Bowl Blusterings 2007

Okay - so I'm totally pressed for time - but I want to finish up the bowl predictions - you know, before the games start and all.

btw - enjoyed the Alamo Bowl - probably my favorite PSU game this season - but more on that later.

Fort Worth, Texas
Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Cal (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)

Golden Bears vs Falcons

Cal has had a tough year - and the bear is, generally, a fiercer animal than a falcon - one would think - but since it is the Armed Forces Bowl game - we have to go with the academy.


El Paso, Texas
Dec. 31, 2 p.m.(ESPN)
USF (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)

Bulls vs Ducks

This should be a pretty good game - in all reality a bull would squash a Duck - even Donald Duck (perhaps especially) - and then there are those hideous uniforms - this will be an explosion of green and gold on the field - eww - So let's go with the Bulls -


Boise, Idaho
Dec. 31, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Fresno State (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)

Bulldogs v Yellow Jackets

This is easily my favorite bowl game - blue turf - outside - in Boise Idaho in the winter. Excellent. Ground dwelling wasps versus stout jowlly canines - I'll go with the bees.


Nashville, Tenn.
Dec. 31, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Florida State (7-5) vs. Kentucky (7-5)

seminoles vs Wildcats

This one is so easy - without any analysis of the suspension woes -


Tempe, Ariz.
Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
Indiana (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6)

Hoosiers vs Cowboys

Not really sure what a Hoosier is - but this year it's been a tough determined loyal team player - and that's good enough for me (although I do applaud the OSU coach for his being a man and all).

Hoosiers Gotta go with IU!

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Clemson (9-3) vs. Auburn (8-4)

Tigers vs Tigers (or is it War Eagle?)

Goll - lee. how are we to pick between two tigers? I'm going to go with Clemson - because they beat fsu and I appreciate it.

Tigers - clemson tigers

Tampa, Fla.
Jan. 1, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Wisconsin (9-3) vs. Tennessee (9-4)

Badgers vs Volunteers

I realize that it's a long shot - but maybe, just maybe the tough badgers will show up for this game.


Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m. (FOX)
Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4)

Tigers vs Razorbacks

My goodness there are a lot of Tigers competing this off season - I enjoyed Missouri's run to the top this season - but I see the Razorbacks coming out on top.


Jacksonville, Fla.
Jan. 1, Noon (CBS)
Virginia (9-3) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)

Cavaliers vs Red Raiders. I love Chris Long's dad - but it's not enough for me to think that the Cavaliers will defeat the Raiders.

Red Raiders

Orlando, Fla.
Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ABC)
Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida (9-3)

Wolverines vs Gators

The Gators are probably the most frightening team in the nation - but the wolverines are fierce and mysterious and wild

wolverines - this is without a doubt the most painful and most biased of all the predictions

Pasadena, Calif.
Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m. (ABC)
USC (10-2) vs. Illinois (9-3)

Trojans vs Illini

Illini okay, this one is pretty biased as well.

New Orleans
Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. (FOX)
Hawaii (12-0) vs. Georgia (10-2)

Warriors vs Bulldogs

The Warriors are the only undefeated team in the nation - but the bulldogs were playing some of the best football at the end of the regular season - I'm a sucker for undefeated, unawarded, unrecognized mascots - so...


Glendale, Ariz.
Jan. 2, 8:00 p.m. (FOX)
West Virginia (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)

Mountaineers vs Sooners

Mountain men against illegal squatters.

West Virginia has had a rough "tween" season - their coach jumped ship. They are either going to play extremely tough - or they're going to fall apart - not sure - I really think, in the grand scheme of things that a rested and ready Mountaineer would be the victor -


Jan. 3, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)

Jayhawks vs Hokies

Jayhawks had a great season -but I don't see any way how Tech won't win.


Jan. 5, Noon (ESPN2)
Rutgers (7-5) vs. Ball State (7-5)

Scarlet knights vs Cardinals


Mobile, Ala.
Jan. 6, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Tulsa (9-4) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)

Golden Hurricane vs Falcons

Uhhh, what is a golden hurricane - in Tulsa? I've heard of a golden shower - that's kinda gross - perhaps it'll gross out the falcons as well.

Golden Hurricanes

New Orleans
Jan. 7, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Ohio State (11-1) vs. LSU (10-2)

Buckeyes vs Tigers

Tigers - come on - it's a nut.

Biased Bowl Blusterings - Mascot edition

Orlando, Fla.
Dec. 28, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Boston College (10-3) vs. Michigan State (7-5)

Eagles v Spartans

A powerful majestic bird versus greek warriors.

I'll go with the Spartans

Dec. 28, 8 p.m. (NFL Network)
TCU (7-5) vs. Houston (8-4)

Horned Frogs v Cougars

Two Texas teams playing in Houston - should be a rip roaring time. The Horned Frog, as we have learned, over the years, is a frog like (not really a frog) lizard that, when attacked, shoots a sanguinesque substance from it's eyes - that's pretty fierce.
A Cougar, on the other hand (or paw, if you will) is a wild cat.

Here kitty kitty - Cougars

San Francisco
Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon State (8-4)

Terrapins v Beavers

A turtle and a beaver. Do you think that OSU will be able to gnaw through UM's shell? I do.


Charlotte, N.C.
Dec. 29, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
UConn (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)

Huskies v Demon deacons

A pretty fluffy dog and a passionate preacher.


Memphis, Tenn.
Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Mississippi State (7-5) vs. UCF (10-3)

Bulldogs vs Golden knights

I kinda like both of these teams - they're scrappy and fun to watch it should be a fun game. But I'll choose the Knights to win.

San Antonio
Dec. 29, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)

Nittany Lions v Aggies

I couldn't really get any confirmation from human and/or online sources as to just what is the t a&m mascot - a collie? a agriculturally minded military man? the 12th man? It really doesn't matter - Penn State is going to win.

Nittany Lions

Shreveport, La.
Dec. 30, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Colorado (6-6) vs. Alabama (6-6)

Buffalo v Crimson Tide

ugh. Both of these teams have had a rough year(s) - bad press and bad karma abound. Both had some quality wins and some, shall we say "catastrophic" losses. I see the Buffalo winning this one.


It's not like I'm a Zoologist

or an anthropologist or something- Here's the tally so far for my Biased Bowl predictions...

POINSETTIA BOWL - Utes v Midshipmen - The Utes won 35 - 32. Perhaps I should have considered Utah's excellent bowl record and their quarterback's abilities - but I didn't -

0 - 1

NEW ORLEANS BOWL - Florida Atlantic vs. Memphis

Owls v Tigers

So I guess that the old burrowing owl is tougher than I thought.

0 - 2

PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL - Cincinnati Bearcats versus the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss.

The Eagles played tough for their demoted general - but the bearcats proved to be the fiercer foe -

1 - 2

NEW MEXICO BOWL - Lobos of New Mexico verses the Nevada Wolf Pack

Yeah, this game should just be called the New Mexico bowl - oh, wait.

2 - 2

LAS VEGAS BOWL - UCLA vs Brigham Young.

It was a close one (17-16) - but the Cougars were successful.

3 - 2

HAWAII BOWL - East Carolina vs. Boise State

Clearly I had underestimated the prowess of the Pirate -

3 - 3

MOTOR CITY - Central Michigan vs. Purdue

The Big Ten Boilermakers gutted it out - or passed it out - Painter had 546 passing yards and 3 TDs - Purdue wins 51 -48.

4 - 3

HOLIDAY BOWL - Texas Longhorns v ASU Sundevils

as noted below, the Longhorns won, 52 - 34

5 - 3

So, we're over .500 - not too bad - so far...

First, let's recap the Holiday Bowl

A late Christmas present to football fans. Not fans of clean, precise mechanized football - but fun, crazy, exciting football - and probably not for fans of either team.

This game was the 2007 college football season - all wrapped up in one game. Fumbles - interceptions - fake this, fake that - 4th down conversions for touchdowns - it was hilarious.

And then there was the play that will live in infamy - a pivotal moment that was influenced, not by any player, coach or official - but by the left hand thumb of a "ball boy"... Texas was up 21 - 0, having capitalized on ASU's sloppy play. But the devils were driving, with 3rd down at the Texas 14. Carpenter dropped back to pass and a rush of burnt orange plowed into the backfield. Carpenter, knowing he was caught, made a desperate attempt at a pass - which ended up being a lateral, and, therefore, a free ball. The ball bounced toward the Texas sideline - a Texas player ran up pitched the ball back toward a teammate - who picked it up and ran. The Texas sideline was going nuts - all except for one red faced staffer, Chris Jessie (who happens to be Mack Brown's step son - his name and affiliation were quickly deciphered by the media). What Jessie knew was that, as the ball was bouncing toward the sideline, he had stretched out his arms to gather up the ball (I'm assuming he thought that it was an incomplete pass, maybe even intentional grounding) - a coach next to him was hollering and running toward him and he pauses for a split second and then quickly retracts his arms - but not before (according to the officials) his thumb touched the ball and altered it's course. Not so quickly, the officials reviewed the play and determined that there had been "illegal touching" of a live ball which ends the play and results in a penalty. After some discussion about what down it should be - ASU had the ball back, now on the 7 yard line - but it was 4th and 3 - Seizing the moment(um), Carpenter connected with his star receiver, McGaha (no, it's not pronounced like you think it should be) for a touchdown.

