Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When Stupid Goes Wrong: Odds Preview Edition

I forgot to mention where I lifted those odd from yesterday. Well, as an added bonus, they included some worthless Big Ten analysis:

PENN STATE (+5000 in the BetUS odds) -- Linebacker Dan Connor was a big loss for the defense, but even worse, Sean Lee looked like he was going to step forward as another potential All-America, but went down with a knee injury that ended his season before it started. Anthony Morelli was not spectacular enough to lead Penn State to a Big Ten title, but he showed steadiness. Darryl Clark and Pat Devlin will battle it out for the starting QB position. There are some talented offensive players, but no game-changers. This team will go as far as the defense takes it, and leading that defense are standout defensive ends Josh Gaines and Maurice Evans. Joe Paterno will get to a bowl, and maybe even a good one, but there are no realistic national championship hopes.

If I were to write down 5,000 words to describe Anthony Morelli, "steadiness" would probably not make the list. That comment alone totally dismisses any credibility this guy may try to bring to the table; it's clear at this point that he has watched zero Penn State football games in at least the last two years.

Moving on, saying Penn State has "no game-changers" isn't quite as dumb as the "steadiness" thing, but still a bit dismissive and ill-informed. Williams is still explosive, and he can be a game changer when we call plays that aren't horribly predictable (this, unfortunately, doesn't happen much). Besides that, our tailbacks look to be very good this year, and Clark showed in the bowl game that he is athletic as hell.

Finally, we are obviously not a pre-season Top 10 team, but to say that there is no "realistic" hopes, again, shows that the person writing this nonsense simply doesn't care enough to look at any kind of relevant information. Let's look at the schedule:

August 30 Coastal Carolina Home Time TBA Big Favorite
September 6 Oregon State Home Time TBA Favorite
September 13 Syracuse Away Time TBA Big Favorite
September 20 Temple Home Time TBA Big Favorite
September 27 Illinois (1) Home 8:00 p.m. Favorite
October 4 Purdue Away Time TBA Favorite
October 11 Wisconsin Away Time TBA ???
October 18 Michigan (2) Home 4:30 p.m. Favorite
October 25 Ohio State Away 8:00 p.m. Underdog
November 8 Iowa Away Time TBA Favorite
November 15 Indiana Home Time TBA Big Favorite
November 22 Michigan State Home Time TBA Favorite

In summary:
Likely Big Favorite: 4 games
Likely Favorite: 6 games
Likely Underdog: 1
Undecided: Wisconsin

Even if you throw Wisconsin into the likely loss category, we are looking at what could be a 10-2 season if the favorites win these games. It is not "unrealistic" for Penn State to beat Wisconsin and end the season 11-1. From there, it's not entirely "unrealistic" to think that an 11-1 team could get into the BCS MNC.

I understand I am gleaming with optimism here, but I find it difficult to conclude Penn State is already out of it.

I'd love to hear what this guy said before the 2005 season. I'm not saying we'll get to that level, but if the quarterback situation gets filled properly, and a couple of linebackers step into leadership rolls, we are looking at a team with a lot of upside.


Anonymous said...

I am more excited about our chances this year than I can remmember. Also for the first time in a long time I'm more worried about our defense than our offense.
We can do it!

Paterno Lives! said...

Things do seem a little backwards, although I'm looking forward to watching games where being behind by 7 points in the second quarter doesn't give me heartburn (or maybe it was just the wings and beer).

I do have to admit that I had high hopes for 2007, with the way Morelli played in the bowl game...