Last week, the Penn State Nittany Lions played their first game after the biggest story is sports history unfolded on their campus. It led to their first Big Ten loss of the season. This week they’ll take to the road for the first time in the wake of the PSU pedophilia scandal, and face the team they knocked off the front page of the college football scandal sheet- the Ohio State Buckeyes.
There are four big traditional powers in the Big Ten, two of which (these two right here) are going to be down for awhile as they are programs in disarray. Of course, the level of disarray and the fallout yet to come is a million times worse at PSU.
Joe Paterno was the CEO of not just college football, but everything else surrounding the team in Happy Valley. He could be cold and calculating in his decision making, and was in control of what went on.
So the senility defense just doesn’t fly. When something happened within his empire, he knew. And perhaps his enhanced planning skills were at work when he “sold” his house to his wife for a $1 less than four months before the scandal broke. Was it just a typical estate planning/wealth transfer maneuver from an 84 year old man?
Or a way to shelter himself from the storm he knew was coming? (Go here for more)
And while we’re at it these are some questions that we should all be asking of those involved at PSU, and reminds us all what’s really important in life. Clearly, numerous people at State lost sight of those priorities.
Tom Bradley isn’t helping matters. In interviews, he comes off just as insulated and egocentric as the rest of the sordid lot. He said they will accept a bowl bid, but I still believe they should do the right thing and not go bowling this year. According to bowl reps, they are “radioactive,” and no one wants them. See my bowl projection here.
And here’s the latest on whether or not the Paterno statue will be removed from Beaver Stadium.
I covered to two games in Columbus last year (opener versus Marshall, finale versus Michigan) Both times I was harassed by DUMB-ASS, drunk, redneck Buckeye fans about my clothes. They took issue with both my winter and summer wear. This happened despite the fact that I was not affiliated with the “enemy team,” nor a school that was complicit to child rape.
I bring this up because if the hillbilly components of the OSU fanbase were hostile to me, just how BUCKNUTS will they go on America’s Anti-team Penn State this weekend?
It’s Senior Day in Columbus and the Buckeyes are 15-2 in November games since the start of the 2005 season and 7-1 at home that month (not including 2010). Senior RB Dan “Boom” Herron has carried 89 times for 480 yards (120.0 ypg and 5.3 ypc) and 2 TDs in his four games (he was suspended by the NCAA for the other games) this season
Ohio State’s three league defeats have been by a total of 13 points — an average of 4.3 per game.
The Buckeyes got upset badly 26-23 at Purdue (5-5, 3-3) in overtime last week. Freshman quarterback Braxton Miller tied his career high with two TD passes in the game. He accounted for three scores on the day with a 6-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Prediction to be taken with an entire truckload, not just a grain of salt: OSU 2, PSU 0 (All-time pick record 35-18)
Yes, I went with the lowest score possible in any college football game. The real score will probably be closer to something 10-7 or 7-3, but the idea holds: two great defenses facing two real bad offenses.The passing game on each side is a real train wreck, don’t be surprised if this game has less than 200 combined passing yards.
For PSU, yes they were game at home last week in spite of all the distractions. They gave the Huskers all they could handle, but that was at home in their insulated little bubble. Don’t overlook the fact that State College is in a valley cut off from the rest of the state and nowhere near any large civilized settlement like Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Well, maybe it was a stretch to call Philly “civilized.” Their geography influences their collective psyche.
People involved in the PSU program may not realize just how much the rest of the country hates their University right now- the fact that much of the local media acts as a de facto Nittany Lion PR firm doesn’t help matters.
They’ll certainly learn this week. Believe me, with 110,000 BUCKNUTS with an axe to grind, and who eat, drink, sleep, breathe and live college football year round screaming at them, they’ll know this brutal truth on Saturday.
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the FWAA, USBWA and SPJ. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.
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