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.
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.