The cameras could not stay off the poor guy - it was pretty brutal. Texas, of course, went on to win the game decisively, but it was one of the funniest, wackiest things I've ever seen.

No doubt there will now be an unwritten "Chris Jessie Rule" on the sideline - "Listen for the whistle!!!!" "Stay off the field!!!!"

It all worked out well - asu lost, and texas was embarrassed -

No bad Karma.

Well, sure, it was in poor taste -

and the kid shouldn't have yelled it - but I'm not going to get too upset about the comments made by an aggie yell leader - the fact that it drew boos from the crowd (this was a pep rally) is impressive - at least the fan base has some class.

What's more of a concern to me is, if you click on the link to the ESPN link above, the last paragraph of the article - why was this necessary? Was there a word minimum and that is what was chosen as filler? Or is the Associated Press suggesting that Paterno is on his career death bed?


Special One Game Edition

of the Biased Bowl Blusterings - So, clearly, a burrowing owl is much more fierce than a tiger - who knew? I'll recap and have the other assessments soon - but just for tonight -

The Holiday Bowl, formerly known as the BYU Bowl (it wasn't? you lie.), the game now pits the 2nd place Pac-10 versus the 3rd place Big XII (such proud conferences, shouldn't this game be played on NYD?).

San Diego
Dec. 27, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Arizona State (10-2) vs. Texas (9-3)

Sundevils v longhorns - Sparky, the Sundevil, is an impish little guy, sporting what may be a fire shooting pitchfork - Bevo is, simply, a Texas Longhorn steer, and, perhaps, the most intimidating live mascot out there -

I haven't been too happy with the fandom of either of these teams this year - trolls and Jacknuts - So I won't be saddened by either team's losing.

But in a pure mascot showdown - it's difficult to guess just what a sundevil would be able to do - but in the open range - I'd have to give the edge to the Longhorn - his horns are bigger.


Just hear those cowbells ringle-ing

Come on it's lovely weather for a train ride to State College, woo woo.

Okay - the train doesn't exactly go to State College (oh how I wish it did) - but it's close enough.

I'm heading home to State College for the holidays. Just a short trip to see Mumsy and the family. I'll be back in the "big city" on Wednesday.

Be sure, if you can, to check out the Penn State Football Story- Alamo Bowl edition - airing begins Saturday (Dec. 22nd) in select areas (not, of course, Central PA) - Check GoPSUsports.com for specific listings.

Penn State has posted the highest graduation rate of all the Big Ten bowl schools.

Penn State fall graduation is Saturday (perhaps why they're not broadcasting the PSS) - and among the happy graduates is one that I'm particularly proud of - my cousin, Bobby. In the last few years, Bobby has served tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq - in fact, he returned from Iraq this summer and was in the Green Zone last Christmas. So, Congratulations Bobby!


Dan Connor named to ESPN All American Team

Ivan Maisel's 2007 All American Team.

QB -- Tim Tebow, Florida
RB -- Darren McFadden, Arkansas
RB -- Kevin Smith, UCF
WR -- Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech
WR -- Jordy Nelson, Kansas State
TE -- Martin Rucker, Missouri
T -- Jake Long, Michigan
G -- Roy Schuening, Oregon State
T -- Kirk Barton, Ohio State
G -- Duke Robinson, Oklahoma
C -- Steve Justice, Wake Forest
K -- John Sullivan, New Mexico

DE -- George Selvie, USF
DT -- Sedric Ellis, USC
DE -- Chris Long, Virginia
LB -- James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
LB -- J Leman, Illinois
LB -- Dan Connor, Penn State
LB -- Jordon Dizon, Colorado
CB -- Antoine Cason, Arizona
CB -- Aqib Talib, Kansas
S -- Craig Steltz, LSU
S -- Marcus Griffin, Texas
P -- Durant Brooks, Georgia Tech
KR -- Jeremy Maclin, Missouri

Also check out the slide show for the D. Maisel sounds a bit like an elementary school filmstrip narrator.


Tony Romo's Blonde Spot

Apparently, having a girl on your arm isn't always a good thing... Just ask Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo. His dismal performance last night coincided with reported girlfriend Jessica Simpson's presence in the stands. His quarterback rating of 22 was the lowest since... another girlfriend appeared in the stands. Who was she?

read more | digg story

Penn State is the National Champion

Penn State has won the (volley)ball game (okay, match) -

The Women's Volleyball team capped a fantastic season and record breaking tournament run with a 3 - 2 win over Standford Saturday night.

Aggressive and poised the Lions jumped out to a 2 - 0 lead. The first 2 games were close - but PSU was in control throughout - maintaining a 2 - 3 point lead going into the "twenties" -

The break after game 2 seemed to take forever - and the Lions came out a little flat - while Stanford came out attacking - led by the huge serve of Bryn Kehoe and the super humanness of Foluke Akinradewo, The Cardinal rallied to win games 3 and 4 convincingly. Stanford All-American, Cynthia Barboza, hadn't been a factor in the first two games but she and her team really stepped up their play and PSU looked as though they were "thinking" instead of just playing.

The 2 teams came out for game 5 - and traded points, with a slight edge to Stanford - And then PSU went on a tear - winning seven straight points with a no holds barred attitude. Junior, Christa Harmotto, and soph, Alisha Glass, were key to the run. They'd each had quiet(ish) games 3 & 4 - but they were ready for game 5. Kills by Nicole Fawcett and freshman, Arielle Wilson, and a key block brought the Lions to match point. On their first match point, soph, Megan Hodge, hit her 26th kill of the match - sealing the win and the Championship for Penn State.

It was a team effort - but Megan Hodge rose to rally her team when they were trailing - hitting huge "kills" and creating yet another "issue" for the Stanford defense. She was named tournament MOP.

The scoring went as follows - 30-25, 30-26, 23-20, 19-30, 15-8.

-Penn State tied the NCAA record for service aces in an NCAA Tournament with 43 in six matches.

- Penn State shattered the NCAA Tournament record for team hitting percentage, besting the previous mark of .369 set by the 1995 Long Beach State team. The 2007 Nittany Lions attacked at a combined .424 clip while averaging 16.75 kills per game through six matches.

PSU plays with so much power and aggressiveness that their defense is often overlooked - they're defense actually ranks in the 200s nationally - but Roberta Holehouse led all players with 17 digs, her 56th double-digit dig match over the last two seasons.

It was a great week for coach Russ Rose - who was named to the College Volleyball Hall of Fame and as the 2007 Coach of the Year.

Photo and stat specifics from GoPSUsports.com,


Biased Bowl Blusterings - Mascot edition

It's almost (okay, a week or so) time for the bowl games to begin! Here are the super superior true predictions for the PtPgRfV* games...

*(Prior to PSUgirl Returning from Vacation)

San Diego
Dec. 20, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Utah (8-4) vs. Navy (8-4)

Utes v Midshipmen

A Ute is a native american - the University's animal interpretation is, with permission of the Ute Tribal Council, a red-tailed hawk named "Swoop" who sports crimson and white.

The midshipmen, in their Navy (really? cause you never know - look at Bowling Green) and gold, are sailors/military folk - but Annapolis' mascot is the Goat, Bill.

Since I'm not going to get into a "Native American vs US Military" analysis - I'll stick to the animals.

It's difficult to assess the prowess of a bird - hawks can be pretty darn big and powerful - a goat is, generally, a vegetarian but can deliver a pretty nasty blow when provoked. If a hawk were to attack goat I'd say that it could probably do some damage - but could possibly get injured if it hooked onto the goat's horn(s) - once on the ground, I think the goat would stomp him.

Therefore - I pick: Bill the Goat and his Navy Midshipmenphoto from wikipedia.org

New Orleans
Dec. 21, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Florida Atlantic (7-5) vs. Memphis (7-5)

Owls v Tigers

Florida Atlantic's mascot is the Burrowing Owl which, per FAU's website, is a small ground-dwelling Owl. They have many natural enemies, including snakes, cats and dogs and are listed as an endangered species.

Memphis Tigers - The Tigers wear blue and gray as a symbol of unity following the civil war - once called the "Normals" (which I suppose is better than irregular) the mascot is now a Bengal Tiger.

I'm going to have to go with the Tigers - because, all though the owls have the backing of the WWF, one of their natural predators is a cat - and a Tiger is a pretty big cat.


Photo from Wikipedia.org

Birmingham, Ala.
Dec. 22, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Southern Miss (7-5)

Can I just tell you - the last pizza I had from Papa Johns was terrible - I don't just mean disappointing because it was cold and we'd waited 2 hours - but just terrible tasting - like they'd doused it in chlorine bleach.

Anyway - the bowl game pits the Cincinnati Bearcats versus the Golden Eagles of Southern Miss.

So, the bearcat is really a made-up mascot. The origin of the nickname hails back nearly 100 years to when Cincinnati star, Leonard "Teddy" Baehr was called "Baehr - cat" (cause he was tougher than a wildcat). Today the Bearcat has evolved into a fuzzy moderately fierce looking morphic bear-cat.

And then there is Seymour d'Campus - the Golden Eagle.

I'm not so sure how a mythical hybrid would fare against an eagle - but, if a bearcat really did exist in the wilds of Cincinnati - It would probably be pretty tough - fyi, a bearcat "roars" like a mountain lion - yeah, it's a little frightening. Bearcats win.

If you don't think this guy is ferocious

Photo from www.libraries.us.edu

Albuquerque, N.M.
Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
New Mexico (8-4) vs. Nevada (6-6)

This is a brilliant match up! The Lobos (ie wolves) of New Mexico verses the Nevada Wolf Pack. So - do we think that "Lobos" means more than one wolf - because I'd guess that a pack of wolves would beat just one - but, since the game is being played in New Mexico - I'm going to give the Lobos the edge.

Photo: Wikipedia.org

Las Vegas
Dec. 22, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
BYU (10-2) vs. UCLA (6-6)

Again, a classic match-up - the mormon mountain cat versus the movie star bear - in Sin City.

I believe that unless the bruin has worked out his identity problem(s) - Is he Boo Boo is he Yogi? Is he in love with Grizzly Adams? Until he figures it out - I'm going to give the edge to the Cougars -


Photo from Wikipedia.org

Honolulu, Hawaii
Dec. 23, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
East Carolina (7-5) vs. Boise State (10-2)

Sea faring bandits versus wild horses - on an island. hmmm.

I'm going to have to go with the Broncos on this one. Pirates are so last year.

Photo from Wikipedia.org

Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Central Michigan (8-5) vs. Purdue (7-5)

Chippewa, a proud Native American versus a bunch of engineers.

Central Michigan, the back to back MAC champion, does not have an embodied mascot (seems to be a trend in that state) -

As for Purdue, some may think that the sledge hammer toting Purdue Pete is the school's mascot, he is not. The school's official mascot is the Boilermaker Special, a train.

If we want to get all historically philosophical, the locomotive was instrumental in the history of the Native American.

I think that the Chippewa are going to play a tough game especially as the game is in Detroit - but I think that the Boilermakers will get the gravy.

Photo from (you guessed it!) Wikipedia.org


2008 - the Schedule

Take a look at your 2008 wallet card - get a pen - you'll need to make some corrections -

TBAs have been announced and Indians have been replaced by Beavers

Aug 30th - Coastal Carolina
Sept 6th - Oregon State
Sept 13th - at Syracuse
Sept 20th - Temple
Sept 27th - Illinois
Oct 4 - at Purdue
Oct 11 - at Wisconsin
Oct 18 - Michigan (Homecoming)
Oct 25 - at Ohio State
Nov 1 - Bye
Nov 8 - at Iowa
Nov 15 - Indiana
Nov 22 - Michigan State

It just dawned on me - there's a bye week next year -

Feel free to get married (Iowa seems like a lovely honeymoon destination), go to parties, visit the in-laws, have minor surgery...

Oh Danny Boy,

the hype, the hype...

Dan Connor has been named first team All American by the AP - and second team All American by Sports Illustrated (really? second team?).

Maurice Evans received "honorable mention" from SI.

Read about it on GoPSUsports.com.


Oh, why couldn't little Timmy Tebow

have been a Penn State fan? eh- he'd still be carrying around a clipboard - waiting for his big chance - in 2 years.

So - Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators won the 2007 Heisman Trophy - He's the first sophomore to claim the title - just some more ink in the record books - he's used to that by now - He's broken the records, won a National Championship - and now won the majority of the big awards. He's humbly accepted all the praise and recognition - stating that his goal is to help make his team better and to get back to practice.

That Timmy is quite the hugger - he hugged all of the finalists, Mom, Dad, Coach and many of the past winners - he almost got a kiss from Chase Daniel - but just almost.

Photo from USAToday -

A very Nittany Weekend -

Women's Volleyball dominated play in the regional semi-finals and finals - crushing Michigan and BYU. The Lions now travel out to Sacramento, CA for the final four. The team's goal all season has been to win a National Championship, after stumbling in the regional finals last year. Their next opponent is California (who upset #2 Nebraska to advance). Stanford (1) and USC (5) complete the bracket. Penn State plays at 11pm (EST) on Thursday evening - the match will be broadcast on ESPNU and tape delayed broadcast on ESPN 2 Friday, at noon.

The men's basketball team gutted out a win over Seton Hall in overtime (89-86) - the Big Ten "guys" (on BTN) had some very nice things to say about the Lions - albeit during a segment called "Other than MSU and Indiana..."

The women's basketball team endured a defensive/shooting nightmare of a game against Georgetown. The shooting was not good on either side (the score was 9-8 at the 11 minute mark - it was a little painful to watch) - but the Lions played good defense and rebounded like champs, utilizing their height advantage, etc, and held the Hoyas to 47 points, while scoring 56.

AND - the #5 PSU grapplers upset #3 Oklahoma State. It's the Lions' first win over (that particular, but not "the") OSU since 1993.


2007 Walter Camp All American Team


WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech Fr.
WR Jordy Nelson, Kansas State Jr.
TE Travis Beckum, Wisconsin Jr.
OL Jake Long, Michigan Sr.
OL Sam Baker, USC Sr.
OL Anthony Collins, Kansas Jr.
OL Tony Hills, Texas Sr.
C Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas Jr.
QB Tim Tebow, Florida Soph.
RB Darren McFadden, Arkansas Jr.
RB Kevin Smith, Central Florida Jr.
PK John Sullivan, New Mexico Sr.


DL Glenn Dorsey, LSU Sr.
DL Chris Long, Virginia Sr.
DL George Selvie, South Florida Soph.
DL Sedrick Ellis, USC Sr.
LB Dan Connor, Penn State Sr.
LB James Laurinaitis – Ohio State# Jr.
LB Jordon Dizon, Colorado Sr.
DB Aqib Talib, Kansas Jr.
DB Antoine Cason, Arizona Sr.
DB Craig Steltz, LSU Sr.
DB Jamie Silva, Boston College Sr.
P Kevin Huber, Cincinnati Jr.
KR Felix Jones, Arkansas Jr.


WR Mario Manningham, Michigan Jr.
WR James Hardy, Indiana Jr.
WR Devone Bess, Hawaii Jr.
TE Marvin Rucker, Missouri Sr.
OL Ryan Clady, Boise State Jr.
OL Barry Richardson, Clemson Sr.
OL Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia Jr.
OL Duke Robinson, Oklahoma Jr.
C Steve Justice, Wake Forest Sr.
QB Chase Daniel, Missouri Jr.
RB Michael Hart, Michigan Sr.
RB Ray Rice, Rutgers Jr.
PK Thomas Weber, Arizona State Fr.


DL Vernon Gholston, Ohio State Jr.
DL Greg Middleton, Indiana Soph.
DL Greg Hardy, Mississippi Soph.
DL Bruce Davis, UCLA Sr.
DL Jonal Saint-Dic, Michigan State Sr.
LB J Leman, Illinois Sr.
LB Keith Rivers, USC Sr.
LB Shawn Crable, Michigan Sr.
DB Alphonso Smith, Wake Forest Jr.
DB Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State Sr.
DB Trey Brown, UCLA Sr.
DB Brandon Flowers, Virginia Tech Jr.
P Durant Brooks, Georgia Tech Sr.
KR Kevin Robinson, Utah State Sr.

Awards of the State

The Maxwell award went to Tim Tebow and the Walter Camp went to McFadden. okay - so I flipped these -

Dorsey won the Outland Trophy.

The O'Brien Award, the first of the night went to Tebow. Timmy thanked his Lord, his savior, Jesus Christ - but not Urban Meyer (at least not until he won the Maxwell).

Daniel didn't win anything - but they did ask him about how devastating it must have been to lose that 2nd game to Oklahoma - So Chase, you've lost everything this season - how do you feel?

Biletnikoff - Crabtree

Thorpe - Cason

Bednarik - Connor. Okay - so I was ticked off while watching the awards show - because I was totally convinced that Laurinaitis was going to win -- they seemed to show him or talk with him during every segment. So when they were finally announcing the award - I was actually booing the television. And then they said "Dan Connor" and I was totally surprised - and thrilled that Danny won. Luckily I'd DVR'd it so I watched the announcement a few times. It seems to me that maybe they didn't know who would win - because the young lady next to Dan did a definite "yes!" when his name was announced - for what it's worth - the candidates themselves were pretty stoic - me - not so much.

Walker - McFadden - surprised? No? Kevin White was at the awards ceremony - but not a finalist for this award. hmmm.

Mackey - Davis

Groza - Weber - not as cute in person.

Lombardi- Dorsey

Hendricks - C. Long - A very humble young man - but so not as handsome as Daddy.

Guy - Brooks - the finalists for this award were probably the cutest group of guys - I was like - these 'guys' (har har) are punters? And then Ray Guy was actually there to give out the award - pretty cool.

My one observation and tip for the masses is that Linebacker types - caucasian boys with thick necks and sharp features should NOT wear their hair long - it looks silly and is very unflattering.


A look back at the season that was...

Week One

"This is the greatest day in the history of college football"

"I think I might be allergic to the stadium."

Week Two

"When Liquid Paper just won't do..."

"There's no toilet paper and they're already full."

Week Three

Week Four

"Who needs football when we've got Guitar Hero?"

Week Five

"There's always Women's Volleyball."

Week Six

"Karma is an scurrilous lady, Mr. Bean."

Week Seven

"The world's best, number one, non-award winning tailgate - ever."

"I don't think I would stab you with this knife; it would have to be more of a julienne."

"the people are especially delicious..."

Week Eight

"Shoe? I don't need no stinkin' shoe."

"Run you fat man. Run. - okay, you're not really fat - keep running!"

Week Nine

"Did Ohio even dress a punter?"

Week Ten

Week Eleven

"Actually, that's Blair Thomas."

"I can't believe I'm rooting for Illinois."

Week Twelve

"In the grand scheme of things, losing a football game is unfortunate, but maybe not that catastrophic."

Rivalry Week

"He broke his hand? Did they put in the backup? He scored how many touchdowns?"

Championship Week -

"Holy crap, again." (said here, here and, because, yes, I'm one of the people who went to sleep, here).

Blue White Roundtable - So what's your point?

Well, it's, reportedly, the last of the "regularly scheduled" B/W Roundtables this week - and there was one question that piqued my interest - one last chance, this season, to sneak in with the band.

JB from There is No Name on My Jersey came up with the questions - lucky us.

PSU is lined up to play Texas A&M in the Alamo Bowl. How are you feeling about the match-up and Penn State's chances?

I feel good about this one - I think that Penn State matches up well and will win this one.

The BCS, fire away.

Okay - that final day of the regular season was pretty darn entertaining. When pitt pulled off the upset of the, well, the last 72 hours or so, I was laughing out loud. I never root for pitt - but it was fantastic to see yet another top team tumble.

That said - the BCS' "job" is to compute who the top 2 teams are in the country and then send them off to a championship game. The Computer picks its favorite - and the humans (and the sports writers) do the same - it is all factored in together and they come up with the top two teams. Did the humans vote with their hearts, minds and/or wallets? I have no idea - but after the USC/LSU co-championship season, the humans have had more of a say in just who goes to the game.

Is it right that a 2 loss team is playing for the championship? If I'm a Tiger fan - heck yeah - if I'm a Jayhawk, Sooner, Warrior, Bulldog (etc) booster - not so much. But I do think that LSU is one of the top teams this season -

I like the system better than what we had before - my school is one that has, historically, been passed over by the human vote - Could it be better? Sure it could. I think that a playoff would be exciting and beneficial to the sport - but it's not on the horizon.

This season I think that Missouri got the worst of it - #1 in the country one day - and the next day 2 teams ranked below you, both of which you defeated. are going to BCS bowl games - and you're heading to Dallas.

Will you be rooting for Tosu in order to help boost the profile of the conference or will you unmitigated hate win out?

So here's the question that interested me the most. No - I don't think that I will be rooting for tosu. I just can't stomach the fact/idea that they are even in the championship game - let alone the notion that they might end up the champion. Yes, LSU has 2 losses - but they are undefeated in regulation - 2 triple overtime losses - it's pretty amazing.

I will, most likely, be rooting for all of the Big Ten teams in all the other games. It will pain me to root for some of them - but I find each of them to be more palatable than the bucknuts.


Are you going to the Alamo Bowl?

No - I'm sure that it will be tons of fun - but I'll be watching at home.

How much playing time do Devlin and Clark see?

None I expect - I don't see how this final game should be any different than the regular season games.


Paterno. Finally a Boy in the Hall

Joe Paterno was finally inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last night in New York City. Although selected last year, he waited until this winter to be inducted due to his knee injury last season. While he missed out on being inducted along with Bobby Bowden, one of his 2007 classmates is Doug Flutie. You can read about the ceremony (et als) at GoPSUSports.com.

Photos from ESPN and GoPSUsports.com


Totally Biased Award Predictions

Noticing a trend?

Here's who I think should win this year's top awards. Some choices will feature analysis and explanations (many will not) and some actual research and merit will factor in - occasionally - but mostly I'll make my choices based on affiliation, good looks, name recognition/admiration and/or distain for the other candidate(s) - But then, that's my general criteria whenever I vote...

Heisman Trophy - Top Overall Player

Tim Tebow, Florida Quarterback. Little Timmy Tebow is an amazing phenomenon (not a normal one - amazing). 2007 offered the right combination of factors to allow him to have a record breaking year - the team dynamic along with his talent and determination resulted in Tebow scoring 51 touchdowns in the regular season - . His team did lose 3 games; however, in each loss he accounted for at least 21 points. Tebow's cuteness/fitness level is high - and he's also a good student and a God fearing kid - it's almost too much.

Chase Daniel - Missouri Quarterback. Daniel led his Missouri team to the most unlikely of places (and somewhere none of the other candidates inhabited) - the top of the polls. Albeit a short tenure as the #1 team, Daniel and the Tigers won their conference division and fell only to the Oklahoma Sooners (twice). Chase had a Ben Roethlisberger thing goin' on Saturday night - not saying that's a good or bad thing - I'm just saying.

Darren McFadden - Arkansas Running back - most likely the all-around best athlete - with stellar performances against some of the nation's top teams (LSU, I'm looking at you) - of course, he did have some "meh" outings as well and his team did rack up 4 losses - but there is no denying his contribution to his team and college football - He's a hometown kid done well - not too bad looking either.

Colt Brennan - Hawaii Quarterback - when considering a "body of work" versus one season of glory - Colt Brennan has really had both in 2007. Career college passing records and an undefeated season. Also, he led his team to its first BCS bowl. Brennan's appearance has been a little suspect at times - but over all, there's a handsome young man hiding in there.

Tim Tebow has had the most outstanding year, but he's a sophomore - so I'm biased against him; Brennan has had the most record worthy career, but perhaps against less worthy opposition. My vote goes to Darren McFadden- he had the most impressive performances, against the most impressive opponents - It was a tough year at Arkansas - and he had his down moments - but he rallied like no other.


Maxwell Trophy - Top All Around Player

Tim Tebow - Florida Quarterback

Dennis Dixon - Oregon Quarterback. Dixon had a fantastic year up to his season (and award run) ending injury. While he is not individually responsible, he can never be forgiven for those dang uniforms.

Darren McFadden - Arkansas Running back.


Walter Camp Trophy - Top Player of the Year

Tim Tebow - Florida Quarterback - cause he's gotta win something. The kid broke his hand in the 1st quarter of the fsu game with a broken hand - and still scored 5 touchdowns. I'm starting to wonder if he isn't part android.

Darren McFadden - Arkansas Running Back

Chase Daniel - Missouri Quarterback


Outland Trophy (Best Lineman)

Glenn Dorsey - LSU

Anthony Collins - Kansas

Jake Long - Michigan


Bednarik Award (Best Defense)

Dan Connor - Penn State - Do I really even need to list the other finalists? Not really - Of course Connor is my choice - Plus - he deserves it.

Glenn Dorsey, LSU.

James Laurinaitis, tOSU. This kid is just a trivial cough due to cold. He's not going to develop into BronkoNagurskitis (even if he did win their award) - seriously, he's not even the best LB on his team.


Thorpe Trophy (Best DB)

Antoine Cason - Arizona

Jamie Silva - Boston College

Craig Steltz - LSU


O'Brien Trophy (Best QB)

Tim Tebow - Florida

Chase Daniel - Missouri. Wah? Daniel is a quarterback - he's not a running back or a receiver or a punter - he's a quarterback and he had a great year.

Dennis Dixon - Oregon


Doak Walker Trophy (Best Running Back)

Darren McFadden - Arkansas. Duh.

Mike Hart - Michigan. Hart should get a "I never fumble and it really angers PSUgirl" award. But that's all.

Ray Rice - Rutgers. Rice has had such a wonderful career - and he's been such a huge impact on Rutgers Football. But this wasn't a great year for the Knights - and Ray won't be reaping any awards.


Groza Trophy - Top Place Kicker

Jose Martinez, UTEP - Made a 57 yard field goal - not too shabby.

Austin Starr, Indiana

Thomas Weber, ASU. Probably the best looking and the most successful this season - but I'm off ASU this year, so, sorry.


Biletnikoff Award - Top Wide Receiver

Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech. Definitely gets points for not being Mario.

