Thursday, October 31, 2013

Weekly Game Guide: Ill-annoyed Edition

It's Thursday night!  Do you know who's playing this weekend?

Penn State hosts the Illini at Beaver Stadium in a NOON kick-off.  Now I don't usually shamelessly copy borrow previous posts, but I can save myself a lot of time here.

After losing to Indiana, I typed thusly:
THEM is favored by 2 over the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium.  Two weeks ago, I thought this was a pretty sure win.  We seemed to be improving each week.  Our defense seemed capable.  THEM was struggling to beat the likes of Akron and UConn.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to that sure thing.  We played one of our worst games top to bottom of the Bill O'Brien era.  Nothing seemed to go right in Bloomingdale.

With a few minor changes . . . .voilà!

Penn State is favored by 10 points over Illinois at Beaver Stadium.  Two weeks ago, I thought this was a pretty sure win.  We seemed to be improving each week.  Our defense seemed capable.  Illinois was struggling to win it's first Big Ten game.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to that sure thing.  We played one of our worst games top to bottom of the Bill O'Brien era.  Nothing seemed to go right in Columbus.

It's like Groundhog Day all over again.  Okay campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties cause it's cooooold out there this Saturday. It's coooold out there every day.  What if there is no tomorrow?  There wasn't one today!

I don't know what to expect from this team on Saturday, but I am praying that we see some leadership--on offense.  On defense.  On the sidelines.  Looking at the pattern, this should be a winning week. 
"Whatever you do, don't play for a field goal!"

We are far from a must win, but another loss, to a team that we should clearly beat, will be hard to sell to fans and recruits. 

We want execution, not excuses.

And in an interesting tidbit of news, Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase's father has been banned from the Illinois campus for one year, following an incident during the Illini loss to MSU.


Wisconsin is favored by 9.5 over Iowa in Iowa City.  GO BADGERS!

MSU is favored by 5.5 over little brother THEM in East Lansing.  GO Spartans!

Ohio State is favored by a gazillion (or roughly 31.5) over Purdue.  Yea Boilers!  Fat Chance.

Indiana is favored over Minnesota by 9.5 points.  GO HOOSIERS!

Nebraska is favored by 7 over Northwestern.  NU has yet to win a Big ten game.  GO HUSKERS!

Maryland is off, but future Big Ten Team Rutgers is favored by 13.5 over Temple.


Notre Dame is favored by 17 over Navy.  GO MIDSHIPMEN!

Florida State is favored heavily over undefeated Miami.  Normally, I'd go with Miami here, and it's nice to see Golden have some success down there.  But a F$U loss means the Buckeyes move up---GO SEMINOLES!  GO SEMINOLES!   GO SEMINOLES!

Oregon and Alabama are thankfully off and can't lose.

Pitt is a 10 point do g to Georgia Tech and the Ted Roof defense.  GO TECH!

Florida and Georgia face off in Jacksonville.  Georgia is favored by 2.5.  Pick you own poison here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Sermon: The Evil of Temptation

Welcome once again to the Irreverent Church of the Gridiron.

Whether you are a Missouri fan looking for solace and answers, or an Alabama fan giving thanks for the Blessings of Saban, all are welcome here at our little church in cyberspace.

Our bible study for this week includes these verses:

Miami 24:21 - And a hurricane shall blow through the Forest, leaving behind a Wake.

Duke 13:10 - And lo, the Hokie falls before the Blue Devils.  If there be a more overrated team in the land, only the Lord knows it.

Minnesota 34:23 - Make ye an ark of Gopher Wood.  Beat the husker of corn with gopher wood.  Gopher wood is good.

But today's sermon will focus on the age old sin of temptation.

Let's be honest.  We are all dogs humans.  We are all sinners.  So it be with the referee.  Anyone who thinks there is a totally unbiased referee out there probably also believes in fair trials, honest politicians and tooth fairies.

I am not suggesting that there is some heinous conspiracy here.  I'm not suggesting that O$U actually pays referees to "throw" games or flags.  I'm not even suggesting that the Big Ten does that either.

But if you don't think that each referee knows where his paycheck is coming, and that said employer benefits from a team like O$U winning each week, then I suggest you put your tooth under the pillow tonight and expect to pay your rent tomorrow with the results.

It's simple mathematics and money.  If O$U wins out, there is a chance they could be in the title game, which opens a spot in the BCS money pot for a SECOND conference team to get a SECOND payout.  If O$U goes down, so does the chance of TWO teams cashing out big paychecks in the BCS payday.  Again, if you don't think the referees "know this" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), then you are either still in diapers or have been living under a rock.  By the way, you could save 15% on car insurance by switching to Geico.

Why are the referees employed by the conference they are policing?  Isn't there a conflict of interest there?

If the NCAA survives into the future as a viable organization, and that truth is open to a lot of debate, then it should take charge and eliminate, as much as possible given that we are dealing with humans, the temptation to throw a flag or not throw a flag.  After all, some of God's greatest gifts are unthrown flags.

The NCAA should "charge" member institutions for providing referees.   This charge would be approximately equivalent to what conferences as a whole are now paying, distributing across their membership. 

From this pool, the NCAA will provide referees to games.

If a referee is an alum of a given school, they should be excluded from games that involve that school, or games whose outcomes could impact that schools ranking.  Geographic considerations would be important.  A ref living in State College should never be calling games involving Big Ten teams.  It's that simple.

Moreover, a system of checks and balances should be implemented.  After each game, each coach gets a chance to rate each refs performance.  This rating will actually impact the refs paycheck--bad ratings earn less money than good ratings.  Refs can challenge a bad rating by a coach which could be reviewed by an independent board of former coaches and referees.  That way, there would be actual consequences for bad calls, encouraging refs to not only be impartial, but also to strive harder to actually be correct.  Coaches could also base their ratings on flags not thrown--ie complaining about holds that were not called, and these could be reviewed later for confirmation or not.  Referees who continually get low ratings would be replaced.  And to be fair, if a ref challenges a low rating and is exonerated by a review board, the coach/school that gave the low rating could be penalized, so as to prevent coaches from arbitrarily giving bad ratings to refs they "may not like," or as a knee jerk reflex to a bad loss.

Again, no system would be perfect.  Mistakes are made that have nothing to do with bias.  The ref has two eyes and can't see everything.  But the impact this has on the outcomes of important games, and the amounts of money riding on those games, begs for a better, more impartial system.

That's our view from the pulpit.

Go Forth and Spread the Word.  If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter!


Awwww Nuts!

First of all, there is probably not another fan out there who wanted Penn State to win more than me.  I trained in Ohio for four years in the heart of Buckeye country (Akron--not Columbus, but no less overzealous or rabid) from 1991-1994--the start of our Big Ten association with the Buckeyes.  Our victory in 1994, ironically enough a 63-14 beat down of the Buckeyes was AFTER I had graduated in May and moved back to Pennsylvania and the comfort of Lion Country.  I used to write a blog for PennLive--I am the founder of the 50-Yard Lion Blog--but was fired unceremoniously from that position after a BUCKEYE FAN complained about a personal email exchange that he initiated.  At the time, that cost me $2400 per year.  If your story of Buckeye misery can beat that--leave it in the comment section.  Perhaps I'll reward the best "worst" story with tickets to a game sometime.

But the above emotion notwithstanding, I am curiously not as enraged as I normally would be.  I have been known to break things after losses.  (I broke our front door off the hinges slamming it after Lloyd Carr stole a win from us in 2005.)  I have not broken a TV . . . yet.  Give me time.  I rode a bus from hell from Ann Arbor after a 14-9 loss and I swear, with God as my witness, had I had a gun, there would have been some dead THEM fans that night, and I would be rotting in a jail cell in Ypsilanti or some other God-forsaken Michigan town.  Probably bankrupt Detroit.  But I digress.

We got our helmets handed to us by the fourth ranked team in the nation.  The Buckeye roster has more stars on it than some small galaxies.  There is no shame in playing your heart out, making mistakes, defying the odds and coming up short--no matter how short that might be.  Even SEVEN touchdowns short.  I really don't want to see the Buckeyes win a National Title, so we must pray that all three (just to be sure because you never know what those BCS computers will do!) of the teams ahead of them continue to win, so we won't have to suffer that.

This is not the first time we were not competitive against this team.  24-6 in 1993.  38-7 in 1996 (when we were ranked 4th and they were 3rd!)  28-9 in 1998.  45-6 in 2000.  28-6 in 2006.  37-17 in 2007.  24-7 in 2009.  38-14 in 2010.  35-23 in 2012.  Despite our 63-14 win in 2004, this series has been lopsided, and our wins have often been by a touchdown or less, while the losses have been ridiculous.  In the Big Ten Era, Ohio State has outscored Penn State 551 to 367 in 21 games.  Ohio State leads the series 14-7 over that span.  That breaks down to 17.5 points per game scored by Penn State, while OSU scores 26.2 per game.

Fans are focusing on the fact that Penn State has given up over 40 points the past three games.  And they have.  Tru dat. 

And so the Sunday Morning Quarterback club has determined that we need a new defensive coordinator.  Perhaps even O'Brien isn't right for the job.  Should he be his own offensive coordinator, or should there be a separate play caller?  The sky is falling!  The sky is falling!

Take a step back from the ledge.  Look around.  Think about this for a minute.  We lost to Lehigh 106-0 in 1889.  Joe Paterno (who?) went 5-5 in his first season.  Thank God we didn't panic then!  We used to have a three-headed monster calling plays based on whoever won the rock-paper-scissors game.  Our defense used to keep us in 6-4 losses!  There are some things I don't miss.

If you fire OB, who is going to take this job right now????  Bill O'Brien (with the help of people like Mike Mauti and company) likely SAVED this program.  No likely about it.  He saved this program with a capital S.  Without these coaches AND players who stayed and committed, we could be losing 63-0 to Temple.  Or Eastern Michigan.  Seriously, dudes.  Get a grip.

We have been spoiled by the Paterno era, and the high standard of SUCCESS WITH HONOR that he brought to and BUILT THIS program with.  But that Chapter in Penn State history is over, with only some minor editing work left to do, such as restoring the victories to Paterno.  Bill O'Brien seems committed to keeping HONOR.  The success, if you so believe, will follow.  It will.

We will never be the same team again.  Deal with it.  It doesn't matter who you plug in as head coach or defensive coordinator.  It will never be the same.  I saw a JoePa sticker on a Cadillac.  A little voice inside my head said "Don't look back you can NEVER look back" I thought I knew what love was, what did I know? Those days are gone forever, I should just let them go.

This is John Butler's first year as DC.  Is that really the standard now?  Seven games and it's hit or quit?  Is that success with honor, or is it win at all costs?  To my knowledge, and according to his bio, he has never been a DC before at the FBS level.  Can we at least give him a chance through the end of the year? Of the sanctions even?  Might it not be helpful to recruit players that fit their system?  Won't they be able to recruit better athletes AFTER the sanctions are over?

We played a solid Buckeye team that, to their credit, played a nearly flawless game.  All the pressure was on them and they rose to the challenge.  There obviously was incentive for the Bucks to "run up" the score, but I honestly don't think they did that.  Braxton stopped playing with 3 minutes left in the third quarter.  They even brought in a third string QB in the fourth. 

What I do think was weenie, and worthy of a douche bag award, was challenging the spot on Penn State's fourth down attempt.  I don't feel the video evidence was INDISPUTABLE but the wonderful Refs of Oz felt otherwise.  BTW--it was another poorly officiated game, with OSU holding at will and not being called, but to be honest, it wouldn't have changed the outcome much.  Maybe 49-14.  Big deal.  It's just the principle--why bias the officiating at all, let alone when the winning team doesn't even need the help.  Everyone's human, but even my non-Penn State friends have noticed that the officiating always favors OSU and UM.  Wisconsin.  Iowa.  I think we did benefit from a questionable PI call against Minnesota a few years ago.  Woo freaking Hoo!  Sometimes we can overcome the bad calls, like two weeks ago.  Other times, we're just screwed.

Seriously?  You're winning 56-7 and you CHALLENGE a spot?  I never liked Mr. Meyer before, and I like him even less now.  He has joined Lloyd "drive-by handshake" Carr, Bret "I'll keep kicking off-sides all night long because the rules allow it" Bielema and Mark "Ima gonna call a needless timeout in subzero temps just to piss your crowd off" Dantonio on the list of B1G DOUCHEBAGS.  Congratulations Urban!  Come on down and collect your year's supply of Massengills.


From the GoPSUsports site:

FIRST DOWNS...................2032
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............40-12051-408
PASSING YDS (NET).............237278
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........34-19-226-20-0
Fumble Returns-Yards..........0-00-0
Punt Returns-Yards............1-00-0
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........5-711-49
Interception Returns-Yards....0-02-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............6-37.03-46.7
Possession Time...............26:3933:21
Third-Down Conversions........8 of 167 of 10
Fourth-Down Conversions.......0 of 10 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......1-25-5
Sacks By: Number-Yards........1-84-21

What can we say?  We all knew we'd have to score some points to win this game.  We failed.  We knew we'd have to create some opportunities (such as turn overs.)  We failed.  We knew we'd have to control Braxton.  We failed.  We knew we'd have to limit our own mistakes.  We failed.

What's funny . . . if you look just at the Penn State side of the stats sheet and ignore the turn-overs, it doesn't look that bad.   Three hundred and fifty seven total yards and 50% on third down conversions isn't bad for a game against the Number 4 team in the country. 

Unfortunately, there is a second side to the stat sheet.  And giving up 686 yards and 70% on third down isn't going to win many games, regardless of ranking.

But to pin this all on the defense is absurd.  The turn-overs put the defense into a hole early on.  The inability to maintain possession offensively, even when they don't score, hurts field position and doesn't give the D much time to catch their breath.  But that doesn't explain or atone for WIDE-OPEN receivers in the secondary or poor tackling which has been a problem all year.

Head Nut of Columbus

The Blue Band travelled to Columbus . . . no word on whether urine was involved or not.

Penn State won the toss and deferred.

A largely blood-red crowd of 105,889 watched the massacre.  The fans at home at least could flip over and watch the Penguins lose 4-1 to Toronto.  If a leaf falls on the ice, does anyone hear it?  IT WAS JUST A BAD NIGHT ALL AROUND.  Even Notre Dame won!

Pope Urban is undefeated as THE O$U head coach.  We are not amused.

But if you look at the programs he left behind, Florida is 4-3 with Georgia, South Carolina and F$U left on the schedule, and Utah is 4-4 with Arizona State, Washington State and Oregon left to play.  We can only hope that Urban leaves the Buckeyes in a similar state.  History repeats itself.  Hence the 63-14.  Karma has a way of biting one in the derrier.


The Nuts of Columbus lead it all.

Michigan State whipped the Illini 42-3.

Nebraska got cornholed by Minnesota, losing 34-23.

Iowa defated Northwestern, who has yet to win a B1G game, by the score of 17-10.

Future members lost as well, with Maryland falling to Clemson 40-27 and Houston had no problem defeating Rutgers 49-14.


1.  Pitt--defeated by the Midshipmen!  Anchors Aweigh!
2.  UConn--taken behind the woodshed by UCF 62-17.  Go Knights!
3.  Texas Tech--no longer unbeaten as they fell to OU 38-30.
4.  Missouri falls from the ranks of the unbeaten as well, losing to South Carolina 27-24.  Mizzou dinked a FG off the upright to lose in OT.
5.  UCLA lost to the Quackers 42-14.  GO DUCKS!
6.  Wake Forest came up short as Miami won late in the game again to go to 7-0 on the year.


The Lions travel to Illinois to take on the Illini (3-4, 0-3).

Here's the Illinois season to date:

W 42-34 over Southern Illinois
W 45-17 over Cincinnati
L  34-24 to Washington @ Soldier Field
W 50-14 over Miami (OH)
L  39-19 to Nebraska in Lincoln
L  56-32 to Wisconsin at home
L  42-3 to Michigan State in east Lansing

The Illini are looking for their first B1G win.  Penn State must regroup--this is where the coaching and leadership will be tested.  Good teams will rebound from a loss like this.  Not so good teams?  Well, they fold up the tents and start talking about next year.

Nothing has changed.  Penn State cannot go to a bowl game.  They cannot go to the B1G Championship game.  They are playing for pride and to hopefully sway and/or keep recruits. 

I don't want to say this is a MUST win game, because quite frankly, it is not.  But it is an important game nonetheless.  Purdue may be the closest thing to a "sure" win left on the schedule, and a loss to Illinois will probably foretell losses to Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin as well.  If Penn State wants to have a winning season--which is not an unreasonable goal at this point--I think they need to win this game.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Weekly Game Guide: The Bucks Stop Here Edition

Another week of college football is upon us, as Mississippi State leads Kentucky 21-10 at the half.

Cow bells ring . . . can you hear them?  During the game . . . can you stand them?

They're clanking in cheer, now I'm deaf in one ear

Cheering in a Southern Football Land.

Sure--Penn State has it's own Cowbell Man.  But that's one cowbell . . . in 108,000 fans.  Not a whole gaggle of clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous junk!  But I digress.

Penn State travels to Columbus, OH to take on the Nuts of Columbus in a late brawl on Saturday evening.  Penn State is hoping to build on it's emotional, if not pretty, win over the wolverines in their last outing, while the Bucknuts need a marquee win to improve their BCS ranking, which is currently fourth, behind Alabama, Florida State and Oregon.

Let's face it . . . . the Big Ten is not impressive this year.  Both Iowa and Northwestern are at 4-3 and NW has not won a Big Ten game yet.  Wisconsin is 5-2, and that was a respectable win.  Buffalo is also 5-2, but this was the University they beat, not the Bills.  They beat Cal, who is now 1-6, with a lone victory over Portland State.  Did you know Cal was that bad?  The bucks defeated Florida A & M by a score of 76-0, but FAM is 2-5 and Ohio State is the only FCS team they have faced so far (they beat Mississippi Valley State and Savannah State.)

Maybe a 4-2 Penn State team that somehow lost to Indiana for the first time ever won't improve their rankings, but struggling to beat a Penn State team that lost to Indiana will likely hurt them.  And if they lose, well then you can probably kiss a date with the national championship game good bye.

And it would be Urban Myers' first loss as THE head coach at THE Ohio State College.  I can't even begin to tell you how much I want to blog about Urban's first loss this Sunday.  I'd give up a Klondike Bar to see that happen!  Aside from winning the lottery, I can't think of anything I want more right now than a win over the Buckeyes this Saturday.

But enough about me.

In the Big Ten Conference this weekend:

The Hawkeyes are favored by 4 over the Wildcats.  GO HAWKS!

Michigan State is an 11.5 point favorite over the Illini.  I still can't bring myself to root for Illinois after their little recruiting expedition to Penn State in our darkest hours.  GO SPARTY!

Minnesota hosts the Cornhuskers, who are favored by 10.5 points.  This is a hard game to pick.  We have to play both teams, so from a strength of schedule point of view, it's a wash.  Nebraska is ranked, which makes a win by us look better, so we'll have to pick the Huskers here.  GO BIG RED!

THEM, Wisconsin, Indiana and Purdue are all off this week. 

Future Big Member Rutgers is favored by 8 over Houston.  GO KNIGHTS!

Future Big Member Maryland will try to upset the reeling Clemson Tigers, thought Clemson is favored by 13.  The game is at Maryland.

And in games of interest outside the Big Ten:

Notre Dame (favored by 19.5) plays Air Force.  GO FALCONS!

Alabama is favored by 28 over Tennessee.  Interesting.  ROLL TIDE ROLL.

