The questions this week month quarter time wrap up the 2009 football season and look forward to the 09-10 bowl season.
So, here are our 2theLion responses for (perhaps) the last time in 2009 and for the first time with Amandakt joining in!!!!
1. Penn State finished off this season with 10 wins, but lost the only two games that were really in question. What will your lasting memory of the 2009 season be?
Amandakt: Underwhelming. I am not surprised with the outcome considering we replaced most of our O-Line and wide receivers. But I was surprised at how well the wide receivers performed. I thought our defense would perform a little better but they weren't bad. With all the injuries, they did about as good as they could.
PSUgirl: My lasting memory of the 2009 football (regular) season would be - I really don't know. I agree with Akt that the competence of the receiving corps was a pleasant surprise; I'd add that the defense came together as a whole a lot better (especially the secondary) than I had thought they would. But there just wasn't that "big play guy" on offense or defense that stepped up and took control. Sure Bowman and Odrick were fantastic, but in spurts and not when absolutely critical. Hull was (sporting a) much better (mustache) than I imagined. On offense, it took a while, but the line did get better - and Clark was good - not great - but rarely bad; the kid thinks too much and doesn't seem to have the natural instinct/talent/confidence to play "outside of his head" which is what the truly great PSU quarterbacks (okay, Michael Robinson) have had to do to overcome the pressure/playbook/coaching. Honestly, my lasting memory(ies) from the 2009 (regular) season, having nothing to do with athletics, is the weather.
2. Though they miss out on a BCS Bowl, the Nittany Lions will face off with a highly ranked SEC opponent in a New Year's Day bowl. What are your initial thoughts about the matchup with LSU in the Capital One Bowl?
Amandakt: I'm really looking forward to it. I think LSU is a team we can beat. We just need everyone to show up. I'm calling it Iowa Part Deux. I am slightly nervous about our past in the former Citrus bowl, only 1-3. Let's just hope we make that 2-3.
PSUgirl: LSU is a quality opponent. This hasn't been their most successful season, but two of their 3 losses are to Florida and Alabama; a quick look at their schedule and results suggests that their season was quite similar to Penn State's. Their defense is pretty stingy with points so our defense is going to have to make opportunities for our offense to put points on the board. Penn State is going to have to play well in every aspect of the game - and overcome their less than stellar record in the Citrus Bowl.
3. When it's all said and done, where will Daryll Clark rank among Penn State QBs? What will you remember about Clark thinking back on the 2008 and 2009 seasons a few years from now?
Amandakt: Thanks goodness for the 2008 season. Clark was heralded as the next MRob and you could see glimpses of that in 08. In 09, he did well, but there was something missing that was in the previous season. He was afraid to scramble it seemed and there were a couple times that would have been saving. But I guess when you have no viable back up, you can't really do that. I really like Clark though, off the field and on. Statistically he did great. He'll definitely be missed next season.
PSUgirl: Daryll is a fine athlete and a good leader. He adjusted into the role of quarterback and captain very well. He is an ambassador of the Penn State system - he fought and worked hard to get to Penn State and to play for these last two seasons. The 2008 regular season was great and Daryll was a huge part of that success. Whether it was the Penn State game plan or Daryll's performance, the 2009 regular season was not spectacular - is was good, but not great - there were many exciting and fun moments, but not that signature win that is "one for the ages," which is sort of the way I feel about Clark. We can, however, remember him as the one who beat michigan, twice.
4. Which seniors are you most sad to see go? If you could bring one of them back in 2010, who would it be?
Amandakt: It's a toss up between Lee and Boone. Yes, I said a punter. Boone was the one advantage we had on special teams this season and I'm terrified what's left. No return game, piss poor tackling. Oh god. And Lee because well, I love Sean Lee.
PSUgirl: I adore Sean Lee, I wish him the absolute best for the future. I will miss his intensity on the field (for some reason, I have a strong sense that he'll be back in State College in a few years); the team will miss him as an example of the ultimate student athlete. Odrick, of course, is a loss, as is Hayes. We're going to miss Quarless (freshman and/or senior year, that is) and Shuler - an experienced, tough tight end is critical to a great offense.
5. What are your feelings on the Fiesta Bowl matching up the two undefeated mid-majors, instead of setting up Iowa-Boise State and Georgia Tech-TCU matchups? Does it support a playoff argument?
Amandakt: I laughed when that was announced. Putting two teams that most people don't know or don't care about into a BCS, well, it's their money right.Good for the schools though. I'm kind of over the playoff thing. It's not going to happen. Ever. So let's move on.
PSUgirl: My initial reaction was that it made perfect geographical sense for those 2 teams to be in the Fiesta Bowl, but I'm happy to hop on the conspiracy bandwagon. It would be an embarrassment to the system if the mid-majors strolled into the bcs games and stomped the acc champion and the #2 team from the B10 - there's no guarantee that they'd be victorious - and we'll never know. What we do know is that there will be (at the very least) 2 undefeated teams at the close of the season, and they will have never had the opportunity to play one another. Such a situation would never and could never arise in any other major college sport - or even little league. Let the kids play.
1. Do either Bowman or Royster (or both!) skip their senior seasons and enter the NFL Draft?
Amandakt: Bowman definitely, Royster maybe.
PSUgirl: I think that it has everything to do with draft projections. In my opinion, Bowman is a natural talent, but he still has a lot to learn. Whether or not he will/can learn that at Penn State, I don't know. As with every running back, Royster has to consider his health when he weighs his options. I think either could go.
2. Who wins the MNC Game, Alabama or Texas?
3. Will you be heading down to Orlando to watch the Capital One Bowl live? Who wins?
Amandakt: Nope. I will either be in Wisconsin or Notre Dame that day. PSU wins by 3.
PSUgirl: I'll be watching from home; I made the trip down to Orlando in 2002 - My sincerest hope is that Penn State wins ;)
4. Predict the draft stock of the following Nittany Lion seniors:
- [Bowman/Royster]--Bowman 2nd, Royster 4
- Jared Odrick--late first, 2nd
- Sean Lee--2nd
- Andrew Quarless--no earlier than 3
- Dennis Landolt--5th or later/undrafted
- Daryll Clark--late 2nd
- Mickey Shuler--5th or later/undrafted
- A.J. Wallace--late rounds
- Bowman/Royster - Bowman (following a great combine) late 1st; Royster - no name on his jersey next season
- Jared Odrick - 1st
- Sean Lee - (unless he has a stellar combine) 2nd, early 3rd
- Andrew Quarless - late rounds
- Dennis Landolt - Free agent
- Daryll Clark - n/d
- Mickey Shuler - Free agent
- A.J. Wallace - late rounds
Bonus question: How does the BCS work?
Amandakt: "You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character." Seriously...I think it's like a secret club that only the initiated know how it works, a mix between the stock market and elementary school playground rules with your teacher's pets. And sorry to all the new kids on the playground. It'll be awhile before you get picked first.
PSUgirl: it doesn't.
Check out the other BWR bloggers' responses at: