Thursday, August 29, 2013

College Football is Back!

So the 2013 season opens with some great games today . . . Indiana taking on Indiana State, Minnesota against the Rebels of UNLV.

Well, that was exciting, wasn't it.

At least the title was exciting.

Minnesota is currently leading UNLV 30-13 in the second half.

In a slightly more interesting, but with no Big Ten implications game, South Carolina is rolling over UNC 27-10 late in the third quarter.  You would think UNC would have some kind of advantage, given that the NCAA refuses to punish them for anything.  Oh, well, The Ol' Ball Coach will punish them tonight.  But even God is helping out the Tar Holes, as lightning has delayed the inevitable.

And Penn State kicks off the season against Syracuse this Saturday at 3:30 at Met Life Stadium.  TV coverage will be ABC/ESPN 2.  The Lions are favored by 7.5 points.

The big question on everyone's mind is . . . .will the sanctions be reduced?  Well, perhaps it is, but the big question that everyone is waiting for an answer to is WHO will be the quarterback.  (I'm thinking it will be Fergusen, but I wouldn't be surprised if Hack leads the charge.)

QB controversy is nothing new for Penn State fans.  In fact, I think Paterno took a perverse joy in stringing the media along with his "the job is wide open" rhetoric that almost always ended up with the more senior signal caller taking the field.  I know.  Rob Bolden started as a true Frosh.  Yeah, that happened a lot.  Give me a break.

The one thing you could count on was that the guy taking the field in the first game was not necessarily the best QB on the bench.  Paterno loved leadership, loyalty and brains--not necessarily in that order.  Hence, guys like Michael Robinson saw their talent wasted until their senior seasons, leaving a wake of less-than-stellar signal callers in their wake.  Now that is not to say that MRob lacked loyalty, brains or leadership, but for whatever reason, those skills were not evident until he became a senior.    Don't expect me to make any sense this early in the season.

But I will tell you one thing about O'Brien.  I have complete confidence that he will pick the guy that is best for the job as a quarterback.  He may not be the best leader.  Or the most loyal guy.  Or the one that has the highest GPA.  But he will be a guy that knows the playbook and can get the job done.  Hack or Fergie--you will see some points scored.

The magic he worked with McGloin last season was just short of miraculous.  McGloin still had his weaknesses (no real long threat, and sometimes threw into bad coverage,) but O'Brien seemed to minimize those faults and use McGloin's talents to the max.  If he can do half that job with EITHER of these two quarterbacks, I don't think we'll have any problem at the QB position.

Depth will be the biggest concern, mostly because of the scholarship limits.  As such, injuries early on--and even down the stretch, could be a huge difference between 7-5 and 10-2.

You read that correctly.  TEN AND TWO.  That's my prediction for the season.  I see Syracuse, EMU, UCF, Kent State, Indiana,  Illinois, Minnesota, and Purdue as victories.  Maybe I'm just overconfident.  Maybe I've been drinking too much Sam Adams.  Indiana is actually getting better, but to make an argument for an upset here is to take a loser's perspective.  That's the kind of crazy talk that ends up getting inside your head.  You lose football games.  You get your girlfriend pregnant.  You lose the lottery.  You get an STD.  You should have gotten Direct TV instead of cable.

So stop thinking like that.  You're Penn freaking State for crying out loud.  Indiana has never beaten you and this is not going to be that year.  Period.  We are not going there.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  Minnesota?  Are you watching the UNLV game?  Seriously?  We could beat most of these teams with 55 scholarships and O'Brien blindfolded.

Which leaves THEM, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin.  The usual suspects, and Ohio State players are used to being suspects.  I'd love to see this team run the table, but I have not yet had that much to drink.  I don't think there's enough in the house for that.  So I compromised on two of the four, while most sportswriters and pundits are saying 8-4 and 9-3. 


I actually would like to see us beat THEM and OSU, and drop the last two.  We could blame it on the season being too long and not enough depth.  But more likely, the wins, if they come, will be against THEM and Wisconsin, with heartbreaking losses to the Huskers and Buckeyes.

Personally, I don't care how you slice it, as long as we win two of those games.  Hell, I'd even give up one of the "sure" victories to win 3 of those games.  If a loss to Syracuse means we win all four, I'll dress up like a piece of fruit this Saturday and pray for a Syracuse win.  But that's just not the way this thing works.

And besides, I don't look good in orange.


No comments: