki. Jan was also known to be a point forward in his college days, and would regularly bring the ball up the floor....He played for Türk Telekom B.K. of the Turkish premier division with high expectations for the 2006/2007 season. He is currently playing for Joventut Badalona from Spain. [emphasis added]

Dirk Nowitzki? Ok, my hockey game "much resembles" that of Paul Coffey, only I am not as quick, strong or smart. My shot is also much weaker and I do not have his vision. I also do not have my own line of hockey sticks...all minor details.

While that's all good stuff, this is the best part:
Always a fan favorite at Penn State, Jagla could often be seen at local bars and nightclubs, where he was eager to sign autographs. In fact, fans so loved the 7 foot star that Penn State's Student Bookstore ran a promotional campaign passing out Jagla "Measure Up" posters at Penn State Basketball games

So there is the "Measure Up" poster I was talking about (but cannot find, anyone with better search skills is encouraged to email me a link). I do remember seeing Jan often, but I think is was more a function of his height than anything else. As for the rest of it, I don't have much to add except that everyone at Penn State can "often be seen at local bars" and as far as I know there are no "nightclubs" in State College (for the record, a bar with black lights is not a nightclub, it is a bar).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fulmer Cup Update: Penn State On The Board, Sort Of

Photo via EDSBS

Just eight short days after the announcement of the Fulmer Cup Theme Song, Penn State is on the board. Last year's runner-up makes the top five despite not scoring a single point, which is...impressive?

Well, the replay official in the booth can't decide if Baker being re-ordered to stand trial, an offense that was perpetrated last season and scored then as well, should be allowed to re-count.

My take? I'm with EDSBS on this one, it's a tough call. On one side, you have the kid showing up on ESPN every month for the same crime, so to simple count it as one assault appears to understate the stupidity of the whole thing. Then again, just because they show the replay of a late first half touchdown in the third quarter doesn't mean said team should be allowed an additional six points on the scoreboard.

For the record, we were this close to having a full blown Big Ten Fulmer Cup Preview with some of our Big Ten brotherin, but like the 2007 Penn State football team, it lacked leadership (my fault) and therefore never reached it's full potential. Look for some kind of mid-Fulmer season poll down the road...

You Stay Classy, Notre Dame

Remember this play? When the 90th best team in the nation visited Happy Valley?

Well over at Wizard of Odds, it is up for "Cheap Shot of the Year". Don't forget to vote!

Monday, January 21, 2008

So You're Saying There's a Chance! Coaching Edition

Tony Dungy is going to stay with the Colts. Prior to this announcement, the team had announced Jim Caldwell the would be successor. Caldwell is a former Penn State assistant coach and current QB Coach to Peyton Manning. You may remember last week when a radio station in Pittsburgh heard a Pitt Grad say he heard his friend mention that Jim Caldwell will be announced the next Penn State head coach.

The rumor circulated (here too) but did not stick.

Now this doesn't mean much except that this guy, who has been interviewed for several NFL HC jobs over the past couple of years, isn't in charge of the Colts...yet. For the record I think Caldwell is the absolute best case scenario replacement for JoePa. Here is part of the reason why (from his Colts profile)

Caldwell joined Penn State as wide receivers coach. He then coached quarterbacks the following season and added passing game coordinator responsibilities in 1988. At Penn State, Caldwell tutored QB-Kerry Collins, who went on to win the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top college quarterback and the Maxwell Award as the nation’s most outstanding player. Caldwell has coached in six bowl games and won a national championship with Penn State in 1986.
It would be the Weis effect on recruiting without the arrogant nonsense that comes with it. It would finally be the relief to our passing game that my liver so desperately needs. Chances are still slim, of course, a couple more years and he can probably get an NFL job. But if it turns out he wants a shot at college ball, and the Colts continue to string him along, we just might get lucky.

Former Penn State Player NFL Hero

Former Penn State DT Jay Alford was the hero last night, laying down a beautiful game winning long snap in overtime to seal the deal against the Packers. With his hands numb from three and a half sub-zero hours of football, Alford was called on by his team and came through like the champion he is. This has confirmed previous claims by NFL experts that he is the greatest third round pick since the merger.

New York Giants' Hero Jay Alford wearing his two favorite watches

Jay Alford and the New York Giants will face off against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Friday, January 18, 2008

JoePa To Talk With Employer

Really? This is news? Really? They are going to talk over the next couple of months. Months?! That is on the front page of ESPN and SI right now.

I don't have much to add except to comment on this specifically:

"Good planning requires we do that in all sports, in the back of your mind, you have a backup plan in place," he [Curley] said. "It wouldn't be something that I'd want to state publicly what I'd be thinking, but hopefully a good manager has that in their hip pocket."

In other words, Curley doesn't like the FSU succession plan. At least not in the long term, publicly stated sense. I'm ok with this, if for any other reason the FSU thing isn't fun anymore. This is. It can be painful too, but that's life I guess.

Do I think this is a good move? I'm not sure. Yes? On one hand it calms everyone down, which is nice. But then again it might not. This meeting is held annually and I can't remember the announcement of it being as big a deal as this one is. It's better than not saying anything, so I have to give them that.

My Last Terrelle Pryor Post - Where Is He Headed?

For a while I had decided that I was simply done with this thing. I don't really care where the hell he ends up. It would be great to have him, and he appears to be the real deal, but we have quarterbacks. I'll have do a little research before I can tell you for sure, but my gut feeling is that our program will survive life without Pryor.

So here it is, the final round-out...Where is Terrelle Pryor going? Where is Terrelle Pryor headed? Terrelle Pryor to Michigan? Terrelle Pryor to Ohio State? These google searches and more, after this short message.

For most of the past two months the Ohio State fan base has tried to convince everyone that he will be a Buckeye. This might be true, but when I posted this, I heard from two different places that Ohio State had given up recruiting him. That Michigan had pretty much signed the kid.

Despite that, three of the four 'experts', to this day, pick OSU as the final destination of their #1 ranked recruit.

However, the Detroit Free press has passed along a story, via ESPN, that Pryor has totally eliminated all schools on his list except for Oregon and Michigan (although some at ESPN still think OSU is a distant third rather than non-existent).

This is all just a couple days after Pryor announced that LSU was on the list.

Penn State remains on the list, technically, however Pryor did cancel his final visit to the school.

I'll send all this to NASA and have them figure out exactly what it means, results will be posted upon arrival.

Keep in mind that this is the same kid who called Rivals at 3am to report that he had added Duke to his list. Duke has never been on his list. This kid is making a mockery of the whole process and I love it. Good for him. I hope he goes to Temple and admits at signing day that was the plan all along.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow and DC

Note: This is not football related, at all. Just want to point that out before you leave with unwarranted expectations that I did not meet. For today's football related post, click here.

A conversation that happened in DC today...

Paterno Lives!: Will everyone please calm the fuck down, it's just snow.
Paterno Lives!: Please don't, that isn't a good way to handle this. Why doesn't everyone just drive normal, like you did yesterday, only maybe put your cell phones away. And you, NOVA Suburbanite, stop trying to read that book and drive.
Paterno Lives!: Please man, just drive like a normal person and put the book down before you slam into me. You're in a fucking Escalade and you'll crush me.

NOVA Suburbanite eventually goes too fast on the highway and slides onto the shoulder after almost hitting the back of my car. He honks his horn for no reason at all. He then rides along the shoulder because this is obviously some kind of emergency that would require that kind of action. He never puts his book down.

Paterno Lives!: Please old man, don't freak out, its just snow. You are old and probably can't drive anyway, so just stay inside until the one snow plow in this city gets out here.
Paterno Lives!: OLD MAN! Stop that shit, if you move that care you are going to really fuck things up and I'm going to end up sitting on the Key Bridge for an hour while the police come out here and clean up your mess.

The Georgetown Old Man moves his car anyway. He gets about three turns out of the wheels and then starts sliding down the hill on 35th street, crashing into polls and other cars. He eventually ends up at the bottom of the hill, right where the Key Bridge let's you into DC. Traffic totally stops, the Police show up and don't let anyone move. The Old Man's car is sitting in the middle of the street, he gets out of it and leaves it there. I sit for an hour and wait for the carnage to be cleaned up by the police, who are in no hurry by the way.

Paterno Lives!: Damn you Old Man, Damn you! Damn this city!

The Bottom Ten and PSU Schedule

Before the season started, many people (myself included) were a little upset that three of the four teams on our out of conference schedule managed to make ESPN's Preseason Bottom Ten.

For those of you not familiar with the Bottom Ten, it doesn't necessarily represent the worst 10 teams in D-1a, but it's often pretty close. Even though Wyoming's band uniforms often make the list, this ranking can often be used as a fairly good gage of what the public perceives as teams that "really suck ass".

Now that the final Bottom Ten is out, I thought I'd do a quick reflection.

Preseason Bottom Tenners On PSU's 2007 Schedule:

Florida International Airport
2006 Record: 0-12
2007 Preseason BT Ranking: #1
Score vs PSU: L 0-59
2007 Record: 1-11
2007 Final BT Ranking: #3
Recap: Ah, FIU. They were horrible last year. Then this happened. They suspended and removed twenty-something of their already not very good players, but managed to actually win a game this season. One game, against North Texas. But one game is a step up and I'm happy for them. I don't really have anything else to add here. They finished 170 in Sagarin's Rankings, meaning they were beat out by 50 D1aa squads. That's bad folks. Ok, I'm done kicking this school while they are down.

2006 Record: 1-11
2007 Preseason BT Ranking: #3
Score vs PSU: L 0-31
2007 Record: 4-8
2007 Final BT Ranking: unranked
Recap: Anyone who watched this team play PSU had to leave wondering how the hell the Owls managed to shut themselves out. This is essentially what happened. They where in the red zone several times in the first half only to turn the ball over or miss field goals. I was actually very impressed with the Temple team even though the stadium had a high school junior varsity feel to it when you realized no one was there. Anyway, Temple started MAC play for the first time this season and managed a very respectable 4-4. They had ranked UConn by the balls before the Big East refs literally game the game away. All in all I was very impressed with Temple and I think they have turned things around.

2006 Record: 2-10 (one win against Temple)
2007 Preseason BT Ranking: #4
Score vs PSU: L 24-45
2007 Record: 5-7
2007 Final BT Ranking: unranked
Recap: Like Temple, MAC member Buffalo turned things around and finished 5-3 in conference play, good enough for 5th place. Buffalo and Temple use to own the bottom two spots for a long time, and it wasn't until they played the Nittany Lions that they really turned it around. Coincidence? Yes.

Relevant New Additions to the Bottom Ten Final:

Notre Dame
2006 Record: 10-3
2007 Preseason BT Ranking: unranked
Score vs PSU: L 10-31
2007 Record: 3-9
2007 Final BT Ranking: 'waiting list'
Recap: For a recap of Notre Dame's season, go to any MSM site and click on any link, it will be about Notre Dame.


2006 Record: 6-7
2007 Preseason BT Ranking: unranked
Score vs PSU: n/a
2007 Record: 1-11
2007 Final BT Ranking: #8
Recap: We didn't play Minnesota. We didn't play Northwestern either. These two schools were the two worst in the Big Ten. No one gives a shit. The SOS police will see Minnesota and will hold that against us anyway, so it's important to note how bad they are.

Final Thoughts... Penn State, even in the dark ages, had almost always managed to beat the second tier teams. Dominate them, really. It wasn't until we started Big Ten play that things usually got out of hand. Even this year, with a very average team, we shut out two of these schools and dominated Buffalo the entire first half. We let the hype get to us for the ND game, but after we settled in the Emu was give about 1.3 seconds a snap to get rid of the ball.

I don't really know what the point of this post is. This is too bad because I just spent a lot of time on it. I suppose I was worried going into the season that playing three of the worst five teams in D1-a was going to hurt us, then we lost to Michigan and Illinois and it didn't really matter anymore. I don't like crappy games, they are a waist of time. The game ends up on the Big Ten Network and I spend $75 on beer and wings because I had to go to the bar to watch the game. Nothing sucks worse than paying $5 for a Miller Light. I guess that's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Universe's Crual Catch-22

I was watching a video at EDSBS. Youtube does this tricky thing now where, after you finish watching an embedded video, about five other 'related' videos preview on the bottom of the viewing window. These videos are rarely related. Well after hearing the former Alabama interem head coach run his mouth like a 75 year old man on amphetamines, I accidentally (I swear) clicked on this 'related' video:

These girls are all in college, which answers the question "How in the world can someone go through life being that stupid and never be called out on it?" That question, of course, was asked after I watched this video for the first time:

But this is not the point of this post. The point of this post is answering this question: would you rather have the tailgating lots filled with good looking girls in dresses like the ones above? Or a fan base, both male and female, that actually knows what the hell is going on? One that doesn't huddle up to give the coach a randomly assigned B+ but rather has a real opinion. Girls that go to the game to watch the game instead of oh-ill-just-put-vodka-in-my-swite-and-ill-be-good-to-go-til-half-time-when-ill-leave-because-ill-forget-where-i-like-am.

You didn't come here for answers and I have none. I'd love to say I like Penn State the way it is (guess which option that is?) but I've also never tailgated in the south. Then again, I really hate being around stupid people, a lot, and when I'm drunk and throwing the football around the scenery really doesn't matter at that point. Ok, I pick option two, but this is subject to change.

PSU Basketball Loses Game, Claxton, Season

The Penn State Basketball team was totally owned last night by the Wisconsin Badgers, who at one point took a 31 point lead as PSU failed to score for like 10 minutes in the second half (edit: actual drought: 11:50 to 3:36). The leading scorer for the Badgers was a guy named Flowers. Insert girly/sally joke here.

Besides another Big Ten loss, which is nothing new for the Nittany Lions, who have lost just about every league game since 2001, Senior forward Geary Claxton went down with a knee injury. Non-sarcastic condolences go out to Geary, who has been a hard fighting member of the team for four years now. Injuries suck. You know you are a valuable member of the team when grown men are crying and telling you they love you after you get hurt.

"It's devastating for Geary. I went into halftime, and told him I loved him and hugged him," Penn State coach Ed DeChellis said after the game.
Claxton was the team's leading scorer and the Big Ten's second leading scorer. He was in the middle of a four game double-double streak. He is also the Big Ten's second leading rebounder, and after he went down in the first half PSU managed to grab just 21 of the 60 rebounds in the game.

So, what does this mean? Well, for one thing, the season will not be pretty. I'm going to throw that out there. Without a rebounder this team could finish dead last in the Big Ten for something like the 7th time in eight years*. So much for offseason fun.

*I attempted to look this up but then realized it doesn't really matter. Our basketball team is poor, that is the point.

Ah, the good ol days.

I fucking loved this game.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mallett's Dad, Part Duce

I normally wouldn't ever post twice about the father of a backup quarterback, but the guy leaves me no choice. My issue was that our buddy Jim needs to go away, either let his son answer questions truthfully or simply ignore the questions. Don't lie.

But now you continue your press grabbing deceit. While sources all over the Internet are reporting that your son has actually enrolled at Arkansas, you respond with this jem:

"We haven't made a decision yet, but everybody and their dog is saying my son has done this or that," Jim Mallett said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. "We're getting calls from reporters at 1 o'clock in the morning, and those reporters are catching the wrath of my wife, Debbie.
Haha, your wife? You just brought you wife into this? And your dog? Or is it my dog? Who's talking, anyway? Now I'm confused.

God I love this story.

My Justin King Post

I am a Penn State blog so below is my mandatory "Justin King NFL Draft Post" post.

My thoughts on players leaving early...
I gave up on the sanctity of college ball a long time ago. My Notre Dame friends deny this but the truth is the best players, the ones who's names you know, are not at college to go to college. They just aren't. They are there to develop into NFL talent. It is the best place to do this, and until the system changes, we can't expect any kind of Paul Posluszny loyalty on a consistent basis. Players rarely leave PSU early*. When one does it is kind of a big deal, compared to a place like FSU or OSU where it seems four or five juniors leave every year.

My thoughts on Justin King as a PSU player...
He never lived up to the hype. Sorry. He was very good though. I don't mean to bring him down, but remember that he was a top ten player nationally, on a list that included players from all positions. Everyone said he was a natural corner. His reputation was enough to keep most coaches from throwing at him. He shut down Ted Ginn several times, but I still hold that Ted Ginn was one of the most overrated Big Ten players ever. Ya he was fast (and so is King), but his catches went something like this: Ginn waits for snap, Ginn runs straight downfiled, Ginn catches the ball, Ginn runs out of bounds so he doesn't get hit.

Anyway, I'm sraying from the point. King is a great athlete, he is a good corner but he was totally exposed against both taller receivers and onces that ran very good routes. He was thrown on every singe down during the Indiana game, and no one in the second half of the season shyed away from his side of the field.

And I'm not picking on him. He was a top 10 recruit and chose lowly Penn State during the dark ages of Paterno era football. I thank him for that. His class gave our program life that we desperately needed.

My thoughts on the state of the secondary...
This leaves us very thin at corner, you can read all about that at just about all of the PSU blogs linked on the right dash so I won't go into it here. My only point is that this isn't a lethal blow. King will be missed but he is not irreplaceable. The way the program has been since 2005, it's always the positions you expect to be weak, the players you didn't see coming, that end up being good. I don't mean to rely on this because it's totally counter-logical, but I just can't get worked up about this right now.

My thoughts on Justin King as an NFL draft prospect...
I wish him nothing but total success and good luck during the whole process. I've seen him projected anywhere from late first round to early third. I don't follow the NFL, mostly because I retired my fantasy team two years ago, but I do know that it is a totally different game that requires a totally different type of player. As an NFL team I would worry about his performance against some the taller and more shifty receivers, but then again I'm sure there is a reason he was not thrown at for almost two years. Also, keep in mind he was always covering the best receiver on the field, so you would expect to see him more often than not, and that wasn't always the case. Physically, he is quick and works hard, so I can see his upside as well. Besides that, if teams are even considering Morelli as a prospect, then there is no doubt King will be given a shot.

I don't blame King for leaving and I look forward to watching him on Sundays.

*Mostly because they aren't good enough, but not always. Either way don't tell them that.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Re: Foul Shots

I am not a basketball expert. I know how the game works, and even some of the more in depth strategy that gets employed by those who run things, but no one has ever come to me for advise regarding the sport. Ok, glad we got that out of the way.

With that being said, what the hell is the deal with Penn State foul shooting? For those of you ready to jump on the band wagon, realize that the team is shooting 60% form the line. You don't shoot that poorly from the line and win much. I would guess that 60% of the people reading this could shoot better than 60% from the line, 100% of the time. Add that up. So, 60%, that's, what, like last in the Big Ten? Second to last I guess. Ya, a lot more like a Penn State basketball team.

But seriously, of the four guys on the team with more than 20 attempts, only David Jackson is shooting better than 70%. For comparison, Michigan State has eight guys that are shooting free throws better than that. Eight guys!

Now before I get accused of hating on Penn State basketball, know that I am not. I want them to win, I've even paid to see them play. I just know that over the past 5 or 6 years they perpetually think they have a good team, and don't. They've finished in last place like five times since 2001.

I want them to improve. I don't want to have to write posts about how they shoot foul shots at a lower percentage than the youth league team my friend started coaching. I want them to compete at the next level, and they should be able to. They are the basketball team of a Big Ten school, with Big Ten resources. No one except Northwestern has been bottom feeding* as long as we have and it doesn't make any sense.

*Does the term "bottom feeding" even apply when you finish dead last five times since 2002? Are you really "bottom feeding" on anything when you are that bad?

Friday, January 11, 2008

If You Can't Beat Them, Fire Them.

That's the new Big Ten mandate, problem is only Ohio State is 'beating them', oh, and this doesn't apply to Penn State.

Purdue is set to announce Eastern Kentucky coach Danny Hope as Joe Tiller's successor. This isn't a Bobby Bowden-Jimbo Fisher successor plan, or even a Barry Alvarez-Bret Bielema deal. No, this is much more like "you're out old man, and since we like you we'll allow you to hang on for one more year."

This story has been totally overlooked by the major media outlets, mostly do to the MNC and other, more soap opera like coaching searches. That and the fact that no one ever really bought into the whole "Basketball on Grass" thing. Anyway, I started following it Tuesday over at Boiled Sports. For most of the week the lead candidate was Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst...which lead to a series of predictable yet hilarious Christ Jokes.

By most accounts Chryst was nervous about "not being a Purdue guy" the way Hope is. There was also concern that his whimpy girly mustach wouldn't hold up at a place like Purdue. The people printing the "You may have God, but we have Chryst!" Notre Dame game t-shirts took a huge hit when the announcement was made (credit on the t-shirt joke must of course go to Boiled Sports).

But this leads to a bigger issue, or trend I suppose I should say, that is taking hold around the Big Ten: everyone seems to be getting a new coach:

Illinois: Coach Ron Zook, hired 2005
Indiana: Coach Bill Lynch, hired 2007*
Iowa: Coach Kirk Ferentz, hired 1998
Michigan: Coach Rich Rodriguez, hired 2008
Michigan State: Coach Mark Dantonio, hired 2007
Minnesota: Coach Tim Brewster, hired 2007
Northwestern: Coach Pat Fitzgerald, hired 2006*
Ohio State: Coach Jim Tressel, hired 2001
Penn State: Coach Joe Paterno, hired 1966
Purdue: Coach Joe Tiller, out in 2009
Wisconsin: Coach Bret Bielema, hired 2006

This is really amazing when you sit down and look at it. Excluding JoePa, that is an average stay of 2.7 years. By most accounts, you really aren't even coaching you own team until after the third season. There are exactly four coaches** (Paterno, Tressel, Ferentz, and just now Zook) who are coaching Juniors and Seniors they recruited.

So what does this all mean? Well, for one thing, its not that surprising that the bottom half of the Big Ten sucks right now. It is filled with schools right in the shitty middle part of a coaching change. You have players recruited for one style forced to play another. The heart of the squad is made up of the always weak 'tweener' class that was recruited during the change.

Secondly, the Big Ten isn't in that much trouble if they can stay more competitive than the ACC, Big East and probably the Big XII with seven brand new coaches.

Finally, there is something a little more subtle that I worry about. Once these guys gain their footing, establish their recruiting lines and solidify their systems...well that will be right about the time Penn State goes through what will probably be the biggest circus of a coaching change in the history of sports. If we learned anything this year it's that neither Paterno nor the Penn State admins have a fucking clue how to handle it. Things might not be ugly, but they aren't going to be neat and clean. We are setting the successor up against some lofty odds. The "I want to play for Paterno thing" disappears. The stability of the other 10 programs will be used as a tool against us. I don't want to say I'm worried, but I am ready for it to be over with.

*I do understand it was tragity and now a decision to get new coaches for these schools.
**Yes, Tiller is still the coach, but he's a lame duck and that team kind of sucks right now anyway.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

2007: Final Buckets

I'm done with rankings, like the BCS I think they are lame and contra-logical. So here it is. Eat your heart out Harris Interactive, and go screw yourselves USA Today.

Each issue, 20-25 schools will be fit into five major bucket categories. The bigger the bucket, the better you are. America, Fuck Ya!

World's Largest Oak Bucket


You are the biggest bucket, so therefore, by all American standards, you are the best. I thought about putting UGA up here, but they didn't perform week in and week out the way LSU did, even if what LSU did wasn't that spectacular. I hate to admit it but the Tigers might be the best team in the nation, either that or all the media brainwashing worked on me. No they aren't winning any "Greatest Team Ever" tournaments that ESPN will probably hold this summer, but they won most of their games, won their conference, and won the Mythical National Championship.

The Big Bucket of Party!

UGA, USC, WVU, Missouri

No, you're not the biggest, but you had a good time. You always show up to the party, although sometimes you aren't quite yourself. Crappy games against crappy schools like Stanford, Pitt and South Carolina will land you here despite good efforts elsewhere.

The Five Gallon Bucket

Ohio State, VT, OU, Kansas, Tennessee

Good effort, good season, good team. Not great, not even close, but nothing to be ashamed of. Ohio State, you almost made it up to the 'Party Bucket!' but I just don't get the battle tested vibe from your performance against Zook and Miles. Tennessee snuck in here because they won their division. (No BC, you don't get the same grace, try not losing to FSU and Maryland next year and I'll see what I can do.)

Small Range Bucket

BC, Texas, Auburn, Michigan, Oregon, Texas Tech

This is where the second tier officially begins, you guys aren't that great. Ya, you won some games, but you also totally embarrassed yourself against poor teams, repeatedly. If you didn't do it repeatedly you didn't do anything positive to prove me wrong. Good season, I guess, if being almost good is considered a success. (Oregon, I don't know what the hell to do with you guys. Ya, with Dixon you guys might be the best team in the nation, but without him you are terrible.)

Gilligan's Bucket Hat

Arizona State, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Cinci, Wisconsin, Penn State

Ok, so the polls all go to 25. They used to only fill out 20 a week, but apparently too many soccer moms were upset about their kids being left off the list. It is because of these soccer moms that Gilligan's Bucket Hat exists. Your team was ok, but you showed major flaws and an inability to even compete with the big dogs.

So that's it, welcome to Bucket Rankings and I'll see you after Draft Day for a Preseason edition.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mallett's dad is back!

In 5 short hours Mallett's dad has gone from denying the whole thing to these seemingly well thought out and developed plans:

The former Texas Class 4A offensive player of the year may end up at Tennessee, which is considering hiring former Michigan offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler.

"If they're hired, that would be a real good possibility," Jim Mallett said. "Ryan really clicked with both coach DeBord and coach Loeffler during the last couple months of the season and during bowl practices, I've never seen Ryan throw the ball or read defenses as well as he did."

Mallett said his son also will consider transferring to Texas A&M, Arkansas and UCLA among other schools.

"It just wasn't a fit and yet, it was a hard decision," Jim Mallett said. "When he came home for Christmas, he told me and my wife that he really was falling in love with being at Michigan.
This is a far cry from what was on the newswire this morning:
When told what Rodriguez said, Jim Mallett insisted his son has not made a decision. "Coach knows more than I do, I guess," Jim Mallett told the AP.

Here is my thing, I really don't mind if you don't want to tell us the details and up to the minute developments of your son's quest to not ride the bench. I'm ok with you telling reporters to stop calling you, and even using profanity to make your point. But why, Jim, why start making shit up? Telling us there has not yet been a decision? You son is not RichRod Gimmick offense material, you know how obvious that is?

Ya, that obvious.

All streaks must come to an end...

Well, they are suppose to. There is one in particular that I am concerned with: Michigan's total dominance of PSU. We haven't beaten them in ten years.

10/14/2006 vs. *Michigan (11-2) L 10 17
10/15/2005 @ *Michigan (7-5) L 25 27
10/12/2002 @ *Michigan (10-3) L 24 27
10/6/2001 vs. *Michigan (8-4) L 0 20
11/11/2000 @ *Michigan (9-3) L 11 33
11/13/1999 vs. *Michigan (10-2) L 27 31
11/7/1998 @ *Michigan (10-3) L 0 27
11/8/1997 vs. *Michigan (12-0) L 8 34

By far the most painful moment of my undergraduate years was watching Hene's completion for the go-ahead score, in person, using clock time that should have never existed. Fucking Big Ten refs and their Michigan shrines.

Anyway, good news: Manningham, Arrington and Mallett are all leaving Michigan. Now I talked about Mallett leaving on the Rumor Rankings a couple of weeks ago, giving it a 5.1/5.0. Mallett's father quickly defended the prospect that his All-Texas son would have to leave. Well Paps, that's Rumor Rankings 1, Mallett's Old Man 0.

This year's #1 free agent, Ryan Mallett

As for the other two, that is a pleasant surprise. Losing an all world O lineman, shifty RB and dependable QB is one thing, but then to give up your entire receiving core is quite another. This offense is bare, I mean Penthouse bare, and while recruiting will no doubt be off the charts (Pryor is all but a lock at this point), even USC can't turn freshman into dependable production in one year.

Which leads to the final question: will we have the balls to attack Michigan this year while they are down?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Legend of Link, aOSU edition.

Ohio State fans are sorry, they are sorry about their play, they are sorry about their coach, and they are sorry for embarrassing the Big Ten. They are not, however, sorry about James Laurinaitis stealing the Butkus from Dan Conner; besides being totally dominated statistically all year, he also kind of sucks.

So who were we suppose to root for, anyway? I think conference loyalty is a joke, so do many others. Despite my better judgement, I was in fact rooting for An* Ohio State University last night, and like waking up next to the ugliest girl at the bar, I feel dirty.

Jamarkus Russle was wearing a cosby sweater, I cosby sweater. And did Troy Smith actually get shorter? I guess the Ravens will do that to you.

The SEC has turned An Ohio State University into the Buffalo Bills of college football. aOSU was actually the faster team, but they were totally dominated up front. They were also outcoached. They were just plain bad...and why was the French Army playing the Ohio State fight song all night?

So the offseason begins, and we have a new 41-14, his name is 38-24. Yes, things could be worse, but please don't pull the Moral Victory card, now is not the time: two blowouts in two years is not good. Have fun with that USC game in eight short months.

*Look in comments, tOSU heron refereed to as 'aOSU'.

Thank You, Crying Ohio State Fans.

As of 8:23 this morning, I have had a ridiculous number of people at The Big 11th looking for this picture:

I just want to clearify, this is not from last night's blowout. It is, from my understanding, a shot from the blowout that happens a year ago. It never, ever, gets old, ever.

I've been trying for weeks to fit the picutre below into a post, this is as good a time as any.

Monday, January 7, 2008

RichRod already making an impact?

The big question now that Rich Rodriguez has joined the Big Ten brotherhood is weather he will be able to successfully implement a true gimmick spread offense in a league that has traditionally rejected it. While is has shown some success at places like Purdue and Northwestern, weather it is because of lack of talent or lack of novelty, no one has been able to win consistently with that style of X&O's. People wonder that, if RichRod does pull it off, will the rest of the Big Ten be forced to follow suit? To make adjustments both of defense but also add a modern element of their own?

Well, the truth is this has already happened. No one expected JoePa to put Daryll Clark during the Alamo Bowl. I mean no one. Yet throughout the game Paterno sent in the mobile quarterback, who ended the night with 50 yards on the ground. Probably more important than the yards Clark gained, he forced A&M's defense to back off, and they were consistently caught off guard by our offense.

Michigan followed suit a couple days later. Carr, coaching the last gave of his career, used what many considered aspects of RichRod's offense, albeit in small doses, to keep the Gator defense from keying in on Hart.

Now, leading up to the MNC Game tonight, there is a lot of talk about Ohio Stat using mobile backup QB Antonio Henton in much the same way Clark was utilized. So much so that Miles actually commented on it during his press conference:

"We saw all of his early tape and we kind of got a decent feel for his abilities," said Miles. "I think we have a nice plan ready to go once he steps on the field."

It will be interesting for sure. This type of thing does not come naturally to Tressel, he has historically kept things very clear and efficient. Adding an entirely new aspect of offense, one that has not been used much at all during the season, is not his style. But then again, you can say the same thing about JoePa, ten fold.

Either way it will be interesting. And maybe RichRod will change the Big Ten. Then again, maybe this is all for Terrelle Pryor.

Damn, that went fast.

So the Mythical National Championship game is tonight, meaning tomorrow we all give up college football cold turkey and struggle through the off season the way Johnny Cash was forced to give up amphetamines.

(Don't look now, but we may have found a saving grace. Is sounds like our basketball team might not suck this year.)

So about the game, it was a hard decision: who the hell do I root for? On one hand, I'm tired of Ohio State. I'm tired of them winning. I'm tired of them dominating us in recruiting. I'm tired of their old-ass annoying president.

On the other hand, who wants to hear about "SEC Speed" for another 12 months? I sure as hell don't. Nevermind that Michgan manged to beat Florida, no one will give a damn unless Ohio State wins this game. While I don't usually buy the "you have to root for your conference" nonsense, this might be an exception. If the Big Ten gets into the MNC for the second straight year, and gets blown out for the second straight year, there might actually be a backlash. If a Big Ten teams lands on the bubble next year after the final week of the season, you can bet your ass the outcome of the game tonight will be brought up over and over again by the 'experts'.

Because of all of this (and I'm not proud to admit it), I will be rooting for Ohio State in the MNC Game tonight. Go Buckeyes, please don't embarrass yourself again.

Friday, January 4, 2008

LSU has won the National Championship, I think.

That's right, I know the actual game isn't until Monday, but honestly it doesn't matter...or so everyone seems to be saying*. The SEC is 6-2 in bowls, while the Big Ten is a lowly 3-4.

Nevermind that the SEC was favored in 75% of their matchps while the Big Ten drew a tougher lot; they were dogs in 71% of their games. Nevermind that the hottest team in the SEC played a WAC school, or that Kentucky played a Florida State team that was down 35 guys, or that the SEC runner-up was matched up against the 5th best Big Ten team. Nevermind that MSU, who finished 9th in the Big Ten, was lucky enough to play the ACC runner-up. Or that Penn State, Illinois and Michigan played what equate to away games. These things don't matter, what matters is the raw record, and that is why LSU has won is going to win the Mythical National Championship.

It'll be ok guys.

Oh, and Ohio State is 0-8 against SEC teams in bowl games. That's trouble right there. This stat is relevant, seriously. And USC wins Rose Bowls because Pete Carroll has never lost a swimming race against Will Ferrell. It's science.

Ok, enough sarcasm. If there is one thing we know about this season, and, really there is only one, it's that you cannot compare teams to the second degree. App State beat Michigan, Michigan beat Florida. Stanford beat USC, then Notre Dame took down Stanford. Pitt beats WVU, then WVU goes out and owns Big XII champ OU. I can go all day. I know for a fact that the outcome of the Purdue-Central Michigan game has absolutely no impact or relation to the Mythical National Championship game.

*To be totally honest, this guy actually gets it. The shame is that ESPN has to sell his story by trying to start another played out Big10-SEC fight (or maybe it was his idea, who knows).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Terrelle Pryor Is Headed to Michigan*

EDIT: For the latest update, click here.

*Probably, that is. And by probably, I mean most sources are saying there is a 99.2% chance, leaving Ohio State, Penn State, Florida and Oregon to split the other .8%.

Most of this speculation is coming from info leaked by Ohio State, who have all but given up recruiting the kid.

This is really too bad, I thought a player like Pryor could turn around our backwards offense and actually make Penn State games fun to watch. What I simply don't get, though, is that Ohio State seemed like the front runner when RichRod was still at WVU, but now that he's at Michigan, with no Noel Devine in the backfield, he thinks playing in a gimmick offense is all the sudden a good idea. I had heard from several different places that this was the exact thing that was keeping him from WVU, but now it's the number one issue.

Pryor had also talked about playing basketball during the winters. So how is Michigan's basketball program better than WVU? When they aren't cheating I mean. In addition, RichRod has a history of being very much against dual sport athletes. None of this adds up, which is of course why I am starting to believe it, and until Kirk Herbstreit reports it, I have a feeling Pryor will be at Michigan next fall.

Further BCS Game thoughts...

So the blowouts continue...the Bust Championship Series has brought us three games with a combined point total of 138 for the winners and 55 for the losers. Although to be fair, unlike the New Year's bowls, it was the underdog who did the bitchslapping yesterday. Some random thoughts about last nights game:

-Devine is fast, as hell.

-Are the OU Band hand gestures that exciting that i need to see them every 15 minutes?

-Speaking of pointless camera shots, isn't the point of the "sky cam" better views of the field, not better views of cameras? I think ESPN zoomed in on that thing thirty times.

-Stoops has gained weight, maybe it's the stress of having your passing game shut down by a team from the Big East, or maybe the 300+ rushing yards hit team gave up for the first time since 1990-somthing.

-There has been no team as hot/cold as WVU this year. They lose to Pitt but then totally redeem themselves by smacking around the #4 team in the nation.

-I don't care much for WVU, but I really like their interim coach. Is he even being considered for the job? WVU doesn't seem to be having any problems on the field and the players seem to really like the guy.

UPDATE: So 'that guy', who is actually named Bill Stewart, is the new head coach at WVU. You have to wonder if a quick hire after a teary bowl win is a smart move, but honestly who gives a damn. When the next best alternative is the alcoholic son of a cheating football coach who wears funny hats, well, then I like this guy too. (But seriously, I think everyone wins here.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bust Championship Series

BCS, you guys are killing me. 49-17, really? 633 yards of total offense for USC? I didn't watch the second half of this game. Let me say that again, I turned off the Rose Bowl at half time! Now I'm all for tradition, but the tradition of the Rose Bowl has never been matching the #1 Pac Ten team against the #2 Big Ten team*.

Per the BCS website:

The BCS is ...

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) is a five-game arrangement for post-season college football that is designed to match the two top-rated teams in a national championship game and to create exciting and competitive matchups between eight other highly regarded teams in four other games.

Really? Because that's not what you are doing. USC-Illinois was neither "exciting" nor "competitive". Oh, and the other game? Ya, undefeated Hawaii looked like a high school team last night. You matched what is probably the best team in the nation right now in Georgia against a team from the WAC.

The two BCS games yesterday were the only ones that actually interested me, that's part of why I'm so annoyed. The BCS had a chance to crate another very interesting matchup, #3 VT vs #4 OU, but decided instead that two watered down games are better than one good one. West Virginia have no coaching staff and just lost to Whanstash. Kasas has a resume about as good as Hawaii's but are less fun to watch. I can't wait.

*Now I know this sets a good precedent for Penn State, meaning we don't have to win anything to get into the Rose Bowl, but the reality is we would get in anyway. We are a huge draw and haven't been there in a decade.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Another Bowl Win

We were down...

But we weren't out!

Words can't explain how excited I am about the dual system we ran against A&M. It gives me hope for next year, and besides that, it's just so much more fun to watch.

I'll do a formal wrap up later, and one final edition of "The More You Know", but for now I'm just enjoying the win and the final football games of the's the fourth quarter yet I still don't know who I want to win the Michigan-UF game.