12/28/2007

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.


ARMED FORCES BOWL
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.

Falcons


SUN BOWL
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 -

Bulls



HUMANITARIAN BOWL
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.

Tech


MUSIC CITY BOWL
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 -

WILDCATS!!!!!!



INSIGHT BOWL
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!



CHICK-FIL-A BOWL
Atlanta
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



OUTBACK BOWL
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.

Badgers


COTTON BOWL
Dallas
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.

razorbacks


GATOR BOWL
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



CAPITAL ONE
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



ROSE BOWL
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.


SUGAR
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...

Warriors


FIESTA BOWL
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 -

Moutaineers


ORANGE BOWL
Miami
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.

Hokies



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

Scarlet knights vs Cardinals

Knights



GMAC BOWL
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



BCS TITLE GAME
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

CHAMPS SPORTS BOWL
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

TEXAS BOWL
Houston
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



EMERALD BOWL
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.


OSU



MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL
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.

Wake



LIBERTY BOWL
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.




ALAMO BOWL
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



INDEPENDENCE BOWL
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.

Colorado

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?

12/27/2007

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?).

HOLIDAY BOWL
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.

12/20/2007

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!

12/18/2007

Dan Connor named to ESPN All American Team

Ivan Maisel's 2007 All American Team.

Offense
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

Defense
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.

12/17/2007

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,

12/14/2007

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)



POINSETTIA BOWL
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 BOWL
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.

Memphis

Photo from Wikipedia.org




PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL
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



NEW MEXICO BOWL
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 BOWL
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 -

BYU



Photo from Wikipedia.org



HAWAII BOWL
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



MOTOR CITY
Detroit
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

12/12/2007

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.

12/10/2007

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.

12/07/2007

2007 Walter Camp All American Team

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE

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.


FIRST TEAM DEFENSE

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.


SECOND TEAM OFFENSE

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.


SECOND TEAM DEFENSE

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.

12/06/2007

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.


LIGHTNING ROUND

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.

12/05/2007

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

12/04/2007

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.

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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



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Outland Trophy (Best Lineman)

Glenn Dorsey - LSU

Anthony Collins - Kansas

Jake Long - Michigan

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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

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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

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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...

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

Utes v Midshipmen


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

Owls v Tigers


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

Bearcats v Golden eagles

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

Lobos vs Wolf pack


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

Cougars vs Bruins


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

Pirates vs Broncos


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

Chippawa v Boilermakers


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

Sundevils v longhorns


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

Eagles v Spartans


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

Horned Frogs v Cougars


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

Terrapins v Beavers


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

Huskies v Demon deacons


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

Bulldogs vs Golden knights


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

Nittany Lions v Aggies


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

Buffalo v Crimson Tide


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

Golden Bears vs Falcons

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

Bulls vs Ducks


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

Bulldogs v Yellow Jackets


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

seminoles vs Wildcats


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

Hoosiers vs Cowboys


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

Tigers vs Tigers (or is it War Eagle?)


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

Badgers vs Volunteers


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

Tigers vs Razorbacks


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

Cavaliers vs Red Raiders


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

Wolverines vs Gators

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

Trojans vs Illini


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

Warriors vs Bulldogs


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

Mountaineers vs Sooners


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

Jayhawks vs Hokies


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

Scarlet knights vs Cardinals


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

Golden Hurricane vs Falcons


BCS TITLE GAME
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.

12/03/2007

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.