Mario Manningham, Michigan. Anyone but Mario.

Jordy Nelson, Kansas State - I have really no basis for this other than I like his name and - he's not Mario.


Ray Guy Award - Top Punter

Durant Brooks, Ga Tech. Senior. Cutie. nuf said.

Kevin Haber, Cincinnati

Brett Kern, Toledo. I still ain't made up my mind about Toledo.


Butkus Award - Top Linebacker

Dan Connor, Penn State. Danny really is the best linebacker. He had 2 games this season in which he recorded 18 tackles. For his career (playing alongside Paul Posluszny and Sean Lee!!!!! - as well as some other kids who can tackle) - Connor has made over 400 tackles - that's amazing.

James Laurinaitis, tOSU

Jordan Dizon, Colorado.


Hendricks Award - Top DE

Chris Long - UVA. His father is easily the best thing that has ever graced this planet - at least during my lifetime. But, he's up against at Penn Stater - so he's doomed.

Maurice Evans - PSU. Maurice, the one shoe wonder, had a breakout year for Penn State. Well ahead of schedule and much to the chagrin of many an offensive opponent. He's the winner in my book.

Eric Bakhtiari - USD

Vernon Gholston - tOSU

Greg Middleton (Ind)

Nick Reed - Oregon

Jonal Saint-Dic, Michigan State. Easily, one of the best names in college football.

George Selvie, USF


Mackey Award - Top TE

Travis Beckum - Wisconsin

Fred Davis - USC

Martin Rucker (Missouri)


Lombardi Award (Best Lineman or Linebacker)

Glenn Dorsey - LSU

James Laurinaitis - tOSU

Chris Long - UVA. Here's where Crissy gets my vote. He's quietly amassed an amazing resume as he finishes his college career.

Jake Long - Michigan

Biased Bowl Blusterings - 2K7 edition

2nd Anniversary (click here for the commemorative cotton t-shirt - no. not really) of the hat tip to EDSBS -

This year I think I'm going to factor in the mascots more as I contemplate my personal bias - As a child I always used to measure up the Nittany Lion against his costumed rival... "Daddy...a Lion can beat a turtle, right?" Physical prowess, reality and/or consistency will not always win out - because, obviously, my own preferences will mitigate the strength of many a 'scot.

So while I ponder the supremacy of various Tigers and Cougars = here's a listing of the games - just 16 days away...

Dec. 20, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Utah (8-4) vs. Navy (8-4)

Utes v Midshipmen

Dec. 21, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Florida Atlantic (7-5) vs. Memphis (7-5)

Owls v Tigers

Dec. 22, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)
Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Southern Miss (7-5)

Bearcats v Golden eagles

Dec. 22, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
New Mexico (8-4) vs. Nevada (6-6)

Lobos vs Wolf pack

Dec. 22, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
BYU (10-2) vs. UCLA (6-6)

Cougars vs Bruins

Dec. 23, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
East Carolina (7-5) vs. Boise State (10-2)

Pirates vs Broncos

Dec. 26, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Central Michigan (8-5) vs. Purdue (7-5)

Chippawa v Boilermakers

Dec. 27, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Arizona State (10-2) vs. Texas (9-3)

Sundevils v longhorns

Dec. 28, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Boston College (10-3) vs. Michigan State (7-5)

Eagles v Spartans

Dec. 28, 8 p.m. (NFL Network)
TCU (7-5) vs. Houston (8-4)

Horned Frogs v Cougars

Dec. 28, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Maryland (6-6) vs. Oregon State (8-4)

Terrapins v Beavers

Dec. 29, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
UConn (9-3) vs. Wake Forest (8-4)

Huskies v Demon deacons

Dec. 29, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Mississippi State (7-5) vs. UCF (10-3)

Bulldogs vs Golden knights

Dec. 29, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Penn State (8-4) vs. Texas A&M (7-5)

Nittany Lions v Aggies

Dec. 30, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Colorado (6-6) vs. Alabama (6-6)

Buffalo v Crimson Tide

Dec. 31, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Cal (6-6) vs. Air Force (9-3)

Golden Bears vs Falcons

Dec. 31, 2 p.m.(ESPN)
USF (9-3) vs. Oregon (8-4)

Bulls vs Ducks

Dec. 31, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
Fresno State (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (7-5)

Bulldogs v Yellow Jackets

Dec. 31, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Florida State (7-5) vs. Kentucky (7-5)

seminoles vs Wildcats

Dec. 31, 5:30 p.m. (NFL Network)
Indiana (7-5) vs. Oklahoma State (6-6)

Hoosiers vs Cowboys

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Clemson (9-3) vs. Auburn (8-4)

Tigers vs Tigers (or is it War Eagle?)

Jan. 1, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Wisconsin (9-3) vs. Tennessee (9-4)

Badgers vs Volunteers

Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m. (FOX)
Missouri (11-2) vs. Arkansas (8-4)

Tigers vs Razorbacks

Jan. 1, Noon (CBS)
Virginia (9-3) vs. Texas Tech (8-4)

Cavaliers vs Red Raiders

Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ABC)
Michigan (8-4) vs. Florida (9-3)

Wolverines vs Gators

Jan. 1, 4:30 p.m. (ABC)
USC (10-2) vs. Illinois (9-3)

Trojans vs Illini

Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. (FOX)
Hawaii (12-0) vs. Georgia (10-2)

Warriors vs Bulldogs

Jan. 2, 8:00 p.m. (FOX)
West Virginia (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (11-2)

Mountaineers vs Sooners

Jan. 3, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Kansas (11-1) vs. Virginia Tech (11-2)

Jayhawks vs Hokies

Jan. 5, Noon (ESPN2)
Rutgers (7-5) vs. Ball State (7-5)

Scarlet knights vs Cardinals

Jan. 6, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Tulsa (9-4) vs. Bowling Green (8-4)

Golden Hurricane vs Falcons

Jan. 7, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Ohio State (11-1) vs. LSU (10-2)

Buckeyes vs Tigers

The Children are our Future

My boss' daughter has been bitten by the PSU bug - Although neither parent is a PSU alum, she's been to State College 3 times and recognizes the Lion Shrine when she sees it on TV. Every time she sees me she figures out some way to mention Penn State. She called me last week (with some assistance from her mother) to tell me that her mom was letting her use scissors so she was going to make me a princess costume and she said (in a very charming sing-song voice) "It has a Nittany Lion on it."

She's 3.


Lions and Aggies - oh my.

PSU (having committed to the game before the BCS selections) - will be playing in the Alamo Bowl - December 29th (8pm EST - on ESPN) - against the Texas A&M Aggies.

The Lions faced the Aggies in their most recent visit to San Antonio (in 1999) - a game they won 24-0.

Cadogan - First Team All American Smartie

Gerald Cadogan (Jr. T) has been named to the ESPN Academic All-American team. See the story at GoPSUsports.com.

Women's Basketball dunks Duke!

The Penn State Women's Basketball Team held off a 2nd half surge by #10 ranked Duke Sunday evening.

Penn State played very well in the first half with minimal turnovers, sharp outside shooting and excellence from the charity stripe. At half-time the Lions were up by 11 points!

The Blue Devils came out after halftime with a sense of urgency and they chipped away at the PSU lead little by little - but the Lions kept finding ways to stay ahead, by 2, 3, 4 points - until the end of the game and some sloppy passing allowed Duke to tie the game with just 8 seconds left - overtime, right? NO! Brianne O'Rouke sprinted down the court and passed inside to Janessa Wolff, who hit a layup from directly under the basket - PSU wins!

It was great - and a treat to see the Lady Lions on television. The team was very energetic and determined - they played extremely controlled and disciplined (for most of the game) - Excellent.

In other news - the Women's Volleyball team advanced to the 3rd round on the NCAA tournament on Saturday (after crushing Albany) - they face Michigan in the regional semi-final on Friday.


Joe's salary released and PSU mentioned in the tax world again

So, Joe's salary has been released - as documented in a very poorly written article now on pennlive (ht to Run Up The Score - check his site for a link to said article - as well as some other interesting news leaching from Central PA) - I will say that some of the posted comments are interesting though.

And as a result - PSU has a again drawn the attention of the tax blogging world. Kind of a nice commentary coming from a non-Penn Stater -

Time to Laugh at myself

I posted back in early September that I thought that many teams would go undefeated this season (I'd been watching too much College Football Live on ESPN) and that the only way a one loss PSU would be able to be in the "national hunt" would be a playoff system (which is still what college football needs) -

So after chuckling a bit - I thought I'd check and see where PSU would likely be if they had "run the table" after that um loss.

With Elvis singing "If I can Dream" on the iTunes - I submit the following...

Using the AP poll as a reference, going into the game against um - PSU was ranked #10 - after the loss they plummeted to #21 (at the time, btw, Missouri was ranked #20)-

The next week (week 5) we were out (loss to ill) - but a lot of teams recorded their first loss of the year that week - most notably, Texas fell from #7 to #19 - so for argument's sake, let's say that PSU stays around #21 - #20.

Week 6 (iowa) - Texas and Florida lose again - Kentucky and Wisconsin lose - causing a major shuffle in the standings - Virginia Tech (5-1 at this point) is now #12 - so I'm going to catapult PSU up to #13 (which is where 2 loss florida was). The Lions had a good game against Iowa - and the voters think that PSU is back on track.

Week 7 - Penn State manhandles #19 Wisconsin at homecoming - LSU loses, Cal loses, and USC, despite a win, falls in the polls. This is the week that PSU leap frogs Va Tech (and others) and is ranked #9 - This is the first week of BCS rankings - I see PSU somewhere around #11.

On to Week 8 - PSU travels to Bloomington and wins a close(ish) game against the Hoosiers. South Florida (see ya!), South Carolina, and Kentucky lose - everyone moves up! - PSU is #6 in the AP and #8 in the BCS.

This is the big one - top ranked tosu travels to Happy Valley for the late night showdown. PSU's defense plays inspired football - corralling the buckeye running game and sacking Boeckman repeatedly - The Lion offense plays well and Morelli connects to Andrew Quarless for 3 touchdowns (LISTEN - this is the land of make believe and I can make things pan out any way I want them to!) PSU vaults to #2 in the AP and #3 on the BCS.

Time to concentrate - week 10 (purdue) - Boston College loses (of course, in my make believe world BC beats fsu) - Penn State is now #1 in the AP and #2 in the BCS.

Week 11 - Penn State travels down to Philadelphia and plays well enough to beat the Temple Owls - LSU wins - everything stays the same.

Week 12 (at msu) - PSU gets out to a 17 point lead and never looks back. LSU wins as well - no change.

Week 13 - PSU, sitting at home, content that they will be playing for the National Championship (albeit, against LSU) - sees Arkansas topple the Tigers - Penn State is now #1 in both the BSC and the AP polls. Amazing.

So, not only does PSU go to New Orleans - but Joe Paterno is now one win ahead of Bobby Bowden as winningest coach (as it is, Joe has cut the lead to 2).

of course this is all speculation and I didn't consult the BCS computer formulas/assessments - but I'd say that it's pretty close -

For me a more likely scenario would be our winning the games against um and ill and then losing to tosu - because that's the one game where PSU really got beat - but since it's pretend world (hatchy malatchy if you will) - and if I'm going to rewrite history, I may as well go whole hog.


Blue White Roundtable - So I guess I have an opinion on that

They always seem to post one question that drags me into posting answers - what usually happens is that I'm in the process of leaving a comment and I think - darn it; i should just post my answer(s). And that's what happened today. Galen from The Nittany Blog wrote the questions this week. See if you can guess which query was the catalyst...

It appears that Penn State is a lock for the Alamo Bowl, at this point are you ready to jump on a plane and head to San Antonio or is this game a TiVo moment while you find better things to do like clean the bathroom?

I don't miss Penn State games - especially not bowl games. And it could be an interesting opponent - everything is interesting this season. Even though there have be outrageous upsets and all of the top teams have at least one loss - this season has really been about winning. There is a record number of teams that are bowl eligible - conferences such as the Big Ten have more bowl eligible teams than they have bowl affiliations (like you ever thought it possible) - it could be sad for some non-marquee schools that have winning records - but the chances are that a lot of very competitive teams are going to be playing football this winter.

Am I disappointed that PSU didn't play better during the season? - yes, of course I am - but I'm not a national championship/conference title or nothing kind of fan - I grew up with PSU being an independent - so the Big Ten really isn't that important to me (other than for pride's sake). Don't get me wrong - national championships are great (so are B10 ones) - but, while I do expect PSU to win every game they play, championships are just artificial labels doled out from those who don't play the game - All that said, PSU's losses this season were more of a disappointment because of the caliber of play and game plan - PSU coulda shoulda woulda one 3 of their losses if they'd played more disciplined football (which is ridiculous to have to say about a PSU team - but it's true) - I'm kinda glad (in a sad way) that we aren't saddled with just 2 losses - because this is a year for second chances and to be "this close" would be more painful.

So I guess my answer is - yes - I plan to watch the bowl game - whatever, and whenever it may be.

The rumor mill about the vacant Michigan coaching job is just getting started – who do you think ends up the next Skunkbear's head coach?

I've been following quite a bit of this - I'm a rumor fan - and this has been pretty good stuff. Who knows what will happen - no really - who knows? I assume that Les Miles is going to be dying his purple navy this summer - he seems like a tough coach - and when people were first talking about him I was a little jealous - we'll see.

Last week we had your list of the three players that vastly exceeded your preseason expectations, I'm a pessimistic prick (my friends call me captain morale) so name me the three players you had high preseason expectations for that have totally let you down.

btw - my exceeded players would be - Jeremy Boone (1st team big ten? wah? awesome.); Maurice Evans; and, Rodney Kinlaw/Evan Royster.

Disappointments? well, I hadn't put much stock in Anthony Morelli - nor Austin Scott - So while I was disappointed - I wasn't surprised.

Andrew Quarless would be one - his off-the-field antics may have been rather benign - but he, reportedly, has had consistent attitude issues (oh no) - and then when he did get back on the field, his play was disjointed and sloppy - penalties, missed blocks and assignments - Don't know if it was a sophomore slump, attitude or a fear of plowing into the sidelines that stunted his play - but it just wasn't what I'd expected.

Justin King's play concerns me greatly. He had been progressing quite well - in early 2006 I questioned his tackling abilities - but by the end of the season he'd delivered some serious pain. In the beginning of the season - no one threw in his direction - and then he got beat - badly a few times. The coaches suggested that it was because he hadn't been tested and he wasn't "hungry" to prove himself - well, offenses kept throwing his way - and he did not perform to the level that I had expected - he was often beat, fooled or just playing too far off the line to make a play. All of the tackling in the secondary was a concern - but Justin's technique/demeanor became almost desperate - it wasn't good - and yet - he has been named to the All Big Ten Team - I don't get it. I will say though - King is an excellent student athlete and he really does personify the idea of the Penn State player - I have really enjoyed his segments on the Penn State story - here's hoping that he can make his senior season something special.

All of the "fighters" are a disappointment to me - I really question who, if anyone, has control of this team. But to me the saddest result has been the change in Anthony Scirrotto - there's no doubt in my mind that the events this spring/summer have changed him as a person - and therefore as a player - one stupid incident can change everything. We saw a distracted Scotty Paxson play his senior year with charges hanging over his head - and it seemed to be the same for Anthony. Like Paxson - he had a few "moments" this season - but the spark was gone - hopefully he can resolve his legal issues this off season - and hopefully he'll be back and ready to play next year.

Lightning Round

The BCS is a total mess right now who ends up in the championship game?

I really can't fathom the idea of either west virginny or misery being national champion - but I think that it will be interesting any which way it pans out. the big east and big XII battling for the national championship wasn't beyond the stretch of the imagination at the beginning of the season - but the road taken certainly was. That said - I think that it will be WVU and tosu in the championship game.

Will the BCS shakeup this year finally cause coaches to start pushing for some sort of playoff (I'm looking in your direction SEC)?

No. There's some sort of craziness out there that is opposed to a college playoff - and I guess that the craziness is called money. The pundits (lee corso comes to mind) go on about how there can't be a playoff system - and that it would negate the regular season - I really have no idea how anyone can say this at all - let alone on national television and with a straight face. The conferences (which I guess is from where Galen's SEC comment stems) and the media are spewing pretty thick - but consistent propaganda - no playoffs.

The fans on the other hand, in every opinion poll/blog/editorial have strongly supported a playoff system - why? because it would be the best for college football and because every other dang NCAA sport (and football division) understands this. It's taken a long time (myself included) for college (Div IA) football fans to figure out that a playoff is the best way to determine a champion. Let the teams play it out.

Oh, but we fans have no clue regarding the day-to-day logistics of a major college football program - there is no democracy or mob rule in college sports - it's best to leave major decision making up to the people in the know - like Fed-ex and Citi-bank.

As far as the SEC goes, sure as a whole they weaseled out of the playoff question - but at least they brought it to the table. The idea that the president of the school that just won the BCS title would be a proponent of a playoff is revolutionary in that the pundits have time and time again said that the university presidents were the reason we don't have one.

what other BCS conference has publicly considered this issue? Certainly not Jim Delany and the Big Ten.

In honor of Black Friday, are you the type of guy that a) Christmas shops early and puts a lot of thought into your gifts b) waits until the last minute and buys whatever's left on the shelf c) gets everything from E-bay & Amazon or d) has a significant other that does all the shopping for you (bonus points if that significant other reads your blog)? well, I'm the kinda shopper who buys stuff all year long - stores it in "safe places" - can't find anything on Dec 23rd and then has to run out to the store to get more stuff - it makes the rest of the year kinda fun though- as i "find" things. I do make a lot of gifts (I'm a knitter) - so that takes a little planning - but I'm way behind schedule this year. As far as Galen goes - the fact that he's even thinking of a question like this in November suggests that he is not the "last minute guy" he professes to be.


Who can it, who can it be now?

All weekend the pundits were flipping and flopping around about the Heisman voting - depending on which game they were commentating - the endorsements shifted. Some say that Tim Tebow is just the best, and therefore he should win; others say that Colt Brennan, despite missing one game due to injury (concussion - wimp - see Tim Tebow) has the numbers and the talent that warrants the award; admitting that he had some "down games" still others said that Darren McFadden's "big games" so outshine any average performances that he is the natural pick; and there were those who said that the Mizzou/Kansas game was not only a battle for the Big XII North - but for the Heisman as well (Chase Daniel won that one).

Of course, every time they cut to Tim Brando - all I could think was - your school beat Alabama.

Hope everyone had a Happy Turkey Day

mine was fine; thanks for asking.

I watched quite a lot of football this weekend (and sappy/crappy movies - I couldn't help myself).

Friday was a big day - #1 LSU fell (in triple overtime) to Arkansas - which left the BCS door wide open, again. I watched the beginning of the game and saw McFadden's two turnovers - I flipped away - but each time I came back - the score made no sense - Arkansas gutted out a win - McFadden (following his fumble troubles) had a banner day (even throwing for a td) against a usually miserly LSU defense - the kid can play.

Texas A&M toppled mighty Texas (and Coach Franchione promptly resigned - to pursue other interests).

And Hawaii finally beat Boise State - the game was close - but Hawaii played well at the end to assure victory - All the media talks about is Colt Brennan - but the team was pretty balanced on Friday -

On Saturday - "rival week" continued -

Florida pounded fsu - which makes me happy - but it's really scary to see how good Florida's potential is - they're just so young - as the announcers kept saying - this team is a likely pre-season #1. And I seriously wonder if Tim Tebow isn't a cyborg. How can he be so strong, smart and saved? He did suffer a broken hand (non-throwing) during the game - but, um, the injury occurred during uf's first touchdown drive - the first (Tebow would pass/run for 4 more tds) - the severity of the injury was not determined (ie revealed) until after the game - the kid maintains a 3.77 gpa and is the son of a minister/missionary. That's just not natural.

The Tennessee/Kentucky game was also fun - UT was winning most of the day - so I'd flip to the game periodically - just to see what was happening - and then suddenly - UK was right back in it - first and goal with just seconds on the clock - they ended up tying the game with a field goal - and sent the game into overtime - a very exciting overtime - during the second overtime - tennessee went first - and a UK defender intercepted an Eric Ainge pass - it appeared that UK was going to pull out the victory - on their possession, UK stalled and lined up to kick the winning field goal - UT wouldn't have it and they blocked the field goal (very nearly running back for a score) - both teams scored touchdowns in the 3rd OT - but UT converted their 2 pt conversion to win the game.

I'll admit that I flipped to the nd/Standford game a few times - sadly, nd won - but it wasn't without quite a few mishaps - which is always nice to see.

I watched quite a bit of the Missouri/Kansas game - and I found myself "exclaiming" every so often - both quarterbacks were excellent - some of the passes and catches that were made during that game were pure poetry. And there was some solid hitting on defense as well - the d-backs really delivered some rocking hits - it was a fun game to watch.

So, #1 and #2 (albeit to #4) lost this weekend - the BCS rankings leapfrogged Missouri to #1, with WVU and tosu following. Upcoming, the Tigers play against Oklahoma for the Big 12 championship and WVU plays pitt in their season finale - and tosu sits at home, playing Rock Band, and waiting to see if they'll be booking flights to Pasadena or New Orleans - must be nice.


Football and Taxes

Life's two constants...

As many know, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that (the amount of) Joe Paterno's salary should be open to the public. This of course also means that PSU would be required to publish the salaries of all of their employees (including my mom!).

This story has even made it into the tax world - with the speculation that the publicizing of Coach Paterno's salary could spur further debate on the whole "are college sports not-for-profit organizations?" as reported on Taxgirl (a, you guessed it, tax blog).


Guess What?

I'm going to stop moping about Saturday -

One of the cruel truths about being an avid fan - is that when your team stinks - you rarely watch the re-cap/scores shows. If PSU wins, I'm on every channel - waiting for them to mention PSU's greatness - when they lose - it's time to flip to Gem TV.

So, many times when PSU loses, I miss out on scores of other games -

One I clearly missed was Alabama's match up against Louisiana-Monroe, at home. Bama, and their brand spankin' new highly compensated coach(ing staff) lost to the Warhawks 14-21. We may at Penn State complain that we can only beat the cupcakes, but at least we beat the cupcakes.

Louisiana-Monroe went into the game 4-6 with their other quality wins coming against ASU (no, not arizona, no not appalachian, Arkansas State), Florida Atlantic, (championship division) Grambling State and our common foe - Florida International - although these guys do have a better OoC schedule than PSU (who doesn't?) .

So, it's kinda like we beat Alabama on Saturday.

But seriously, the kids at L-M must be very excited - a hometown kid (a freshman) named Goodin rushed for the tying touchdown - and their quarterback, Kinsmon Lancaster threw (to Marty Humpfrey) for the winning td.

Tim McGraw and Tim Brando (of sports reporting fame) are notable L-M alums.

After all, losing to msu may be frustrating, but it's not a casatrophic event.

So, a rather fitting end to the 2007 season

Penn State's offense scored a good number of points on Saturday - but not enough. They had a (despite what the announcers say) 17 (not 21) point lead at one time. They ran some crazy plays - a half back pass (which I'd been calling for all season - if I'd known that DWill can't throw the ball - I wouldn't have) - a fake field goal (which was brilliant, btw) - AND Sean Lee caught an interception - we should have known that something wasn't right in the cosmos.

For my part - I wore my new Pat Devlin Jersey (here's hoping that the kid doesn't transfer) - but I wasn't the perfect fanatical fan - I didn't watch much of the 1st half - I was entertaining my little goddaughter who, while she adores "Penn State! Nittany Lion!", hasn't really caught on to the whole watching football thing yet (she's 3). But we did manage to see a touchdown or two - unfortunately we missed the fake field goal - I was SHOCKED when I saw the replay. By halftime I was watching the game on my own - which, I've found isn't exactly conducive to actually watching the game - with remote in hand - every time I was annoyed by the play or the announcers, I'd flip the channel - which, at the end, was a lot. That final PSU drive was a heart breaker - they made some incredible/implausible plays early in the drive and then - at the 24 they stalled, as only a Anthony Morrelli led, Paterno coached, team can - it should/could have been a great highlight reel - but now I'm just ticked off.

I don't know if the defense was out coached or out classed - but they were not good. Special teams had some troubles - but who cares? the defense was letting the spartan o run and pass at will - it really didn't matter how many yards they had to go. They were knocking PSU's defenders off the line - bouncing off of tackles - running wide open in the soft secondary. There were many key plays where the PSU defense had read the play perfectly - they just couldn't make the play (that, I guess I can't, primarily, blame on coaching).

Joe's blown leads before - conservative 2nd half defense is not a new strategy at PSU - but on Saturday the D showed inability to stall the msu offense at all (reminiscent of tosu game). And there was no definitive winning drive by the offense -

Listen - I wasn't one of the people who thought that PSU was going to make any kind of a "run" this season - and I was very discouraged by the "off the field" incident(s) during the spring/summer of '07 - I've really been wondering who, if anyone has control of this team.

I'm ready for a change. My disdain for a certain coach down in the panhandle is finally being overshadowed by the realization that PSU needs to be revitalized and needs it soon.


Fan Fare Friday

Pepper Shooters

28 Pepperoncini peppers (or hot cherry peppers)
1/4 - 1/2 pound sharp Italian cheese - provolone, asiago,
1/4 - 1/3 pound Proscuitto
olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Pick peppers (if you can) that are reasonably sized.
cut off the tops and clean out the seeds
cut cheese into 1/4'' x 1'' pieces (or whatever size works best with your peppers)
cut ham into slices

roll each piece of cheese in the ham and stuff into a pepper.

Line the peppers in a shallow, sealable dish

top with oil and vinegar (this is to taste - I usually go heavy on the vinegar)

Marinate at least over night.

Sometimes ESPN's ticker is not our friend


Tons of not so happy news emerging from Central PA - Check out RUTS and/or BDS (and others for more of the sorted details (see links to the right).


Finally, the Tailgate

if anyone wanted to find us - we had the only PSU flag in parking lot "G".
don't disrespect the sign - I made it at around 11pm the night before on a cake board - with my goddaughter's crayola markers and colored pencils. I added some Martha Stewart glitter while in the parking lot - I'm going to guess that it might be a first for the Linc Parking Lot.
Philly's finest - DiBruno's meats and cheeses, Marciano's stuffed breads, homemade crostini, pepperoncini shooters, pasta salad, and white bean rosemary dip. Delizioso!
an assortment of delicious desserts featuring apple pie, brittle bars with extra chocolate chips and treats from Cafe Roma! Salute!

And the scrubs

I told you that I took a lot of pictures.

Perhaps a preview for next year...

More football pix

Sorry that it's mostly backsides - or am i?

oh wait. That's the band.

D-Con - America’s #1 Brand for Owl Control

Danny Connor finished the afternoon with 397 career tackles (he had 18 on the day - which was enough for him to be named Walter Camp and Big Ten Defensive Co-Player of the Week). He has also been named as a finalist for the Butkus Award.

Once again he was everywhere at all times (even on the big screen)

and looked like he could take on the whole team alone

So, I took a lot of pictures

at the game on Saturday. We were in the 2nd row in the endzone (just behind the S in "OWLS" or "EAGLES", if you looked closely) - and, if you've ever been to Lincoln Financial Field - you'll know that that means that we were right on the field - it was great.

Most of the pictures I took, were actually of the security guys and/or pylons (my "just hold up the camera and get the picture" angles aren't always the best) - but I did get a few interesting shots of the game and the band and the big giant scoreboard - and while sifting through the multitude of pixels I found one great shot.

Now you might think that this is an example of Anthony Scirrotto running away from the play (he's been fooled by the reverse) or an example of not offensive holding (do they need a moment) - no when you look through all of that - what you'll see is the genesis of a fumble.

and here's the recovery...and Scirrotto trotting back toward the ball.


Temple Recaps and pix soon.

Happy Veterans' Day.


Brussel Sprouts!

When I was in elementary school (at the storied Park Forest Elem) they taught us (I believe it was 4th or 5th grade), after a rash of naughty language incidents, to say a vegetable name instead of a "bad" word when we were upset and/or frustrated. They said that using curse words showed a lack of vocabulary skills - I guess that's why Lady MacBeth howled "out! out parsnip spot!"

Anyway - I just read the weather report for tomorrow's game - both Accuweather and Weather.com - and all I can say is Brussel Sprouts and Fudge Muffins of love and happiness (a term I later added to my vocab).

It's going to rain - nearly all morning - and if you believe weather.com there are going to be showers around 3pm.

Bring the rain gear.


Temple game Press Release

This, just out from Temple Sports Media Relations (yeah? who knew?)

Fan Advisory for Temple - Penn State Football Game!!!

For your information, Parking Lots will open at..... FIVE AM!
One parking spot per car - no extra spots will be sold for tailgating.
No overnight parking.
Parking is $11 per car and $22 for oversized vehicles (do these hubcaps make me look heavy?)

I actually called Cathy Bongiovi to confirm that tailgating will be permitted - she's the contact person - she was nice.

Per the press release...

This is the largest attended game in Temple football history. Fans are reminded to plan ahead.

PENN STATE v. michigan state game time set

PSU and msu will vie for the uber coveted Land Grant Trophy on November 17th at 3:30pm (EST) in East Lansing. The game will be televised by ABC (and their affiliates - that is, depending on where you live, the game might be on ABC, or it might be on ESPN - so check your local tv guide). Tip for everyone - do not buy a TV Guide when returning home from vacation or while on a day trip - it will be of no use to you other than the excellent articles and crossword puzzle (22 down, 5 letters, "addressee of Arnold Drummond's catch phrase...").

Check out more details - about the Nittany Lions' final regular season match up at GoPSUsports.com.

Just a few remembry photos from past match ups....



Lost in the shuffle

of life that is Penn State football blogging is the fact that Sean Lee was named Big Ten Defensive Co-player of the week for his performance against Purdue.

And, Dan Connor has been named a semi-finalist for the Bednarik Trophy.

You can read about all of this and check out Joe's pre-Temple presser on GoPSUsports.com.

Blue White Roundtable - North Philly Style

First off - YEA!!!! MICHAEL NUTTER!!!!!!

next - I thought I'd take a stab (no gun violence here!) at this week’s questions, which were artfully penned by William Yurasko.

1.) Please elaborate on whether you come away from the Purdue game encouraged or discouraged about the Nittany Lions?

Mildly encouraged as they won - but they number of penalties and sloppy play in the beginning of the game is alarming.

Evan Royster is great - Let's keep him healthy and we've got ourselves a running back - add in some Stephon Green next season and things could be good. The offensive line is playing really well - great on run plays and good on pass plays - of course they can give AM all the time in the world, but they can't make him throw the ball to Butler.

I want to see a trick play this season - I real one - like the one's that Galen ran his first season back - I am in no way a fan of gadget plays - but I'd like to see some razzle dazzle - we've got a lot of (reported) talent and speed - why not use it?

2.) Who was a better linebacker at this point in their junior seasons, Sean Lee, Dan Connor or Paul Posluszny?
This is an excellent question (and the reason I decided to post some bootleg answers this week) - Posluszny was co-captain his Junior year; which was quite the accomplishment. It was 2005 and the defense was really excellent - there was a lot of quality support from the secondary (at times) and great strength up front - He was a great leader and just a natural born football player - obviously, his one (possible) weak point was in pass coverage - but it really didn't matter so much.

Connor will always be remembered, in part, for his prank phone call incident(s) of 2005 - by 2006 he had shed the stigma and was really out of Poz' shadow. He's a key player linebacker - when his assignment is to stop something or someone - he does it. Connor seems to see everything before it even happens.

Lee is great - I love this kid and I love his attitude - He's a monster on the field - he really delivers a bone crushing hit - and causes more fumbles than anyone. He's quick and smart and has great vision. Sean's one fault? He can't catch the dang football! He'd probably be leading the team in interceptions if he could.

All three have a certain 6th sense about the game - and an unstoppable drive. It's such a tough choice - we've been so lucky to have these kids on our team(s). I'm going to go with Sean Lee - he has 3 more games to prove me right.

3.) How much of a fight do you expect Temple to put up since this their biggest home game in forever-and-a-day? Does Temple (3-6) have a shot at winning? Are you going to be at the game in Philadelphia?

I'm going to have to disagree with this being the biggest home game in "forever" for Temple - for what it's worth - they used to play some pretty formidable foes in the Big East - and sometimes with not horrendous results.

Last season's game against Temple was kinda sad. Penn State was a little lazy in their play - but the Temple kids just couldn't keep up with them speed or size wise. I'm really rooting for Al Golden to turn around the football program at Temple - and it seems that the University is making an investment in the team. Right before he got to campus, Temple lost 9 scholarships due to academics - He's really brought back the idea of the scholar athlete - and he's doing a good job in recruiting. For what it's worth, playing home football games in the Linc is pretty cool.

Temple is obviously improving, and as other teams have proven this season especially, you never underestimate your opponent - but I really think that PSU will win the game.

Yeah, I'll be there. I've been waiting since they announced this game 2 years ago for this tailgate!

Lightning round

Are you a fan of the Patriot-News sportswriter videos?

Can't say - I've never seen one. From the stills on other sites - they're quite the Beau Brummells.

Which basketball team will have a better season, the men or the women?

I'm hoping that both teams improve this season. I'm quite optimistic that the Women's team is going to well this season. While I can be a bit of a poohead when it comes to the men's team (we always hurt the ones we love) - I wish them tons of success -

Do you wear a Penn State jersey to games? If so, what number and why?

I have. But not this season. I have a blue #7 and a blue #82. The #7 was a gift from friends during Zach Mills' freshman season and I bought (yup, saved up my own money) the #82 when I was a kid and in love with Kenny Jackson.

But where are the cow pastures?

So, as you all know, Penn State travels to Philadelphia to face the Owls of Temple this weekend.

The game is a 12 noon - at Lincoln Financial Field - 1 Lincoln Financial Field Way; Philadelphia, PA 19148. The Philly Sports Complex is in South Philadelphia and is accessible by both Route 95 and Interstate 76. Driving directions to the Linc can be found here.

Parking Maps can be found here.

For those of you taking public transportation (Yeah Septa!) take the Southbound ORANGE (Broad Street Line) subway to the last stop (Pattison Ave) and follow the crowds to the stadium (tailgate!) area. Trains run all day but for specific info check out the SEPTA website for departure times and other public transport information.

Parking Lots open at 7am - Per the Lincoln Financial Field website - the place to park is Lot K - which is right next to the Linc. For Eagles games this lot is reserved, but, apparently, not so for Temple games.

They're expecting 70,000 fans at the game - so I'm thinking that they'll need to open more parking lots.

Which is what we're counting on - because we'll be tailgating in the Wachovia Center Lots (that's the plan, anyway) - I'm hoping for E, F or G -

Our ETA is 0830 (WHAT! WHAT!?!) - and we'll be tailgating before and after the game (possibly during as well) - email for cell phone numbers for day of directions. We will have a 2theLion sign (or flag - depends on how motivated I get) - We will have the blue chipmunk flag - which actually might be a little (not much) unique (maybe?).

Everyone is welcome - We hope to see you there!