Friday, June 19, 2009

How Low Can We Go?

It was announced this week that Penn State has added Indiana State to the football schedule in 2011, a week before playing the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Indiana State will cash a school-record paycheck of $450,000 for a trip to Happy Valley on Sept. 3, 2011. This craptastic match-up will serve as a tune-up for Penn State's battle with Alabama the following week, but who are we to argue with success? The man responsible, Tim Curley, was named Athletic Director of the Year in Northeast Region for 2008-09.

Normally, I am a defender of Penn State's scheduling because I understand the economics behind the situation. As a fan, I may not always agree with it, but I get the big picture.

What I don't get is scheduling Indiana State. Why? For the love of all that is blue and white, why would we schedule this. . . this . . .well, let's face it, calling them a team is being generous.

Coastal Carolina lost to Appalachian State in the playoffs in 2006. Youngstown State has won National Titles in 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1997.

But what has Indiana State done?

The Mighty Sycamores went 0-12 last year with losses to Illinois State (57-6), Eastern Michigan (52-0), Western Illinois (56-0) and South Dakota State (49-9). Note that these games weren't even close. They were outscored 508-101, and Eastern Michigan was likely their toughest opponent.

In 2007, they went 0-11, coming up short in a 13-10 loss to Southeast Missouri State.

In 2006, they actually won a game, finishing the season 1-10. The lone win was a 28-22 drubbing of Missouri State.

In case you are wondering, they went 0-11 in 2005. That's a total of 1-44 in FOUR YEARS.

So not only are we playing a team from a lower division, but we are playing one of the WORST teams in that division. If you planted a Sycamore tree on the fifty yard line, it would have a better chance of winning a game than this team. Heck, if you planted a sycamore tree at the goal line, at least there would be a defender. Sooner or later some showboater would accidentally run into the tree, and hopefully cough up the football.

Sometimes when you schedule a team--like Syracuse--you don't know know how bad they'll be. Hello, McFly! This team ain't looking any better for 2011, although if they win one game, they will be better, so it all depends on how you look at it. They are 13-57 since 2002. Bad is just an adjective--and they are bad.

It's an outrage. Couldn't a school like Penn State find a better opponent? Aren't there MAC teams that would be willing to take a $450,000 paycheck home? I'd even take Pitt, but they won't accept without a return trip to Pittsburgh.

Playing Indiana State doesn't even help recruiting. We already play Indiana and Purdue. Geographically, this game is worthless. Coastal Carolina and Youngstown offer better recruiting grounds.

I'd rather see us play Akron twice in the same season. Or Temple. Are both William AND Mary busy that weekend? Craptastic--a great adjective--doesn't really do justice to this injustice. This is not a cupcake--this is what cupcakes eat. Indiana State . . . the Breakfast of Cupcakes!

This is simply inexcusable. I can handle playing inferior opponents to pay the bills, but I cannot accept playing a team that is inferior to inferior opponents, when there have to be other options available.

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