Oregon is favored by 21 over UCLA.  GO DUCKS!

Florida State is a 29.5 point favorite over NC State.  GO NOLES!

UCF is a 22.5 point favorite over UConn.  GO KNIGHTS!

Until Ohio State loses, I have to keep rooting for Alabama, Oregon and F$U.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Morning Service: Just Good Business Edition

Welcome to the Irreverent Church of the Gridiron, all ye sinners and fumblers.

Listen now for the Word!

1 Timothy 6:10

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
Bret Bielema followed his heart to Arkansas, and the Razorbacks lost 52 to NOTHING.  Hallelujah!  The tide is high and rolling on.
Silas Redd followed his heart to San Francisco Los Angeles, and the Irish defeat the Trojans 14-10!

Johnny Football signed autographs for money, and Texas A and Texas M was smote by Auburn, 45-41.  Perhaps smite is a bit strong for a four-point victory, but we like the words smite and smote here at the Irreverent Church of the Gridiron!
And it was so.
But in those days, the wolverine will rise back up and smite the Hoosier, for no one knows just what a Hoosier is, and few care for either of them.  If Jonah were alive, he would be seeking shade, while he waits for God to smite the wolverines again, but he would have waited in vain, for God cast his mercy on the wolverines of Nineveh Ann Arbor.  They prevailed 63-47.  (Did they leave our congregation to join the Big 12?  Perhaps the actual number of teams in our congregation confused them?)
The Valley of the shadow of defeat is littered with the corpses of the mighty.  LSU falleth before the Tiger of Auburn, 27-24.  Even the Bulldog of Georgia is not sacred anymore, as he fell to the Commodore of Vanderbilt, 31-27.  And the mighty Cardinal of Louisville fell on the sword of the Knight from Orlando, as UCF knocked Louisville from the ranks of the unbeaten with a score of 38-35 in Papa John's own temple.  And last, but not least, Clem's son was slain with the jawbone of a Seminole, as Florida State won 51-14.  And there was much gnashing of tiger teeth and pain and suffering followed them all the days of their trip home.
Other verses you may want to check out this week . . .
Missouri 36:17 - Lo, and the Gator became bait.  And its hide a really trendy purse, with matching boots!
Syracuse 0:56 - Beware the Ramblin' Wreck, lest ye lay an egg.
Temple 33:14 - And the Army bowed before the blind Owl.  Even a blind owl finds a mouse once in a while.

Oregon 62:38 - And the duck will walk with the cougar, but the cougar will tremble in fear.
In our humble little congregation (I swear we only have 10!), the mighty Badgers overcame the Illini 56-32.  The Spartans struggled but managed to beat the Boilermakers 14-0.  Even the Bible can't explain that!  The Buckeyes beat the Hawkeyes 34-24.  And the Golden Gopher handed Northwestern its third straight loss, defeating the Wildcat 20-17.  Perhaps Fitzgerald should not have mocked the Lion when he said that Syracuse should have beaten Penn State.  Self-righteousness follows the pride that goeth before a fall!
Which brings us to our sermon, today. 
Have you read about the grumbling at Grambling?  They fired their coach.  The players have walked out.  They forfeited a game against Jackson State.  What is going on here?
According to the scrolls from ESPN (All Hail Lee Corso!):

Grambling State football players complained of mold and mildew on equipment and in facilities, having to pay for Gatorade out of their own pockets and even said which assistants they thought would make a good interim coach after the firing of Doug Williams.

"It's horrible," [University President] Pogue said of the situation in an interview with ESPN. "Grambling is the institution when it comes to athletics. Whether Eddie Robinson -- there are legends abound. So it's horrible when the focus is in the negative on athletics."

The players' letter says "there are certain factors that are hindering us from reaching our goals" and then elaborates on many of them.

The athletic complex "is in horrible condition, and has many hazards that may contribute to our overall health," the letter says. "First, the complex is filled with mildew and mold. Mildew and mold can be seen on the ceiling, walls and floor, and are contributing to water leaks because of faltering walls and ceilings."

"The uniforms are poorly cleaned and contribute to the multiple cases (of) staph infection," the letter reads. "Several players have been infected with staph multiple times."

A group of 26 photos obtained by Gomez from an unnamed Grambling State player appears to illustrate some of the players' complaints.

Several of the photographs show walls and ceiling tiles and even player equipment that appear to be covered in mold or mildew.
Isn't it ironic that the city of Grambling actually petitioned the NCAA to vacate some of Paterno's wins so that Eddie Robinson could once again be the wins leader, John Gagliardi notwithstanding? Is this smiting the result of their prideful lust?

Perhaps.  But as in most cases, it usually is a matter of following the money.
[School Spokesman] Sutton added that buildings throughout campus, including the library, have similar problems because of neglect, and that the conditions football players have complained of are symptomatic of problems campus-wide stemming from substantial budget cuts.

"If people want to get this fixed, there are two things they can do: Make a donation to the Grambling Foundation and the other is lobby legislators to fund Grambling at the level it should be funded," Sutton said.

Sutton specified that the 57 percent cut in state funding, which has occurred over the past several years, has affected the entire campus, and that athletics was spared significant cuts until this academic year.

"When you have your budget slashed by 57 percent, you have to make choices," Sutton said, adding that the school would "love" to fly the team to distant road games, but that Grambling was contractually obligated to take its band, cheerleaders and dance team on those two trips. He said those obligations led to the difficult choice to put everyone on buses.
How long will it be before Pitt players have to walk across Pittsburgh to get to "their" stadium?  I particularly like the answer that the ONLY "ways" to fix the problem are to GET MORE MONEY.  Apparently paying the University president 57% less is NOT an option.  Or the head football coach.  Of course, they have a good example in Congress to follow.

Will Grambling raise their debt ceiling and play football this weekend?

Will the players continue to shut the Grambling football program down in protest?

Only time will tell.

But don't let this homily on the sin of money interfere with you being generous when I pass the collection plate around.  Hallelujah!

Till we congregate again, go fourth and long!  May all your fumbles be recovered.  May all your catches be in bounds.  Have a blessed week!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Weekly Game Guide: Hackenberg on the starboard side! Edition

Penn State has a bye week which gives us a chance to relish again the 4OT victory over the previously undefeated wolverines last week.

You can see a panoramic view of the game here.  I tried to find myself, but I was blocked by some people standing in front of me.  Down in front!  So much for my fifteen minutes of fame.

The game was far from perfect, but in the end, Penn State made one less mistake than THEM.  But the game was not about the Four OT's, the blocked field goal or the miss by Gibbons.  It was everything about losing a lead, and fighting back against all odds.  The team never quit.  The coaches never quit.  The Devin squared tandem of Gardner and Funchess are going to score points on a lot of teams.  And although Gardner was playing Funchess while our secondary seemed to be playing Funcheckers, our coach made some gutsy calls late in the game while Hoke seemed to be reading Paterno:  By The Book and playing conservatively not to lose.

Was the QB sneak in regulation brilliant or a poor call that just worked out?  It had already failed earlier in the game, albeit I think that fourth down was slightly more than a yard, rather than inches.  But what if Hackenberg hadn't made it?  What if it took them twenty seconds to unpile the mass of bodies on the goal line, with no touchdown signal.  With no time outs, the clock may have run out on what is now one of the best wins in the O'Brien era.

It's funny how Sunday Morning (or Thursday evening) Quarterbacking works that way.  When you win, you tend to forget about the bad calls.  When you win, there are no bad calls.  If the players execute, the coach looks like a genius.  If the kid boots the field goal wide, the coach looks like a conservative jerk who should have played to win.

But even some visiting fans had a good experience, the outcome notwithstanding.  Although not this guy . . .
What's worse than losing in 4 OTs?

From the above article . . .
This weekend was a different story. As the few Wolverine fans trickled into Beaver Stadium they realized that the structure was possibly even more impressive than our very own Big House.

The white out stands for what separates the Penn State game environment from that of Michigan. During a maize out, Michigan Stadium has one maize section where the students stand and a mixed bag of maize and blue throughout the rest of the bowl. Fans don’t put much stock in participating in the game atmosphere but simply want to watch their team win. It’s tradition.

But in Happy Valley every single fan is ready to cheer like crazy for Penn State from the opening kickoff. The white out was breathtaking. Over 100,000 strong were decked out in all white and shaking white pompoms as Bill O’Brien led his team onto the field. This scene was unlike anything our little group of Michigan students had ever experienced.

Though it has a smaller capacity than the Big House, Beaver Stadium is built entirely above ground and is much more intimidating both inside and outside. Second and third decks keep all of the sound in while reaching up much higher than the final rows in Ann Arbor. If you’re wondering how a structure like this can be safe, you aren’t alone.

Penn State’s famous chant is the Zombie Nation cheer, which gets the entire audience involved in jumping and screaming along. Because it was one of the things I was really looking forward to, I asked our host, a senior at Penn State, about Zombie Nation.

“There’s a new rule that we can only do it two times each game,” he told me. “We were doing structural damage to the stadium so they had to limit us.”

At the suggestion of damaging a concrete structure like Beaver Stadium I was astonished, but when Penn State came back and tied the game with under a minute remaining in regulation, Zombie Nation blared and the back wall of the stadium was visibly wavering back and forth with the Nittany Lion faithful.

It was the most incredible atmosphere I’ve ever been a part of, and I wasn’t even in an appreciative mood.

Following such an emotional win I expected to be mercilessly harassed by the Penn State students all night, but was surprised when they continued a trend set before the game. . .  It was extremely strange. We weren’t sure how we felt about the hospitality because it didn’t feel right, but it was much better than being harassed in Columbus or East Lansing. After the game there were fans that laughed and jeered at us, but the number that told us good game probably outnumbered them.

Even though they always seem to beat Michigan in recent years, and they ended our undefeated season, it’s hard to hate Penn State fans because of how cool they were; both when they were sure they would lose and after they had won.
I have been to Michigan Stadium thrice, and have been a-maized at how quiet those games have been except for the odd play or two every now and then.  My experience outside of the Penn State section was BAD.  The two games I sat with other PSU fans were positive experiences, except for one loss.  The stadium is built into the ground, so it doesn't look like much outside on street level.  But it is a really big bowl that doesn't hold the sound in well.  We'll see how Indiana fares in that venue this week.

Speaking of this week, in the Big Ten . . .

THEM is favored by 9 points in Ann Arbor over the Hoosiers.  After losing to Indiana, I guess we have to root for the wolverines.  Did I just type that out loud?  Even if we can't win a Big Ten Title, that doesn't mean we can't win a fantasy title, does it?

Iowa travels to Columbus to take on the Bucks who are favored by 16.5 points.  GO HAWKS!

Northwestern is favored by 12.5 and expected to bounce back against the Gophers.

The Boilers travel to face the Spartans in East Lansing.  Sparty is favored by . . .wait a minute till we add this all up . . . 26.5 points!  I hope Purdue wins, but I gotta say, Sparty wins this one.  No OTs will be required.

The Badgers, favored by 11.5, head to Illinois.  ON WISCONSIN!

Penn State and Nebraska are both off again.

Future Big Ten Team Maryland is favored by 6.5 over Wake Forest.  GO TERPS! 

Rutgers is off.

In games around the country:

Miami (FL) is leading UNC 13-7 in the second quarter, but quite frankly, I've been watching the Pens who are up 2-1 on the Cryers at the end of two periods.  Philly accidentally scored a goal with 2 seconds left to actually make this a game!

Notre Dame is favored by 3 over Southern Cal.  GO TROJANS!

Stanford is favored by 5 over UCLA.  Hmm.  GO BRUINS!

Alabama is favored by 28.5 over Bret Beliema's Hawgs.  ROLL TIDE ROLL!

F$U is favored by 3 over Clem's son.  GO TIGERS!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Unscientific Data

Vote 4 Hackenberg

Vote for Christian Hackenberg in the Capital One  Impact Performance . . .


Sunday, October 13, 2013

FAIL! To the Victors!

FAIL!  FAIL! To Michigan!

What a game?!  Seriously?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Penn State blows a 21-10 half-time lead to fall behind 34-24?   YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Ficken misses a 40-yard FG in the first OT?!   YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Penn State blocks a FG in the first OT to send it into a second OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Both teams manage to kick field goals without incident in the second OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Allen Robinson fumbles on the first play of the third OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

Gibbons misses a field goal from the 33 to send this game into a FOURTH OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!
Gibbons kicks a field goal.

THEM kicks a successful field go to go up 40-37?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

O'Brien goes for it on fourth and one in the fourth OT?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

And Penn State makes it?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!


Touchdown PSU on a sneak that failed to get a first down in the first quarter, which seemed like a couple of days ago?!  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!


This was the BEST GAME ever.  Not the best win (think OSU in 2005, or Nebraska in 2002, 1982, or the 1987 Fiesta Bowl) ever, but the most exciting up and down, back and forth, hit the other guy in the face, make a mistake and then atone for it game I have ever witnessed in person.  BAR NONE.  And the fact that it was against THEM?  Priceless.

I feel sorry for the fans that left to get a jump on traffic when it looked like the referines were going to find a way to make sure this previously undefeated THEM squad came out with another W, earned or not.

You left to beat the traffic?  YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS!

I am not going to discuss the officiating in any detail, suffice it to say that is was another stellar performance by the Big Ten crew.  They did their best, but their best just wasn't good enough.  So many games against this team have been swayed by bad and, quite frankly, atrocious calls, that nothing surprises me anymore.  The crowd hailed loud boos on the crew late in the game, and there was a poetic justice, a perverse irony that a pass interference call against the wolverine defense helped set-up Penn State's winning touchdown to end the game 43-40.  I was sitting above the north end zone and it certainly looked like PI to me.  But I had already seen plays more egregious than this one not flagged, and plays far less obvious flagged.  You just never know what these Big Ten officials are going to call. 

For years, THEM fans have told Penn State fans to stop complaining and stop being whiners.  Bad calls equal out.  I'm not sure PSU actually benefitted from any bad calls yesterday, but for once, they didn't hurt us.  I have nothing to complain about.

I can't remember when the last time PSU came back from a 10 point deficit in the final quarter to win a game.  I'm sure it has happened (OSU for win #323 maybe).  Actually, against Northwestern last year we scored 22 points in the fourth to win 39-28.  But in the Big Ten JoePa era, those kinds of wins were few and far between.  And this win/comeback was all the more difficult with a freshman QB and only 50 ticks left on the Timex.

Allen Robinson almost pulled a Tony Johnson 2002, but replay overturned the bad call on the field this time.  Ain't modern technology great?  And then, in one of the "plays of the game" Allen Robinson grabbed the jump ball at the six inch line to set Penn State up for the tying TD in regulation.

And if the 2002 flashback catch/non catch on the sideline was not frightening enough, it appeared as if Penn State left too much time on the clock.  With 29 seconds left, Penn State elected to kick-off instead of squibbing.  The ghost of 2005 reared its ugly head, and THEM returned the ball to the 35 yard line.  One play later, the wolverines were on the PSU 40 and inching towards a game winning FG try.  The wolverines would get as close as the PSU 35 yard line, but with 7 seconds left, and only third down, Hoke opted to kick the FG instead of running another play to get a few more yards.  Bad choice for THEM; good one for us.  In what would be a foreshadowing of the ensuing OT conflict, Gibbons missed the 52-yarder, leaving it short instead of wide.

And the rest, as they say, is history. 
“History belongs to the victors, legends to the people, fantasy to literature. Only death is certain.”  --Péter Esterházy

Only the victors valiant wore Blue and White on this night.


The stats from GoPSUsports:

FIRST DOWNS...................2124
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............54-14944-85
PASSING YDS (NET).............240305
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........29-15-245-23-2
Fumble Returns-Yards..........1-240-0
Punt Returns-Yards............0-03-26
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........6-1542-39
Interception Returns-Yards....2-52-32
Punts (Number-Avg)............6-40.84-44.8
Possession Time...............36:1323:47
Third-Down Conversions........4 of 183 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions.......0 of 02 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......2-35-6
Sacks By: Number-Yards........4-163-22

Above, I put "plays of the game" in quotes, because there were several.  The fumble by Zwinak to open the second half was one.  Not good for us, but sparked the wolverine resurgence.  The Allen Robinson fumble in the third OT.  Again, not a great play for us, but it could have been disastrous.  The blocked field goal by Baublitz.  Great!  The catches by Allen Robinson in the final drive--exceptional.

The defense held Toussaint (Mr. Halloween) to 27 yards.  Unfortunately, Gardner posted 121 yards to make their offense look presentable.  The wolverines controlled time of possession--a lot of good that did THEM.

Technically, his name translates to All Saint's Day, but close enough to be funny.

The key stats, which you don't see above--are the missed/blocked field goals by both teams.  Penn State (read Bill O'Brien) again gambled on fourth and short fairly deep in his own territory--and lost.  But this week, it did not cost us any points directly, as the defense held and forced a punt.  However, it set-up bad field position and THEM eventually added a field goal to go up 10-7.


Penn State won the toss and deferred.  After fumbling the first possession away, that didn't work out so well.  THEM won the toss in OT.  Didn't work out so well for THEM either.

The homecoming crowd numbered 107,884.  Most stayed until the very end.

According to a television announcer I heard, this was the LONGEST game in Big Ten history.

The drum major stuck both flips and the half time show featured the a cappella group, The Statesmen, as well as the Alumni Band.

One of the people in our group wore a THEM jersey (at least it was white!)  He is a student at PSU Altoona.  Don't ask me.  My daughter brought him.  Some girls bring home dead beat derelicts with tattoos and piercings.  My daughter brought home a THEM fan.  What can I say?  She tells me he is just a friend--not a boyfriend.  So I've got that going for me.

Why do opposing fans have to be so obnoxious?  Such as asking all the white-clad PSU fans why they are no longer standing and cheering after the wolverines made a play?  You can't possibly be THAT stupid, so it must be asked for the sole purpose of being annoying.  My brother-in-law's friend was behind us, and he asked my daughter's "friend" what his name was.  After telling him, he said.  "Nice to meet you, ___.  Now shut the [bleep] up."  He felt sorry, though--he thought he was only thinking it, but he actually said it out loud.  Our win made the trip home much more tolerable, although his tears were annoying at times.

The Goodyear Blimp sailed over Beaver Stadium in a rare appearance.  This must have been a B1G game!

Penn State is 4-3 in OT games, riding a four game winning streak in post-regulation play.


The Cornhuskers threshed and thrashed Purdue 44-7.  Michigan State had no problem against the Hoosiers, winning 42-28.  And Wisconsin went all Bret Bielema over Northwestern, running up a 35-6 victory over the Wildcan'ts.

Speaking of Bielema, Arkansas was smothered by South Carolina 52-7.  Schaudenfreude, baby.

Illinois, Iowa, the Suckeyes, and Minnesota were all off.

SHEDDING TEARS:  (plenty to go around this week--"upset" Saturday)

1.  Stanford falls to Utah, 27-21.
2.  Georgia falls to Mizzou 41-26.  Five offensive starters for Georgia were out.  Boo Hoo.  Try playing with 65 scholarships, bulldogs.
3.  Oklahoma lost the Red River Rivalry to Texas, 36-20.
4.  Virginia Tech beat Pitt 19-9.  Oh, wait.  That wasn't an upset.
5.  Temple (0-6) loses to Cincy 38-20.
6.  Rutgers falls to Louisville 24-10.
7.  Virginia loses to Maryland 27-26.  Hope they missed an extra point! ;)


This is a big one, Billy!
Bye Week.

The Buckeyes at Columbus are on deck.  The Bucks face Iowa next week in Columbus.

This is a big one.  Gotta pull out the old Billy (O'Brien) Baroo.  Oooo, Billy, Billy, Billy.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Weekly Game Guide: Us vs. THEM

For those who have followed this blog, THEM refers to the Wolverines.  That "team Up North" was already taken by Woody Hayes, and from a Penn State point of view, Ann Arbor is Up Northwestern.  And there's already a Northwestern, so that didn't make any sense.

Hence, THEM.  As in, THE M.  You know--that big block "M" that marches to the fight song that makes 110,000 idiots pump their fists in the air while yelling about concrete heroes and liters of the best.  They are too sexy for their helmets.  Their helmets have wings.  Like a maxipad.  Whatever.

THEM is favored by 2 over the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium.  Two weeks ago, I thought this was a pretty sure win.  We seemed to be improving each week.  Our defense seemed capable.  THEM was struggling to beat the likes of Akron and UConn. 

But then a funny thing happened on the way to that sure thing.  We played one of our worst games top to bottom of the Bill O'Brien era.  Nothing seemed to go right in Bloomingdale.  I racked my brain to come up with a positive and this is the best I could do:  We didn't have any serious injuries in a TWENTY point loss to a team that had never beaten us in the history of college football.

Now, I'm not so sure how we'll handle THEM.  But with a few beers and watching Louisville struggle a bit against Rutgers, I'm confident that we are not in Indiana anymore Toto.

I'm not sure where we're at, but I do know this . . . WE ARE . . . PENN STATE!


In the Big Ten (favorite noted in parentheses with points):

Michigan State (9 pts.) is favored over the Hoosiers.  Was last week a fluke, or is Indiana that capable?  The Spartans may have a better defense than PSU, but MSU is averaging 21.5 points per game against FBS schools (they scored 55 against Youngstown State that I didn't include because they are FCS and it didn't help my argument here.)  I'm leaning toward the Hoosiers on this one.  GO INDIANA!

Nebraska (14.5 pts) is favored over the Boilermakers.  GO BIG RED!

Wisconsin (10 pts.) is favored over Northwestern at Camp Randall.  ON WISCONSIN!

The Illini, Iowa, Minnesota, and the Buckeyes are off this week.

In Games from around the country:

Alabama (27 pts) returns to their old Kentucky home.  ROLL TIDE ROLL.

Can Rutgers beat Louisville tonight?  They're down by 10 heading into the fourth quarter.  Looks like Papa's in the house tonight.  The Rutgers QB--Nova?  Shouldn't he be playing for Villanova?  And doesn't Nova mean "it doesn't go" in Spanish?  Hopefully the Cardinals don't speak Spanish.  I hope Rutgers pulls this out.  After watching the Pirates, I've seen way too many happy Cardinals recently.

Maryland take son Virginia (no line.) GO TWERPS!

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, takes on Mack Brown's Texans in Dallas.  GO SOONERS!

LSU (7pts.) plays Florida.  GO GATORS!

Temple (0-5) is playing worse than the Steelers (0-4) at least to this point.  They are 21.5 point dogs to Cincinnati on Friday.  I guess the Owls are hoping for a #1 draft pick next year.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Good COP: Bad COP

I have come down from the ledge.

The Hoosiers, like it or not, played a good, almost flawless game.   (Why does it seem like everyone brings their A-game against Penn State?   Is it just me?)  I remember as I watched the game thinking about how Latimore tiptoed and danced along the sidelines, plucking perfect passes out of the air against decent coverage.  IU made the plays.  PSU--not so much.

Yet, as we saw in the recap, the stats weren't as lopsided as the score.

Often times, that can be traced to turn-overs.  But in this game, the turn-overs were "equal."  One fumble lost for us.  One INT for them.  But not every turn-over is equal, and turn-overs in and of themselves don't always paint the complete picture.

But COP does.

What is COP?  Change Of Possession.  That includes turn-overs but it also includes failed fourth down conversions and missed field goals, which are essentially a turn-over, but not recorded as such.  One of our fumbles we recovered--sounds great.  But in reality, we recovered in the end zone (better than giving up a TD!) but it was a safety and we still lost possession.

But not every COP is bad.  There are good COPs.  Such as kicking off after a field goal or score.  Or sacking the QB in the endzone to create a safety.  Covering an on-side kick is a good COP.  Losing an on-side kick is a bad COP.  These can be game changing plays that don't show up well on the stat sheet.
OK--we can play this the easy way, or the hard way.

Bad COPs include having a punt blocked, missing a field goal, failing to convert on fourth down, especially deep in one's own territory(!), and giving up a safety.  We managed all but one of those in the loss to IU.

I'm not sure why the statisticians don't record COPs, because they do explain the outcome of the game better than turn-overs alone.  Of course, the stats are all there if you look close enough--the fourth down conversion percentage, number of punts, missed field goals, blocked or otherwise, etc.

Of course, not every COP is clear cut in theory and has to be viewed in the context of the actual game.  Turning the ball over on downs on your own 33 yard line down by 11 is BAD.  But turning the ball over on downs inside the opponents red zone when you're leading by 10 with seconds left in a game where you don't want to risk a blocked field goal is probably GOOD.  Neutral at worst.

Either way, you always want a good COP.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

It's Sunday, and time to cleanse our football sins at the Altar of the Irreverent Church of the Gridiron.

Look at this place!

Packed with Irish fans who skipped Mass last night to watch Notre Dame beat Arizona State. 

The Baptismal font overflows with tears of Iowa State, Penn State and Northwestern fans.

The Hoosiers virginal win, sanctified by the Big Ten Network, will be christened with their tears.

Listen now, as we read from Referees 12:1-2, for the Word of the Ref:
The instant replay process operates under the fundamental assumption that the ruling on the field is correct. The replay official may reverse a ruling if and only if the video evidence convinces him beyond all doubt that the ruling was incorrect. Without such indisputable video evidence, the replay official must allow the ruling to stand.

Thanks be to the Ref!

The fundamental assumption is the infallibility of the Ref.  The call on the field, in real time and without the benefit of slow motion, high definition, and multiple angles, must be better than the eyes of the beholder in the booth.  Does this make sense?

What is indisputable?  Indisputable to whom?

How can a panel of sports announcers and perhaps hundreds of thousands of fans see a replay one way, while the Ref can see it another?  No one is unbiased.  We are all sinners!

The referee on the field must be right.  Yet, he is a sinner like all of us.  Replay is his chance to repent--to turn from sin and make the correct call.

From SBNation:

You be the judge. ESPN's cameras turned up about three different angles, none of which showed with 100 percent certainty that the ball came out, but it appeared most impartial observers agreed there was enough evidence to overturn the ruling. Looks out [sic] to me. It's very close, though.

Judge not refs!  Lest Ye Be Judged!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Unwelcome to the Rock

Just what the hell was that?
Welcome to the Rock!

Did you know that the Indiana Hoosiers had never beaten Penn State in football before today?  There is no way you could have watched that game on BTN and NOT known.  It was repeated ad nauseum in the fourth quarter more time than they used to show Dan Persa's mother ort Brady Quinn's girlfriend.  Now in all fairness, I did point out that stat in the Weekly Game Guide, but I'm a Penn State homer and that is expected of me.

The problem was that they never put it in a graphic.  Had they put it in a graphic, Penn State would have won.  It's the curse of the TV graphic.  They flashed up a graphic that Penn State led the nation in 24 straight scores in the red zone right before Butterworth watched a pitch in the dirt go past him to the back stop on a field goal attempt.  Graphic=Curse.  It's as simple as that.

We can dispense with the usual pleasantries.  This was a lousy game from top to bottom against a mediocre, at best, opponent.

How do we sucketh, let me count the ways . . .

Go for it on fourth and short on our own 33 yard line in the fourth--and failing.  Check.

Fumble a kick-off to set up a score.  Check.

Bad snap on a field goal.  Check.

Have a field goal blocked.  Check.

Fumble in our own end zone for a safety.  Check.

Throw a pick six?  What?  We missed one?

We can spend a lot of time blaming--the sanctions, the coaching, the bad breaks.  The bottom line is this: this is not the most difficult game on the Big Ten schedule, and if Bill O'Brien can't find some answers and create some improvement, it is going to be a long second half of this season.

Let's look at the stats, shall we?


From GoPSUsports:

FIRST DOWNS...................2723
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............38-7041-150
PASSING YDS (NET).............340336
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........55-30-039-24-1
Fumble Returns-Yards..........0-01-3
Punt Returns-Yards............1-32-6
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........3-641-13
Interception Returns-Yards....1-00-0
Punts (Number-Avg)............4-45.26-41.5
Possession Time...............35:1124:49
Third-Down Conversions........11 of 224 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions.......1 of 50 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......2-35-6
Sacks By: Number-Yards........4-221-5

Penn State actually looks good on paper.  They led in first downs, third down conversions, and time of possession--by a lot.  There was a lot of separation in the total yardage category as well.  But it was the key turnovers on downs and fumbles that contributed to the lopsided margin of loss.  The stats showed PSU only lost one fumble, but the second fumble was recovered for a safety.  Still a turn-over when you consider we had to free kick it back to IU.



Penn State won the toss and elected to receive.

Attendance was an anemic 42,125 in less than ideal weather.

Penn State is 3-2 on the season and 0-1 in the conference.


Minnesota lost to THEM without their coach for the fifth time (seizure.)  Final Score: 42-13.

The Spartans upset Iowa in Iowa by a score of 26-14.

Nebraska shucked the Illini 39-19.

Northwestern currently leads the Buckeyes by 3 starting the fourth quarter.


1.  Maryland--crushed by Seminoles 63-0.
2.  Iowa State--longhorned by Texas 31-30
3.  Temple--0-5 and beaten 30-7 by Louisville
4.  Alabama--beat Georgia State 45-3, but didn't cover the spread.
5.  This spot is for Northwestern or Arizona State, but hopefully neither



Beaver Stadium.  5pm start.


White Out.

The wolverines are undefeated with wins over Central Michigan (59-9), Notre Dame (41-30), Akron (28-24), UConn (24-21) and Minnesota (42-13.)


Friday, October 4, 2013

Weekly Game Guide: Hoosier Rooting For Edition?

We're a little late here this week with the game guide edition.  Pirates are in the play-offs--> 1-1 now
Indiana believes in truth in advertising.
with the St. Louis Cards.  Pens opened with a 3-0 win last night.  But the last I checked, the Stillers still suck.

Which reminds me about the game last night . . .Iowa State screwed and Texass walks away with a one point win.  This indisputable video evidence crap is for the birds.  Indisputable by whom?  A knowledgeable football analyst or a brain dead moron?  It was a fumble.  If the damned play in question was so indisputable on video, then how the hell did all the refs get it wrong on the field?  If it looks like a fumble on replay--it's a fumble.  Let's just have a panel of five guys review the play simultaneously and without talking to each other.  Each votes whether to let the play stand as called or over-rule it.  Majority wins.  Probably won't change the game much, but I could have found 5 out of 5 people anywhere that could have told you Penn State scored a touchdown against Nebraska last year.  Indisputable?  More like indefensible.  But I digress.

Sorry about the impromptu rant.  Obamacare has me seeing red right now.  If shutting down the whole damn government will help, then Katie bar the door.  Lock 'em all out.  But I have done digressed again.

So this weekend, the Indiana Hosers, sporting a magnificent 2-2 record, host the Penn State Nittany Lions in Bloomingdales Bloomington.

The Hosers are looking for some hidden vigorish.   (Bob Prince coined the term "hidden vigorish" to hilariously tautologically describe the allegedly mystical force that makes a hitter who has been hitless closer to his next hit every time he makes an out.)  Indiana has NEVER beaten Penn State on the football field, unless you count a cheap shot at Michael Mauti that ended his season.

The Red I's have pasted Indiana State 73-35, and struck out Bowling Green 42-10.  But when playing teams with a pulse, they lost 41-35 to Navy and 45-28 to Missouri.  They can score points.  They have a bad defense.  Penn State can score points.  And while we might not have the best defense in the country, we've been holding our own.

Sometimes winless teams are like a blind squirrel finding an acorn.  But this is not their acorn.  Penn State wins.  At least a couple of scores.  Pirates making me think we are family.  We are invincible.  We are . . .PENN STATE!

In the Big Ten:

Michigan State hosts the Iowa Hawkeyes (1.5 points).  Gotta root for Sparty here.

Nebraska (10.5 points) hosts the Illini.  Easy call here.  GO HUSKERS!

Minnesota travels to the Big OutHouse to take on THEM (21 points.)  GO GOPHERS!

Northwestern hosts the Buckeyes (5.5).  GO WILDCATS!

Wisconsin, and Purdue have a bye.  The bye is favored by three touchdowns over the Boilers.

In other games:

Alabama is a 56 point favorite over Georgia . . . . State.  ROLL TIDE ROLL.

Arizona State is a 5.5 point favorite over the Irish.  GO SUNDEVILS!

Future Big Ten team Maryland is a 15 point underdog to the Seminoles.  GO TERPS!

And the other future Big Ten team, Rutgers, is favored by a touchdown over SMU.  GO BIG R!

UCF is favored by 10 over Memphis.  GO KNIGHTS!